Series 1 : Episode 1

It’s bizarre that this is series 1 episode 1, as I have been in local government for 10 years. If I had started when I got my first job in the customer focused digital transformation world 7 years ago, this would be Series 4. If I had started series 4 when I first got the new AWESOME job , this would be approximately episode 34.

Why now?

Well I have often pondered joining the weeknotes gang and honestly the main problems were fear of commitment and the usual human self doubt stuff- will people read it, have I got anything worth saying, will they want me in the gang, what if I don’t keep it up? I hate failing. Not failing is a huge motivator for me. It can also be a reason to not start something at all.

What’s changed? Two main things I think.

1- I am sat in my lovely flat in Brighton on a sunny Saturday morning and it is too easy to just piss the day away scrolling through Twitter. This is better. This is worth a try.

I’m not gonna tell anyone yet though (that’s the fear of failing bit) so if you know about this post then you must be Matt and Simon who follow me!

2- The fears don’t matter so much as I have identified that I will in fact get something from it anyway even if no-one reads or likes it. I’ve never been a lists girl or kept a diary, I’m not a content designer by trade so I wasn’t sure if it would be useful to me. But I now wish that I had been doing weeknotes when I went to meet Janet and Simon and could look back at the notes. Work life is fantastically busy and plans and schemes ebb and flow a bit more now. If I had made weeknotes along the way it would be easier to pick up ideas that got waylaid by, for example, weeks of being focused on recruitment.

And a supplementary third thing…

3. I have been noticing other people talking about what they get from weeknoting — Stamanfar on how there seems to be a correlation with keeping our annoying friend imposter syndrome in the box for example. I’m wondering what as-yet-unknown benefits there might be for me. My husband writes for a living and my team is full of great content designers, and I work for frankly the best wordsmith I’ve ever met so this could send my own imposter syndrome either way!

So.

Hello, I’m Annie. I work at Croydon Digital Service as the Digital Design Manager. I work for NeillyNeil! How cool is that? I work with Dave Briggs and a load of other brilliant people! There will be some use of smiley faces and exclamation marks. I am that kind of person, deal with it :) I’m a big fan of open working and networking. I have recently been delighted to receive the accolade of being called a massive spanner by Laura Jones. I am all about the people. It’s all about the people.

Annie Heath in a classic “point at post-it” pose

Look how far I’ve come…

This week has provided me with a lovely moment of reflection. We have a fairly new, very good, brilliantly keen User Researcher called Mira. She has been arranging to do a collaborative piece of research with Hackney and at least 2 other councils. Having seen that a new round of Local Digital funding was available, Mira has spearheaded writing an application for it. Local government is new to her and sometimes the pace and bureaucracy can be a little on the frustrating side* when you are super-motivated to achieve an outcome to a deadline. I hadn’t been involved in this bid at all, other than to encourage Mira to explore it and when she said that it hadn’t come together in time that was fine, the attempt would stand her in good stead for next time. I wasn’t really paying a lot of attention, and should have been paying more, because recruitment is a bit all encompassing at the moment.

However, Neil popped me out of my recruitment trance long enough to point out that I could surely pull together this application together fairly easily before the deadline. Which was true — I could and I have! It was like my brain coming back alive! Oh my goodness recruitment is a slog isn’t it? I really loved pulling different bits together and knocking this bid into shape. I really loved being able to help my team achieve their aim.

Mira’s experience really reminded me of a bid I tried to pull together about 6 years ago for free wifi a housing block. Everyone agreed it was a good idea and were helpful but I couldn’t understand why it therefore wasn’t going anywhere and what I needed to do to make it become reality. I knew I needed to understand the bureaucracy more and that was a big reason that I went for the secondment - Business Customer Analyst for face to face services - that led me to where i am now. (Thank you forever Val Pearce.)

Being able to pull this application together gave me a real moment of reflection and comparison and it felt good to know I have definitely learned a few things on my journey. It’s also good to be in a position where I can support and develop an environment that encourages others on theirs.

Seemed like a bit of an ideal reason to finally get round to starting weeknotes.

  • make you want to tear every last bit of your hair out

Digital Design Manager. Feminist. Public Sector Endurance Medallist. Lessons learned from the Local Gov transformation life. Woman on the verge.