Chris Witham

Weeknotes s01e15

Posted by: Chris Witham - Posted on:

TL:DR; Asynchronous communication, digital in integrated care and a whole lot of outdoors.

[week ending: 16/04/2021]

The good

The weather is improving, I’m spending more time outside and post work bike rides are back on!

I always thought I was a winter person, I love the cold and I love snow. But lockdown has really thought me that I value good weather and the opportunity to get outdoors. Meetings friends in our garden, fire pits and BBQs are starting to be a regular featue of our week and it’s great!

My favourite local independent coffee shop reopened this week and I was the second customer through the door. They roast their own Fairtrade coffee just a mile from our house and it’s great. Check out Greenhill Coffee Roasters, you can buy online. We had more positive discusions at Town Council this week about how we can support local businesses and encourage people to #ShopLocal.

I’ve really enjoyed having fewer meetings in my diary again this week and it’s really created some space for more creative thinking about some of our future service design and direction. There’s been lots of discussion on Twitter about the future of remote work and it was interesting to see the conversation at our all staff briefing changing to ask about when policies might be amended to allow more flexibility rather than the frequent ask of when we’d return to the office that we saw last year. What is key is that one solution will not be right for everyone and we need to respect one another and work hard to understand how flexbility can work for all of us.

Getting to grips with synchronous vs asynchronous communitication is going to be key and understanding when to strategically use each one effectively.

I found a lot of joy from working with our Equality and Inclusion team this week as part of the working group for some new tools aiming to improve conversations about race. The toolkit and workshop materials are looking really good and I’m very excited about how we can use digital to support this work and make it accessibile and available to a very wide audience across the health and care system.

It’s also been rewarding to engage with some of our talent management teams and work this week. There’s so many big questions and challenges but it’s great to work with so many talented, calm and compassionate people. This work could really make a difference across the whole system if we get it right. Exciting times.

Blue skies with white fluffy clouds above a path through the forest looking down to Cinderford in the valley below.
26 miles on the bike and 17 miles walking this week. Numbers going in the right direction.

The bad

I left a big piece of work reviewing pull requests to our Open Source WordPress Theme too late in the sprint and will have to roll that over to the next sprint. Partly poor planning and partly not having a proper dev environment setup on my laptop after the best part of a year not writing code. Massively ironic given I’ve been pushing my team to be more intentional and realistic about what we book into sprints after we’d got into a bit of a habit of being too optimistic. Needless to say, the team did really well at planning sensible amounts of work and I totally missed the mark. Do as I say… not as I do?

The ugly

I’ve had to take a few lunchtime naps this week (yay to flexibile remote!). I’ve just a bit wiped out. Unsure if it is too much exercise, caffeine inbalance or something else. Still, a good example of why flexibile can be helpful, especially for those living with medical conditions. It was a good reminder to book my eye test and I think I might try contact lenses as I still can’t master mask and glasses! Leave me a comment if you have any contact lens tips!

Noteable conversations

  • Mark Bardsley and I had a virtual coffee this week and had a great chat. Noticeably I’ve had a few conversations this week where we’ve talked about our lives as well as our work and it’s really made the week very enjoyable. Always good to know there’s another single malt appreciator in the team. They say content is king and I’m really interested in seeing the great work Mark and team are doing on our bitesize content and how we can support them with new tools over the coming year.
  • This morning I met with someone from our corproate compliance team, and what a great start to the end of the week that was! Super helpful, friendly and open to feedback about how central teams can make it easier for us to suceed first time. We too talked a little about where we live, politics and faith. Knowing and sharing a little about people I’m working with makes the relationships so much richer and I think our work benefits too.
  • Ingrid and I met with Anna and Lavinia to discuss the upcoming Council of Governors and various committees and working groups. Early feedback suggests the new format of meetings is working well and I’m looking forward to our next meeting now we’re all a bit more familiar with the format of presentations and how we can use the time effectively. I’m also really looking forward to the Governor Annual Conference and more opportunities to network with other governors.

Things I’m reading and watching

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