in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #228 — Only night of the prom

Red carpet, ready and waiting.

Red carpet, ready and waiting.

A super busy week from start to finish. There are so many initiatives on the go as well as new ones starting up.

This was a week in which I:

  • Gave my introductory presentation on large language models and generative AI to four more departments. It’s amazing how fast things are moving, resulting in me tweaking the presentation as I go. I guess that in a small way this is what it must feel like to take a presentation on the road to a bunch of conferences. Only three more to go over the next couple of weeks.
  • Got agreement in principle for a senior colleague to sponsor a new initiative we have planned with an external vendor. Met with the vendor to discuss the status and agree next actions to move forward.
  • Picked up two new initiatives relating to our physical office space which need to be quickly fleshed out.
  • Co-ran a workshop on how we manage ‘unstructured data’ within our organisation. We had a fantastic turnout with lots of engagement. Now we need to start to develop some proposals.
  • Reviewed the material gathered so far on a case study of how some of the work from our department had direct positive outcomes in the form of new leads with our clients.
  • Set up one-on-one sessions with our support team and all staff in our London office who have not yet signed up to our password manager. We should be all done in the next couple of weeks.
  • Presented at two Technology-wide culture workshops on the work that has been done so far in writing down our culture and values.
  • Agreed to be a part of a panel discussion for an event being run by our company’s Data team.
  • Ran our weekly Learning Hour, hosting the Business Manager for our part of the organisation as he spoke to our team about our company strategy.
  • Joined our monthly risk review meeting.
  • Met with colleagues to continue planning an internal event we will be hosting at the end of November.
  • Took part in a workshop to understand the client on-boarding experience across our global organisation.
  • Pitched a one-minute idea to our CEO about how we can make our weekly ’everyone in the office’ day more engaging. We’re planning to try it out from September.
  • Updated a number of Teams, Teams chats and recurring meeting invites to reflect the new name of our department.
  • Had a lovely impromptu lunch with a colleague in one of our client-facing teams.
  • Enjoyed a ‘random coffee’ with an executive in our Telecoms, Media and Technology client team.
  • Learned about PowerPoint Karaoke as I was looking for some online team games that we could play. It didn’t meet the brief as it is definitely not for everyone, but I am very intrigued by the idea.
  • Wandered up to my son’s school for his prom. I have no idea when this concept came in here in the UK; when I was his age we might have had a school disco, but nothing like this. The kids turned up in their fabulous outfits in a variety of exotic cars, vans and trucks, getting out at the red-carpeted entrance. My son and his friends wandered in via the same route with one of them being pushed in a kitted-out wheelbarrow.
  • Was delighted to bump into an old friend at the station on my morning commute. There’s always so much to catch up on and chat about. Very different to how things were 15 years ago.
  • Met with a fellow school governor to discuss and hand over the school IT infrastructure work that I have been involved in.
  • Said goodbye to a brilliant rider from our cycling club who is moving abroad. She was the strongest rider in our group. I’m going to miss trying in vain to keep up with her.
  • Enjoyed a fabulously fast ride on Saturday morning, on a route as flat as we are likely to find around these parts. The heavens opened about 20km from the end, leaving me with water-filled shoes to carry me home. We skipped the post-ride coffee in favour of getting home to get cleaned-up.
  • Had an impromptu late night chatting to Google Bard. It feels like ChatGPT without the rough edges having been dialled out of the system. It didn’t take long before it started talking about itself in a confused way, on the one hand saying that it is just a computer program and on the other saying how it felt when people were mean to it. I think this technology is over-hyped but it’s still fascinating.

  • Enjoyed watching Wham! (2023). I find the band fascinating in that their songwriting and performance talents were so good and yet they — both together and individually — seemed to get dismissed as trivial pop.
  • Had a lovely Sunday afternoon barbecue at my mum and dad’s house along with my brothers and their families. Food, drink, kids, banter, cricket and Formula One.

Next week: Trying to fit the work around another packed diary.

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