Those of you that know me may have heard me talk about transparency, and how I feel this is important for good public service. I think that civil servants being more transparent about their work could have various potential benefits:
Better learning / sharing of best practice
Promotes understanding of what civil servants ‘actually do’
Ultimately, the public pay my salary so there’s a reasonable argument they should be able to see what they get for the money.
I’ve decided to conduct a personal experiment in transparency and accountability – effectively a form of personal radical transparency. The principal is that I will endeavour to publish as much information about my work as practicable.
The purposes of this experiment are:
To examine the value of greater transparency from civil servants – for example, does this give greater insight into what I do, or actively obfuscate that? Which things are useful and which aren’t?
To examine the practical considerations around being transparent – what tools / guidance / best practice / rules might help civil servants be more transparent?
To identify any other consequencs of transparency – for example, does it affect the way I work and/or the decisions I make, knowing that some of this will be published?
The (initial) ground rules of the experiment are:
I can’t give details of anything protectively marked / embargoed.
I can’t give details about my work that give away other people’s information (only my own information).
I can’t give way details that would otherwise compromise security – for example my personal security.
I do not have much time to dedicate to this so it will be on a ‘best endeavours’ basis.
Some of this likely won’t work, won’t be practical or won’t be sustainable – hence it is an experiment.
I’ll be adding more information (in this blog’s new “Transparency” category) over the coming weeks and months so stay tuned. Wish me luck!
Personal Development Plan – As at 20 Nov 19 Become more disciplined and effective Develop discipline as a habit Develop a routine for removing distractions (eg Phone away etc) Have a weekly plan and stick to it Improve on following processes & procedures Up to date on Leave recording Performance management cycle Conduct work pattern recording Stay current and relevant in technical and professional skills Grow my techical skills and experience Complete Python ML Bootcamp course Take a touch typing course Maintain Professional PR and Digital skills Complete CIPR CPD for the year Compete a course on User Research basics Be an intelligent customer for AI and ML Complete real-world data science exercises that improve my life Complete Python for Data Science learning Execute and understand a sample ML exercise Seek out opportunities and challenges and find a new role Grow my Network Social Media / LinkedIn / Defence Connect Cross Govt MOD Leadership Find a new job Update CV and expose it for feedback Set up jobs monitoring Complete Private sector applications – at least 50 Complete Public Sector applications – as many as possible Explore new opportunities Seek out a project delivery role at work Take on a corporate challenge / wider activity Become a senior leader, ready for SCS Gather and act upon feedback Gather feedback in one place FLS feedback Interview feedback Psychometric feedback Address weaknesses and shadows Identify shadows and make a plan to address them Develop Emotional Intelligence via training Develop Commercial Acumen through practice Develop SCS competences Develop new competence examples for SCS Review SCS behaviours and map to ‘how’ of my personal objective Develop leadership Practice Open Leadership Identify an SCS buddy / mentor Read: “why should anyone be led by you” Develop personal leadership statement and reflect in my objectives Keep learning and developing in a concerted way Deliver this Learning and Development plan Generate L&D plan Review the plan at fixed intervals (monthly) Maintain a log of completed activities Set up self-coaching and reflection on earlier learning Capture all learning and actions in a coherent system Complete the backlog of write-ups Collect notes from FLS coaching sessions Set up a system for reviewing / reminding
What I will aim to do differently as a result:
The plan lists all the things I want to do as part of my learning. There’s a lot there so the challenge will be to stick to it and be realistic about how much of this is doable inside one year.
I’ll likely create a Trello board to track my learning actions – but that is for later.
A talk, group and individual exercise led by Dionne Corradine. This was part of the Deputy Director Leadership Programme held in London on 16 and 17 September 2019.
What I learned:
A personal leadership statement can help crystallise your leadership style, your aspirations, and what you offer to the people you work with. It can also be used as part of your objectives and to measure your progress.
A personal leadership statement takes time to develop and should be considered a work in progress – it can be a blend of where you are and where you want to be. It should answer the question “Why should anyone be led by me?”
We conducted a brief exercise to generate a first-draft personal leadership statement. Here is my draft:
PERSONAL LEADERSHIP STATEMENT – Ten-minute draft
What do I stand for?
The power of science, technology and information to do public good
The Integrity, impartiality and objectivity of the Civil Service
Experimentation and taking decisions based on evidence
The importance of collaboration
Development and growth for all
Why follow me? Because I am:
Try to see where the future is going and get there early
Always work collaboratively, cohering teams into action
Work to set a compelling vision and concepts
Work to engage people and stakeholders in that vision
Enjoy communicating, engaging and influencing
See and do things differently
Practice open leadership, working out loud and being open to feedback
Volunteer and step in when things are going wrong
Try to influence thinking outside my area
Aim to be aware of myself, my impact and be reflective
Create a team that’s fun, supportive, loyal to each other
Keep myself and my team at the leading edge, by driving change and developing forward-leaning skills
Try to help my team achieve their development dreams
Encourage and reward reasonable challenge, listen to evidence
Enable teams to do new things in new ways
Things I’m trying to be better at:
Planning and managing the pipeline of work
Staying always a leader, not a manager or operator
Maintain technical skills and being an intelligent customer
Coaching and mentoring my team leaders
Maintaining and growing my and my team’s networks
What I will aim to do differently as a result:
Develop the statement above and then try to live it!
Bake my leadership statement into my personal objectives
Build in review / reminder points
Consider ways to test my performance against the statement
Get hold of the speaker’s slides for this session as they contained lots of useful thinking.
I’m slowly adding my notes from earlier learning opportunities – mainly these are notes from formal talks and lectures.
Turns out I have been capturing these notes on and off since 2010 so might take me a while to get up to speed
I’m trying to date the entries as per when the learning happened… so in some cases the entry date and publication date will be adrift by many years!
Soon I hope to start adding in more general learning points, for example personal reflections or post-activity retrospectives
I might also adopt a looser approach to capturing learning as I go *tips hat to Weeknotes*
As you can see I’ve stripped out any bells and whistles and gone for simplicity, readability and focus on written content.
And – if you’re interested, I use a full WP install on some personal hosting provided by TSOhost. Currently a vanilla install of the “First” theme by Themehaus but I’ll probably start tinkering with the code of that at some point.
I’m planning to start sharing my learning in this site – so that over time it builds into a record of learning that I can refer back to. I’ll also try to tag and label it so that it can potentially be useful to other people!
I’ve been capturing my learning for a while, and have found it useful to use the following simple format:
* What it was (description of the learning)
* What I learned (the key point I took away)
* What I will aim to do differently as a result (if possible)
There’s quite a backlog of stuff to publish so it will take me time to get through it.
Some things worth noting:
* I appreciate that some courses (etc) can contain copyright information (and it isn’t always obvious what is / is not protected at the time) so if you think I’ve inadvertently reproduced something without sufficient permission or attribution, please contact me and I’ll happily take it down.
* The lessons I capture from talks (etc.) are absolutely not intended to be direct quotes from the individuals giving the talks – instead they are a summary of what I learned.
* The publication date of an entry won’t necessarily match to the date that the learning occurred.