Week notes: 17-23 June 2024

Marketing ploy, sand on a car park, radical ideas and maximum energy.

We weren’t even bothered about Taskmaster Live Experience tickets… but apparently I “won” a ballot (into which all newsletter subscribers were enrolled) for early access. If that’s just a marketing ploy it worked cos all 4 of us are now booked to go in November. Might be awks! But good to do things with these teen boys while they still will. 

…speaking of which:

Dylan finished his last GCSE exam and never has to wear school uniform again. Prom next week on a Thames party boat – trapped! 

Joel’s been growing so we nipped to Croydon to get him new trainers and a summer raincoat. 

…speaking of which:

It’s so sad to see the dire and worsening state of Croydon town centre. There was so much hope and vision when I signed up for the council CDO gig in 2018. Burgeoning street art; iconic foodie Boxpark; cool music scene; tech startups; funky co-working spaces; a Westfield and more on the way. The Cronx had it going on! All now massively set back by compound issues (of a type I can’t elaborate on pre-election) – to the point where some sand on top of the multistorey car park is about as good as it gets. 

…speaking of which:

Out of the blue, former Leader of Croydon Council now at FGF Hamida Ali (untainted by the bankruptcy scandal, she stepped in to pick up the pieces) contacted me for advice ahead of a panel discussion she’s on. So I got on a call with her and my erstwhile work hubby/chief motivational officer Dave Briggs on Friday to talk about missions, service design, and radical ideas for rebuilding civic infrastructure for the digital age. It was fun! 

My input was: given the lack of case studies of radical service redesign in local gov (given how impossible it is to change things), use a “new town” project as the way to start over with alphas of new digital civic infrastructure. That plus stronger central convening and maybe central platforms (a local GDS in some form).

…speaking of which:

In prep for that, I dug up Dave’s and my Croydon Digital Strategy and some old slide decks to quickly get my head back into local gov digital transformation and, blow me, it was SO GOOD. I really attacked that job with maximum energy and built a cracking team and strategy, it’s crushing how it all hit the skids. Sigh. (But some of it lives on – respect to the CDS stalwarts still fighting the good user-centred fight). 

…speaking of which:

I attacked this week at BFI with maximum energy, and had one heck of a productive week, aided by the brilliant team I have around me here. 

It featured: Exec Board, another HR investigation meeting, an elucidating call with Ben and Steve at the British Library, completing and shipping a suite of new cyber incident procedures for review by Governors, completing and shipping a welcome pack for our digital advisory board, updating our audit and risk committee, approval of a tranche of my business case, the usual 1:1s, and a fantastic all-directorate show and tell. Phew!

I could have done with a magic wand to clone myself.

…speaking of which (weak Link):

The announcement of a new Zelda game with a cool item-cloning mechanic was a nice surprise. Looks much more up my alley than BOTW or TOTK I’m excited. My fave ever incarnations are A Link to the Past, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Link’s Awakening so I think I’m gonna love this one too. 

🔎 Found, interesting 🧐

I quite liked this

3 diagrams showing the difference between collaboration (everyone active, integrated efforts, shared goals) vs  cooperation (limited relationships, benefits exchange, separate goals) and coordination (central control, synchronisation, fractional goals).



Moving images:
🎬 Dagon. It’s criminal this isn’t available to stream, a brilliant creepy Lovecraftian horror. 
🎬 Blur: No Distance Left To Run. A perfect music doc, we loved it. Prompted by the new one coming out. 
🎬 Midsommar. To mark the solstice and traumatise the kids. Outstanding.
📺 Cont. Love Island, Friends, Catfish – a treat to hav OG Max Joseph guest on the latest episode, and not just cos (I reckon) I look (a bit) like him.
📺 Hacks first 3 episodes. I don’t get the fuss, does it get better later on?
🕹️ Cont. Galacticare.

Bleepy noises:
🎧 She’s Giving Cray Hannah Holland ft Joy Joseph.
🎧 Phoneglow/Eyes Go Blank Burial and Kode9.

Infinite scroll:
🍿 🥺 Movie trailers are killing movies [article] and everything’s a sequel [TikTok] and cinemas feel like the backrooms [TikTok]
🎧👴🏻 Hey now [TikTok] 
🧪🍆Microplastics in penises, testes, semen and placentas [Guardian] – is Damian Carrington OK?!
📢🎸Via Cat, Dave Grohl impersonating Christopher Walken saying Foo Fighters [TikTok]

Enough. See you next week. Speaking of which 👇

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