Weeknotes, 2nd July 2021

Good People

Other than some new business stuff, the week has largely been about having conversations with all manner of colleagues on all manner of topics.

  • I had really engaging 1:1s with both Kath and Leanne which were centred around project work and had a coaching theme. “Therapeutic” was a word they both used to sum up our chats, and I have to agree 💚
dxw CTO Dom sitting on a picnic blanket
Picnicking with Dom. Unsure if I’m glad or sad that I didn’t wear my green dxw hoodie too.

On Thursday I watched with huge admiration and not a little sympathy as our technical operations team and others sprung into action to tackle an incident. To directly quote Dave, “You have shown all of us exactly what it means to work as a team.” 💪

I thought a lot about the depth to which good recruitment can change the dynamic of a team. Our recent influx of new folk has served to remind me how important all the things beyond practical craft skills are. All it takes is one new person to bring a fresh perspective for a whole team on a long-established process or policy. One new person with zest and energy can lift a tired crew back up. And one person with warmth and can-do attitude can give a morale boost to everyone.

The word “exciting” gets overused when people talk about work things, but I had one call in particular that genuinely got me looking forward to something that might happen later in the year 👀

Good Work

Working on a pitch early in the week, I had to wrestle with my conscience and do an (admittedly microscopic) piece of speculative design work. Sometimes there’s simply no other way—you just have to draw a picture to bring something to life in the minds of others.

We’ve been talking about some potential work with a co-operative organisation. It had me thinking about how in our different ways we both put humans at the centre of our work.

I attended a retrospective held by one of our delivery teams, and I was compelled to say at the end that I felt it was the model retro. Expertly facilitated, open in spirit, with a blend of challenge and warmth. Lovely.

Good Stories

Last week marked the end of my fourth year at dxw, which is also the longest I’ve spent employed by the same company since 2010. It’s nice here 💙

Since getting back into a regular running routine, I’ve struggled with pacing myself and have found myself exhausted much sooner than I should. This week I managed to forcibly slow myself down — harder than it sounds—in order to be more steady, consistent, and finish stronger. Assemble your own allegory as required 🏃

We have a new regular feathered friend that’s started visiting the garden. An enormous herring gull with a slightly gammy-looking (but functional) wing. We’ve lazily/ironically/hilariously named him Steven Seagull. He scares the shit out of the other birds when he crash-lands noisily into the middle of the lawn. I love him 🐦

Dawn asked me “what do you mean by storytelling?”, and I had to admit I’ve never really had my own definition of it — I’ve always assumed people implicitly understood what it means. I guess I still believe that’s true. But since Dawn asked, and I like a challenge, I think to me it means sharing our human experience in ways that connect and resonate with others.

Next week is a short one — only two days at work 🏖

Head of Design at @dxw. Music at @musicbycollider.