3.40 — weeknotes — double weeknotes this week — digital festival, celebrating success, Windsor Castle and Kate’s retirement…
There was no way that I had the headspace at the end of the other week to write up any weeknotes — so it is double the fun this week — and even these are later than normal this week!
The other week was the final week of the Digital Festival! It really is an amazing coming together of the team to deliver these sessions across the council and the community. We really couldn’t do it without our partners as well and thanks to Microsoft, Amazon, Loti, Socitm, EHCVS and many many more we are able to produce this amazing festival of all things digital!
We had 78 sessions, produced 55 hours of content that colleagues can play back at their leisure and had 1,300 people come along to the sessions. So proud of the team to make it happen!
We also had a member evening with an update on the Digital Strategy and Digital Inclusion work, it was a great session with so much to tell them, we really didn’t have enough time to go over everything in detail. Lots of interest and questions.
Another great session we had this week was with Tech UK, an opportunity to hold a market briefing with them on what we are doing as part of the strategy and what we are planning on doing. It was really useful to be able to speak to everyone at once, already had a number of follow up discussions.
We started the week after with our regular Design Authority that shapes the ideas coming from colleagues as part of the One Hounslow programme. A lot of effort across the council goes into the preparation of the meeting and in getting the ideas together in the first place. Once again it was a great meeting, lots of collaboration and challenge. There were a number of them this week where we had to go back to the drawing board — which is actually really positive to ensure we are moving things along in the right way.
Monday evening we had our recruitment evening in Hounslow House as part of this round of recruitment. We wanted to give anyone interested an opportunity to come and speak to us, meet the team, find out about the roles and ask any questions. With these things you never know how well attended they are going to be or indeed if anyone would turn up. Even with a fire alarm and having to evacuate the building 20 minutes before we were due to kick off, it was amazing. We had about 60 people to come and talk to us. There was such a buzz in the room and the team were fantastic — this round closed on 5 December.
Also good to see the ground floor of Hounslow House being used for new and exciting things as part of the world of work programme.
Friday afternoon was our celebrating success event with the team. It was an amazing hybrid experience (that is not something I say very often). We closed the festival in the morning and then spent the afternoon together. In many cases this was the first time that colleagues have seen each other for 18 months. We have also had a number of colleagues join us over that time so great to get everyone meeting each other!
We also spent some time on Friday with a bit of an a Digital and IT awards ceremony. With massive thanks to Claire, our One Hounslow Programme Director, who pulled it together and presented the awards. The team have done an amazing job over the pandemic in both responding, keeping the lights on and transforming — this was an opportunity to recognise the massive efforts of everyone in being an awesome team.
Monday and Tuesday of this week just gone, I have a very privileged to have been invited couple of days at St Georges House at Windsor Castle. This was an opportunity to come together to think about and tackle what some of the current issues are and think about what we need in the future to move things along. It was organized through colleagues at Socitm and bought together a huge range of organisations. The topic was Resilient People, Resilient Communities, Resilient Places — no small topic!
It was lovely to meet colleagues from across the country, many of which I either hadn’t seen for ages or not met during my time as a Socitm VP. Over the two days we had a series of presentations, conversations, discussions and challenge on a range of wicked issues. Culminating in thinking about what we need from Central Government and what we can bring to the table.
The whole experience was amazing — the location of the discussions, the thinking and challenge (my head hurt at the end of the two days), the colleagues and the tour of St Georges Chapel at the Castle was pretty amazing — so much history in one place — hope that the results of our discussions can influence policy — even in a small way. So much for me personally to think about as well.
Over the last year we have been in what feels like a permanent state of recruitment. I was invited to be part of a panel on Wednesday morning with Penna looking talking about our experiences with hard to fill roles. It was a really good session and good to have different people’s view of their challenges — there were some commonality as well in growing internal talent pools and thinking that its OK to hire colleagues without Local Government — it helps in bringing fresh view to things.
Finishing the end of the week with a retirement gathering at Hounslow House for a colleague (Kate Taylor) in Digital who has been working in Local Government and mainly in Hounslow since 1978 — she has been an integral part of getting the council to where it is now. It was so nice to see everyone come together from so many different parts of the Council.
She will really be missed in the team.
Tune of the week: Bonnie Tyler — Holding Out For A Hero (Official HD Video)