Another August firebreak


I’m taking another firebreak week – though circumstances mean that its actually a firebreak 3 days with a day in the office and a day with DemSoc in-between but the essence is there! I have a few things I want to look at and expect these to spill over into the rest of the month:

  • I want to do some deeper thinking and respond to some work my team has been doing about how we organise ourselves
  • I want to get around some of the future work that we are doing at CRUK – I am involved in three different themes and I want to organise my thinking on these and get a plan together
  • I want to check in on the 3 areas of inquiry I laid out at the start of the year and also catch up with some people to see if I can do more active collaboration in this second half of the year

The other thing I want to do is to get back on track with my wish to write 500 words per day. 500 hundred words a day doesn’t actually feel like a lot but I have been struggling to find them over the last couple of months. I have been mulling about this.

Part of this is the season – I find the outdoors irresistible so when its sunny I am more likely to be in the garden than then desk (I have never mastered writing in the garden; I can tune out any number of conversations in a coffee shop but peripheral weeding will always distract me). Part of it is that I have been writing this and that at work which tends to take up the 500 word goal but the main reason is that I have been struggling with creativity and what it means to be creative while also leading a team.

One of the effects of being part of a larger organisation is that you are part of the hierarchy no matter how collaboratively you want to work. This is not always a bad thing (HT @Rowan for sharing this excellent piece of why hierarchy is not always a bad thing) but your organisation status is always with you. I find that hard because its such a contrast to a properly collaborative piece of work because the power dynamics are different; you are after all trying to lead and your ideas and your role comes through a different filter and scrutiny as a result.

This leaves me with some question of how can you just get involved in the stuff that you want to get involved in? How do you create structures that people can get involved selectively?

PS. The image at the top is a terrarium -made by me at a terrarium workshop – I am sure that there isa metaphor somewhere in the idea of these small and complete ecosystems but I think I just like the fact that you garden them with tiny tools…..

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