September

Month four of my adventures in CEOdom. Still finding it a slightly uncomfortable fit if I am honest. I continue to have a pretty continuous buzz of anxiety and a couple of things knocked my confidence a bit (which was a little fragile anyway in this role.)

I’ve decided to shift perspective a little and have done a bit of a product roadmap – with me as a fully functioning CEO as the product! I’ve set myself some OKRs for the next quarter (unusually for me I’ll be keeping these to myself for now) and I’ve got a bit of a Vision statement and some loose timings associated for it all. Seems silly I know but I was floundering a bit and when push comes to shove I am a product person first and foremost.

The big change personally was my ‘move’ to London. I say ‘move’ but I still have my flat in Bristol and I will not be giving that up but my intention is to make London my primary base for a few months. Sharon’s place is lovely and she has made the whole thing so straightforward and it makes a real difference having a kitchen and a place to really escape to. Plus the overground commute is pretty great so far and the area is really nice. The whole idea of doing it at all has been a bit of a challenge for me mentally though – I have NEVER wanted to live in London and I still don’t really. It just felt unavoidable and at some point I need to unpack that I think.

My confidence has been knocked by failing with three pitches I led on. We got to the final stages of all of them but at some point that starts to feel even worse I think. Getting close but then falling at the final hurdle. Some of the feedback squarely landed some of the reasons for the losses on my shoulders and I’ve got the yips a bit now I fear.

It wasn’t all bad by any means. I had a lovely chat with people from the Singapore Digital Service thanks to Futuregov, Disruption Summit (https://notbinary.co.uk/a-powerful-exchange-of-views/) was a great success, Sprint19 (https://notbinary.co.uk/sprinting-through-sprint19/) was really interesting, Govcamp Cymru was fun (including seeing Sara attending her first unconference), the Festival of Maintenance (at least the 4 hours I went along to) was really thought provoking and getting Matt Thompson to come in and give a workshop based on his Team Health Index work was wonderful. We have some great clients and lots of interesting work happening so clearly it isn’t all bad!

Not to mention Paul has started with us (https://notbinary.co.uk/introducing-paul-murray-our-new-senior-delivery-manager/) which is a great get for us. Lana (https://www.linkedin.com/in/lana-videnova/) starts on Monday which is another wonderful signing. Lucy (https://notbinary.co.uk/introducing-lucy-hart-our-new-delivery-manager/) joined at the end of last month and has just hit the road running. These things make me very happy.

I blogged about GOV.UK and Dom Cummings (https://medium.com/@jukesie/the-gov-uk-cummings-conspiracy-b953ae7d8cca) a little. I really feel for the GOV.UK team at the moment – they are really in the eye of the storm – it cannot be easy.


 

I read Go Ahead in the Rain by Hanif Abdurraqib about his love for ‘A Tribe Called Quest’. It is a beautiful book. Genuinely made me tear up a couple of times.

Hustlers is a really brilliant movie. Jennifer Lopez is amazing in it. It is more thoughtful and less exploitative than some of the descriptions would have you believe. J.Lo is an Oscar contender for sure.

Went to the Keith Haring exhibition in Liverpool at the TATE. It is really comprehensive – there are pieces there I’d never seen before which isn’t easy. Haring is someone with an important and sad story (he died so young) and it really does his legacy justice. It is still on for a few more weeks.