Reading list 2024

Every year I document the books I read. You can see a decade or so via the archives starting with 2023.

  1. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. shirer. Finished 14 January 2024 on kindle.
  2. The Art of the Turnaround by Michael M. Kaiser. Finished 30 March 2024 hardback isbn 9781584657354
  3. Musuems and Societal Collapse – The Museum as Lifeboat by Robert R. Janes finished 5th April 2024 in Amsterdam. ISBN 9781032382241. Took lots of notes, agreed with a bunch of stuff, doing some of the recommendations but more to do. Def worth sharing.

Getting to the same number

When I think I’m being very clear and someone doesn’t get me I’m reminded of the example of getting to the number four. My brain and worldview is 2+2=4. Simple. Yet another person may say 8-4=4 or 2×2=4. Then I realise there is lots of ways of arriving at the same number and that I made the assumption there was only one way. I think of this often when someone else has a different worldview but may be agreeing with the same outcome. Does it always matter how we arrive at four?

Don’t worry I’ll do it myself

When something needs doing it is easy to insist it is done the way you know. Which spins into saying to a teammate “don’t worry I’ll do it myself”. They lose agency and you end up doing something they could have done by them and you did that other important thing.

Next time you hear yourself saying “I’ll do it myself” try to catch yourself and see what happen.

Visible or invisible

If you want others to know what you are doing you need to tell them. If you did a good thing at work but didn’t share this with the person you think needs to know then it is invisible. When you go for a walk, do your neighbours know where you are headed unless you tell them, of course not. Your destination is invisible. I frequently hear people lament that their boss doesn’t acknoweldge their contribution and I reply “did you tell them?” the answer is almost always “no”.

In order to get known in your workplace or community you need to show up and when the time is right tell them something that makes you proud. Then on the next thing, tell them again.

Maybe it is through a conversation, an email, staff briefing, a talk or a poster.

You are either visible or invisible.

Pssst being invisible is also a superpower some folks would dream to have.

Improving my homeworking space lighting

Throughout the pandemic I have worked in two spaces at home. Now that I have a permament space in what is a converted garage it is time to make it helpful.

Also during the pandemic I discovered the weekly videos of construction and home renovation work of Ashville which has inspired me. As a quick reminder I am in the camp of people who believe the flexibility of where you work is a good thing and we’re knee deep in the future of work but we’re too close to see where it is heading. More reason to turn a temp solution to a good one.

The room itself is 3.6m by 2.8m and has a window facing the neighbours wall (width enough for a wheelie bin). The space is both cold and suffers from poor lighting with just a single light bulb in the centre of the room.

Ever the one to use the minimum viable product approach I started as budget as I could. I recently purchased 2m of the cheapest LED stripes that Wilko sold to see if it may be a solution. The light from this £15 stripe LED was a massive improvement and proved the concept.

I then spent way too many pockets of time watching all kinds of youtube videos on home LED installs from both professionals and DI.Yers. In conclusion I really still didnt have much of a clue except that:

  • the lights generate heat so fixing them to a proper “channel” will disipate the heat
  • LED density should be 60 LEDs per m if possible
  • shallow channels aren’t as good at diffusing the light (the more diffused the less you can see each individual LED
  • Philips Hue lights seem to be the Rolls Royce of lights but I couldn’t justify the cost for what may end up backfiring

As luck would have it our in-house tech team had just finished installing a revamped event suite for our private hire. In that projet they used LEDs and I could actually understand what a channel was! It also gave me a supplier I could use as there are literally hundreds to choose from online.

Therefore I have just stumped up the best part of £250 (a lot I know!) to buy the channels which the lights will sit on and the fixing bits and bobs. You could skip everything and just use the stripe leds sticky tape to attach directly to the wall but I don’t like the idea of heat directly on my walls…. i may be overthinking on this!

I ordered the below on 30th May 2023 from Ultra LEDS and I’m hoping I will get the time during half term to install.

If this works I will take some photos and share as others may wish to fo similar. Let’s see what we can do together.

Ask a question anonymously

I would love any member of the team to feel confident enough to contact me directly about a matter that they want to raise with me. It could be asking for clarity, a suggestion or feedback. We aren’t quite there yet.  The idea of the trust battery is that every interaction is an opportunity to show people that you can be trusted which in turn charges the trust battery Yet despite regularly saying ” send me an email anytime in confidence, call me or book a private appointment” it was tumbleweed. With 173 people at the Trust it turns out that it will take more than me simply asking. So about a year ago I make a very simple Google form that any member of the organisation can use to ask a question. The form has one field for the question and a send button. 

Every now and again at our weekly staff meeting I load up the form to show people that it doesn’t record anything other than the question. 

I have just received the 52nd question. 

I used to answer questions in the staff meeting but have recently moved to sharing answers on Basecamp. Now each question and answer can be seen by everyone as there is a good chance others have the same idea. 

I hope one day people feel happy to contact me directly. Until then please ask a question.