Emily Macaulay

Emily Macaulay

Emily Macaulay

What I’ve been doing

Somehow another month has gone by which means part of what I’ve been up to is our monthly reconciliation again.

I like to think I’ve grasped the feedback from my 1:1 and been in ‘red mode’ with it. (Lumina Spark speak - I had an insightful experience about growth mindset with Beth Goddard a couple of years ago in an old job and lots really explained me to me).

I’ve been working on invitations for a Connected Conversation we’re hosting in a few weeks and logistics for some other events too. My focus has been more delivery than operations over the last week and that’s felt good (and hopefully felt useful to the team too).

I also spent some time chatting with team chum Maria … and discussing food. Any chat that ends “what treats shall I bring when I next see you” is a winner in my eyes.

What I need to take care of

Next week I need to ensure our new project is stood up properly and I want to find some fundraising opportunities that I can progress with minimal impact on other team members (so they can get on with doing their specialist things). Am looking forward to chatting with Matthew from Fund Your Cause about that soon.

What I’ve been inspired or challenged or moved by

I watched this video a while ago but have been reminded of it recently. It was obviously filmed a few decades ago but the message is still valid…and I wonder if there would be a different response if the question was asked now.

I was reminded of it as I’m reading a book (I finished the Enid Blyton - loved it!) called ‘The Life You Can Save : How to play your part in ending world poverty’ by Peter Singer. It is very personally / individually challenging. I’m sure I’ll share more when I’ve finished it but the connection with the video is the passive positions we take when faced with known inequality and harm.

What I’ve been reading

Anyone that starts with a blog / article with a Matrix reference has me hooked (I was a huge fan). But I’ve always had an interest in Catherine Howe’s approaches to systems and work (since her time at The Democratic Society) and now around organisational redesign. (Catherine is currently the Chief Executive at Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils). In this article of hers, that I have been reading and pondering, she reflects on how organisational change is most (possibly “only ever”) successful if the organisation is culturally prepared. And she shares these principles of how her organisation wants to work as:

  • Resilient rather than efficient — I have written more about this here but in short — in an quickly shifting context your organisation and your people need enough head room to be able to adapt for the changing circumstances
  • Participative rather than top down which means giving people voice and agency
  • Adaptive rather than linear, with the ability to experiment and learn, building in capacity for change as a norm rather than a stop/start

I think what I like about these principles is the recognition in the people and process rather than solely the outcome. That enabling flexibility of approach will sustain an organisation and, one would hope, future proof it too. That she’s talking about this within a public sector context - I love this.

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