Weeknotes #240

This week I did:

Digital safeguarding

I’ve been working on safeguarding solutions for Teams quite a bit this week. It’s interesting to uncover the assumptions that Teams is built on; things about how people within an organisation should know each other and so be able to communicate and collaborate together. If you then want to use Teams to work in ways that don’t fit those assumptions, what changes can you make to get a high degree of safeguarding controls in place.

What is social design

I started the Service Design short course at UCA. Week 1 was an introduction but had some interesting ideas including the tension between user-centred design and social design, which says that user-centred design, taken in isolation means we don’t see the effect it has on communities, society, and the planet. I hope we get more into the social design approach to Service Design as it looks really interesting.

#BeMoreDigital Virtual Conference 2021

I caught some of the sessions from the #BeMoreDigital conference, but not enough. I would have liked to have been able to be more engaged in it to get a better sense of where the charity sector is in its digital transformation.


I started writing daily posts answering three questions: What went well, what didn’t go well, what could I do different in the future? I want to see if it is a helpful habit to get into and whether it’s useful research for daily standup app I’ve been thinking about.

Working on my website (again)

Did a bit of reorganisation of my website and turned my Now page into a roadmap.

And I read:


I started reading Teaming by Amy Edmondson, mostly to look more into the idea of how people can work together effectively when they aren’t a close-knit team with well established routines and relationships.

IoT in the Charity Sector

How the charities could use Internet of Things is something I’ve never thought about, but James’ example of using such devices to help people live more independent lives is fantastic. It opens up all kinds of opportunities for IoT to support and improve service delivery.


I watched the Mr. Strategy & Mrs. Wellbeing video with Janet Leighton. She talks about the culture of happiness and kindness at the Timpson Group and how they use upside down management, random acts of kindness and supporting colleagues with whatever is going on in their lives. The point that Wayne makes is that they’ve shown that it works, it isn’t just a philosophy, is such an important one for taking action to improve working cultures.

And thought about:

Place-based systems and nomads

Abby Covert says, we “turn a space into a place by arranging it so people know what to do there”. And some of the stuff I’ve read in the past talks about place-based thinking as less about the location of the place and more about the systems that interact on someone who is in that place. Which means a nomad might interact with fewer systems or those interactions might be more transitory. I think that changes what a nomad ‘knows’ what to do in a particular place. Even though they are in the same location as a non-nomad, they interact with systems differently and so see the place differently.

Solving problems simply

I’ve been thinking about ways of asking the question, “What is the simplest way we can solve this problem?”. Can we still meet a user need with a simple solution? How simple can a solution be in order to learn from it? Are simple solutions less likely to have unintended consequences than more complicated solutions?

Asynchronicity and learning

I’ve been thinking about the benefits of async working being greater than just less non-productive time spent in meetings. Async working utilises writing and drawing more than speaking and listening, which changes the nature of how information flows and enables those people with different learning styles to contribute in more considered ways.

Some people tweeted:

How to make sense of any mess

Doug Belshaw tweeted a link to howtomakesenseofanymess.com, Abby Covert’s website/online book about information architecture. It’s brilliantly thoughtful and thought-provoking. If I ever get around to writing a book I want it to be like this.

Validate the vision

Rosie Sherry tweeted, “Don’t validate a product, validate your vision“, which is much bigger but I think much easier thing to do. You’re not asking people if a product solves their problem, you’re asking people what kind of world they want to live in.

Levels of listening

Joshua Kerievsky tweeted, “Added “Levels of Listening” to the #PsychologicalSafety cheat sheet.” I still find Modern Agile the most inspiring way to think about modern digital ways of working. Joshua describes it as “a community for people interested in uncovering better ways of getting awesome results. It leverages wisdom from many industries, is principle driven and framework free.”