in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #241 — Gang of Four

On Friday evening a friend and I drove into London to catch the Gang of Four gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. My desire to go was based entirely on the strength of their song  I Love a Man in a Uniform from 1982:

We got there halfway through first act Hallan’s set; things were already getting loud. Next up were The Miki Berenyi Trio. I recognised some of their songs from Split, Lush’s excellent record that I first heard at Album Club some years ago. And then it was time for Gang of Four.

The gig was incredible. My friend and I sat there open-mouthed as they ran through their songs. Hard-edged and funky, with an incredible performance by all of the members of the band. We couldn’t stop foot tapping. At one point, a microwave was wheeled onto the stage and lead singer Jon King proceeded to batter and destroy it with a baseball bat throughout a song. I have no idea why.

I’ve since listened to their 1990 compilation A Brief History of the 20th Century and can’t recommend it highly enough.

This was a week in which I:

  • Dealt with Monday morning train shenanigans. I ended up getting on one that was trying to accommodate its usual compliment of commuters as well as those from the two cancelled trains before it. Tempers were frayed, with people on train platforms swearing at those packed into the spaces near the doors. So very 2019.
  • Drew up a model of my recently expanded department and reviewed it with my management team. Lots of good feedback means that a second draft is now in the works.
  • Resumed a series of meetings to help align product and engineering management within my team.
  • Met with our head of Investment Banking and our CIO to review the proposal for investing in a new AI-powered tool.
  • Continued to plan for a move to a new office in one of our locations, and created a brain dump of all of the things we need to consider for the build-out of the space.
  • Spent time with a senior client-facing team to look at how they manage their documentation. Learning how people work is always fascinating. The session gave me some great insights into how we can refine the approach that we plan to promote to everyone in our division.
  • Got access to Microsoft 365 Copilot and started experimenting with it in Microsoft Teams chats.
  • Had a lovely catch-up with a colleague who is leading our company’s API strategy and tooling.
  • Planned and delivered our weekly Learning Hour session on the topic of the information available to us through Gartner.
  • Got everything out of my head for our planned clear writing training and shared the content with our training vendor.
  • Reviewed where we are with setting up our own version of the Thoughtworks Technology Radar.
  • Joined the fortnightly Generative AI working group meetings.
  • Had the weekly project meeting for planning our ‘town hall’ session at the end of November.
  • Joined a technology meeting on the topic of Environmental, Social and Governance investing.
  • Fixed the timing of our digital signage carousels so that they aren’t chopping and changing too quickly.
  • Felt great on my weekly club bike ride, smashing out personal bests on some well-known local hills. What a difference a week makes.

Next week: Meeting a CEO, an all-day hybrid workshop, an online Album Club, and getting stuck into all of the content I need to produce.

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