OutofOffice: Evolution not revolution.

Vol 6 | Issue 1

I’m a bit burned out with the #weeknotes format that I at least partially helped popularise in certain corners so am trying something a little bit different for 2018. Still weekly (hopefully) but less about my day to day and more about what is inspiring, influencing or irritating me on a given week.

It is very much inspired by Warren Ellis’s ‘Orbital Operations’ but you know…much less good.

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My personal news this week is after almost exactly a year I have resigned from mySociety. This wasn’t an easy decision as I had wanted to work for the organisation for years and the people really are amazing. I never really got to grips with my role however and certainly from the summer have been struggling to really meet the standards I set for myself and thus haven’t felt like I’ve been contributing enough. This became a bit of a vicious circle as I got more stressed which led to my performance suffering more. This coupled with the fact it emerged that I really don’t like remote working — finding it too isolating — meant I needed to make a change. So I have. More on that in a future issue though.

Anyway I’m still a massive fan of the organisation and grateful to have got to know the people there. Thanks for the chance.

Oh and elsewhere..

This is something my talented friend Stef did for a Rag’n’Bone Man gig →

  • The call for speakers for Agile Cambridge is currently open. I spoke at this last year and the organisers are great, the venue was really nice and it was a really friendly audience.
  • IWMW also has a call for speakers open at the moment. This is a conference for Higher Education web/digital teams and many years ago was the first bit of public speaking I ever did. They are interested in speakers with different perspectives to share.

Went and watched ‘Molly’s Game’ on Tuesday. This is the first movie directed as well as written by Aaron Sorkin — who as the creator of the ‘West Wing’ will forever have a place in my heart. I really enjoyed it — Jessica Chastain is wonderful and she handles the Sorkin dialogue like she was born to it and Idris has a couple of great monologues.

I read Artemis by Andy Weir this week as well. This is his follow up to ‘The Martian’ which I loved. Unfortunately I didn’t find this story anywhere near as interesting. It takes about half the book to set things up and handle the world building during which time I really struggled to root for the main character in any meaningful way. It does improve towards the end with a clever sci-fi heist but I also didn’t think much of how it wraps up.

  • Cassie’s ‘Year notes’ are a great read — reflective, personal and insightful they are a brilliant example of these things. They also got me thinking (which at this time of year is no mean feat!)
  • I love this ‘Retro Kit’ from Spotify — I have tried a few of these approaches myself before but appreciate having it all put together like this as I think mixing up the retrospective format every now and again helps avoid complacency and helps with the honest reactions.
  • Dave Rogers nails it in this post about ‘making digital transformation work’ and the fact that it requires real ‘technology transformation’ working hand in hand with the digital business change. I think we have over corrected somewhat — desperate not to have digital be synonymous with IT we have lost sight a bit of what is necessary to provide these new opportunities. It reminded me of something Richard Pope wrote a while ago.

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