3.24 — weeknotes — inspirational session with care leavers at HLG

It has been good to get a bit more out and about this week, having spent the weekend in London and the day on Thursday seeing colleagues I haven’t seen for the whole of the pandemic, apart from in a little box on screen. Really looking forward to seeing my management team in person on Monday as well. So, going to start next week out and about as well.

We had our Mission Leadership meeting this week where all managers in Digital get together, virtually. Because there are so many new starters we did a bit of an intro session with everyone bringing an item to the meeting to explain something about them. Such a range of items. including a colleague who took massive picture off the wall much to the bewilderment of their husband! Great to hear about new and existing colleagues alike. Always learn something…

Also good to catch up on the wide range of activities that we have going on as well from the fix the plumbing activities to some of the wider transformation work and projects that are gathering pace!

We had our Hounslow Leadership Group, HLG on Thursday. Can be a bit stressful in the run up to make sure it all goes well. The theme this week was Corporate parenting and the team gave an update on the work across the council and thinking about ideas to improve what the council offers.

Part of the session was hearing from four care leavers about their experiences and how we as an organisation could improve the offer. They were truly inspirational and want us to be more joined up not just across the organisation but across the place as well.

It was amazing to hear from these young people and they really challenged us, including the Chief Executive. One of them was on his interview panel and took this opportunity to ask whether he delivered on what he said at the interview. Which of course he had!

One of the exercises was to think about a young person that we know (child/ nephew/ niece etc) and think about what we wanted for them in the future, where would we go if they needed help, who has supported us in our own lives and so on. Was genuinely thought provoking and actually a bit emotional to think about some of these things.

Was an great session!

I then spent some time actually face to face with colleagues I’d not seen since the start or the pandemic. Lovely to catch up and start to think about and plan the future, including starting to think about the Digital Festival in November and bringing colleagues across digital together later in the year.

Thursday I also attended the Managers meeting of one of our directorates, Environment, Culture & Customer Services. I did a whistle stop tour of the latest updates for the digital strategy, introduce some of the new team members and one of the team gave a bit of a digital skills update… Was all well received and good discussion.

Friday we had the first of the strategy sessions with Socitm to plan and think about the next year ahead and far beyond. It was a really good session and nice not to be the new boy now.

Lots going on! Actually going to an in person conference net week and presenting on all the amazing work that we have been doing! Can’t wait!

Tune of the week (to continue pride month): Sam Smith — Time After Time (Live at Abbey Road Studios)

Director of Digital & IT for the London Borough of Hounslow