The four days at work were busy ones. An overtime ban at the rail company meant that my usual morning train wasn’t running, something I found out on Monday morning after I jogged all the way to the station to avoid missing it.
I also said goodbye to my colleague who has been over with us from Johannesburg for a couple of weeks as she headed off home. Time goes so fast.
This was a week in which I:
- Got agreement from our internal governance committees to go ahead with the programme structure and steering committee that I have proposed. The next step is the near-impossible job of getting the meeting series in the diary at a time that the everyone can make.
- Responded to questions from potential suppliers as part of an RFP and had a quick glance at the responses once the deadline passed.
- Brought our Head of Marketing and Communications up to speed with where we are with our office move project, looped her into the fit-out discussions and arranged for her to have an on-site meeting with the team next week. It’s fascinating what someone with a particular eye for detail will think about that I would completely miss on my own.
- Had a step-by-step walkthrough of the office move plan with the landlord’s project manager.
- Joined the weekly meeting with our sister company who are also moving to new premises in the same city. We said goodbye to a colleague in their team that we have worked with for many years and welcomed a new team member to the meetings.
- Had our weekly meeting with our office technology design vendor to agree next steps for the two office projects they are assisting with.
- Reviewed the core financial data for an office upgrade/refit project.
- Gave a tour of our office to a leader from our sister company who occupy the same building as us. They are looking to undertake their own refit next year and wanted to see what we had done.
- Reviewed the plans to fit out our office with carbon dioxide meters and started to discuss how we might take an alternative approach to meet the requirement, giving us more data and potentially more control in the long term.
- Had conversations about the Microsoft suite of Generative AI tools and started to look at budgeting for licencing.
- Had the weekly Digital Product team meeting, discussing how we will approach the work on the backlog and how we will communicate the process to the rest of the team.
- Met with colleagues in South Africa to discuss approaches to document sharing between our offices.
- Agreed an approach to some information-gathering work on tools that can potentially help our Investment Banking business.
- Had an interesting discussion on avatars and authenticity at our monthly Lean Coffee meeting.
- Attended a town hall meeting where we heard from colleagues in Compliance and a reorganised revenue team.
- Had two lovely random coffee meetings, one with a friend that I’ve made through the WB-40 podcast community and another from India who works in our Credit Risk team.
- Enjoyed the first free office lunch of 2024, a delicious poke bowl handmade by our in-house chefs.
- Enjoyed a Saturday afternoon dog walk and cup of tea with a friend. Discovered how bad a dog can smell after it has rolled itself in fox poo.
- Popped to the doctor’s to check out what I’m hoping is a small medical issue. Popped back a couple of days later for a blood test and made an appointment with a consultant in March.
- Had a visit from UK Power Networks who will be removing us from a looped electricity supply with our next door neighbours.
- Got outside on my bike for the first time in three weeks. Club rides have recently been cancelled due to the cold weather; we don’t go out if the temperature is 2°C or below at 8am. This week it was actually warm enough for bibshorts, but I was the only one in the group to turn up suitably kitted-out.
- Attended an Academic Speakers Bureau taster session at the LSE, hearing from Nick Robins, Liz Stokoe and Alexander Evans on the topics of a Transforming Finance for a Just Transition, The Conversational Racetrack: The Power of Words in Motion and Cyber, Geopolitics and AI: Navigating a Volatile World.
- A fascinating conversation on the new-look (new sound?) WB-40 podcast with Mark Bjornsgaard on using the heat generated from data centres to warm swimming pools. Deep Green looks super interesting. I had no idea you could run servers submerged in oil and then harvest the heat they generate.
- Heather Burns’ post on the annual NASA Day of Remembrance is beautiful. I couldn’t help but think of Boeing as I read it, wondering if there are elements of NASA’s culture that would help with their current situation.
- Found the Guardian’s report of a rise in young men thinking that feminism has done more harm than good very depressing.
- Discovered Mitch Boyer’s YouTube channel and enjoyed his attempt of the Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen crazy hill climb bike race.
- I’d love to start a Little Free Library, but the front of our house doesn’t get enough foot traffic.
- This exploration of visual patterns in vinyl records and what could be done with a fantasy record player is extraordinary. I can’t believe how much effort must have gone into this.
Next week: Fitting all of the work around a two-day offsite meeting that I’ll be joining remotely.