3.23 — weeknotes — what philosophical values underpin you as a leader?

A typically British week this week, weather wise, glorious sunshine followed by lots of rain! Still didn’t get the thunder that was promised all week. Not complaining obviously! Was so nice to take the camper van out last weekend and was a great weekend for it. Beautiful weather and a site not too far from home so not hours on a motorway!

Have finalised the digital strategy update for year one for cabinet and the update of the strategy itself. This sets out what we are going to achieve over the next 12 months. We have dramatically simplified the strategy from year one to focus on delivery and the outcomes we are going to achieve.

One of the other major things that we have done over the last month is developed a draft digital inclusion commitment. This is building on all the work that the digital inclusion group has done over the past year to make sure that none of our residents are excluded from digital or digital services or skills. Really good piece of work coming together here and looking to include health colleagues as well.

Every so often we have a Hounslow Leadership Group (HLG) special session where we have an external speaker. On Wednesday this week we had Dr Mee Yan Cheung-Judge who was focusing on leading into the future, it was certainly a really insightful and challenging session with far too much food for thought for just 2 hours. It was really good to hear some positive, yet challenging feedback on some of our values and approaches. One of the tasks in the breakout group was to think about our individual philosophical values as a leader the question was posed: What underpins you as a leader?

For me having reflected on this. I think it is about being a genuine leader and taking the time to think about your actions and the way in which you interact with colleagues. Whilst it is a bit of a naff phrase: to walk the walk and talk the talk — I do quite like it — I think you have to bring your whole and authentic self to work and lead by example. This then makes you a better and more consistent leader…

Had a really good catch up with Matt Skinner from FutureGov this week. Always good to catch up about potential opportunities and the work that we’ve done but mainly because our conversation always turns to fish. Both of us are keen fish keepers and always good to compare notes so I said that I would include some more fish news in the week notes this week.

The fish are also celebrating pride month this month with their rainbow. Unfortunately I have lost a couple of fish over the past month or so, I think mainly due to old age, nothing untoward going on (fingers crossed). The fish are really interesting because it’s a constant battle to maintain the ecosystem of the tank: trying to limit the number of snails; trying to keep the water clean; trying to get the right amount of light to encourage the plants to go a bit greener. My major problem at the moment is one of my fish is a bit of a bully, causing one of the others to constantly burrow in the sand and hide from him!

Going to be a busy few weeks as we move a lot of the projects and programmes along — going to need some work to ensure that we keep everyone focussed and moving everything along as quickly as possible. The real challenge is to continue to ensure that we do it joined up across the council through the One Hounslow approach. Very exciting!

Tune of the week (more pride related): Cyndi Lauper — True Colors (Official HD Video)

Director of Digital & IT for the London Borough of Hounslow