Emily Macaulay

Emily Macaulay

Emily Macaulay

The peacekeeping role of homeworking

In this job I’m home based which (COVID lockdowns aside) is new to me. The vast majority of the time I already feel well adjusted to it and enjoy the approach. This week however I’ve found myself spending about 5 minutes a day peacekeeping between my cat and a new cat in the neighbourhood - who come to blows right around my feet (my desk is by the back door)! There’s something to be said for office based working that would mean I was blissfully unaware of this ;-)

What I’ve been doing

This week we had our monthly programme management meeting - good to see things moving forward, and good to ‘catch’ the stuff that is rightly being deprioritised but as a result risks never getting done.

Also had good discussions this week with Jeni, Tim and Jonathan about how we want to structure our approach to fundraising and my role in supporting that (tracking opportunities / our bids / contributing to the writing where possible). I’ve started another Trello Board :-D

A good 1:1 with Jeni too, catching up after her holiday and discussing various topics - including recognising the legacy approach to money that I bring with me after decades working in public sector / charity. It is a wonderful experience working in an organisation that doesn’t see everything through the lens of money (in my experience so many decisions - at all levels - in public sector are driven by money and how to get it, or there not being enough of it, or what someone will think of it being spent in a certain way). Some of our 1:1 discussion reminded me about thoughts I’d had after reading Deborah Meadon’s book ‘Common Sense Rules : What you really need to know about business’. I read it years ago and learned from it. I also remember (and it still holds) wondering what Deborah Meadon would do if she was a Chief Executive in a public sector organisation. (I want to say I’m going to read it again now I’m thinking about it again - but frankly my ‘To Be Read’ list is already mountainous with books I haven’t read for the first time!)

What I’ve been inspired or challenged or moved by

This was an interesting insight to views around gender equality (particularly in the context of reward for work) and when/how those views are formed. Though I do have two niggles with it - 1) the facilitator instructs with a “I have a job for you guys” (there’s simply no need for gendered language here, the word is superfluous at best and damaging at worst) and 2) note with interest that largely the ‘correction’ of the inequality is ‘controlled’ by the boy.

Quite aside from the meaning of the video I also enjoyed seeing how different pairings approached the task.

What I’ve been reading

Jeni introduced me to the Cynefin framework and started my reading on this on Wiki. I found this article useful too and am thinking about how to utilise this to help in problem solving situations. In essence it is a framework that recognises five different ‘domains’ in which decisions need to be made, and how different individuals will respond. I like to think I’ve always known ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ but this gives me an interesting framework to hold some of that approach thinking up against.

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