Week notes: 3 – 10 March 2024

Put upon, spreadsheet omniscience, completely unhinged, “it's afraid!”

Hello! It’s the weekend of the 7 Keys world premiere at SXSW – so exciting! Joy is in Austin with her lead actors, producers and editor. I have mild FOMO but I’m having a nice time at home with the boys (including our own Texas barbecue feast and film night). 

Plus I’ve got some me-time to look forward to tomorrow. (As I said to a colleague, I’d been feeling a bit “put upon” lately – perfectly reasonable incoming tasks had started feeling bigger than they were – so I’m taking Monday off just to reset my stressmeter). 

Work, work, work

The risk theme continued! I spent the best part of a day thoroughly sprucing up BFI’s digital/tech risk register based on last week’s team discussion and in readiness for my upcoming turn at the audit & risk committee. In spite of my scepticism about false certainty, I found it satisfying chasing spreadsheet omniscience nirvana while also digging into detail.

Then, along with more knowledgeable colleagues, I presented our cybersecurity update to the full Board, who were absolutely brilliant in their engagement and gave valuable steers on planning for the worst (which equates to a fair bit of work). Expectations will need managing about pace, but it was an incredibly helpful push.

Other weeknote-worthy stuff included:

There were also these networking chats: 

  • A first meeting with David Hamilton, our incoming Exec for comms
  • A lovely Wahaca lunch with Alex Segrove, who was a big part of making work fun while leading delivery in my GOV.UK dream leadership team. Good to reminisce, compare notes and pick her brains on BFI things.
  • A lovely Spinach breakfast with Opama Khan, one of Earth’s best humans, who’s escaped Croydon for Hackney – creating opportunities for us to swap notes on all sorts, not least cybersecurity given their experience

I should mention: it was a game-changing week for British film, with the 40% tax relief in the Spring budget. A momentous achievement I had little to do with (but have been “across” to use the corp-speak).

It’s not all work, work, work

(OK still work, just not the one I’m paid for). I applied to be a Trustee at Change Grow Live, and now await further instructions – hoping to get to the next stage to explore possible fit. 

The big thing in my home life is obviously Joy’s premiere. Read all about it…

I did another Crystal Palace shop post. Seven down, I daren’t count how many more to go!

Oh, I complained online to Pret about their loos in the Southbank branch which have been out of order for over two years! Didn’t expect a reply but got apologies and promises – so if that reopens you’ll know who to thank!

Can you believe a Ring doorbell Protect plan is now £8/month? That’s £3.01 more than BFI Player (we are such a bargain – subscribe today!) 

🔎 Found, interesting 🧐

NAO guide on how to govern digital risk – mad coincidence while prepping to update my risk committee. I would both love and hate to be asked NAO’s questions, because they go to the heart of what’s hard. (So… we should ask them of ourselves).

Audree wrote a pithy thing about leaders needing to stop taking everything on – spookily timed for my current thin-spreadedness. Then she wrote another about wrong-headed approaches to risk! Stop it Audree!

People first, always – well-crafted recommendations for the next government. (The site design is reminiscent of the original agile manifesto. Deliberate?)

James Plunkett on the “missing institution” of a local gov GDS – that old chestnut! Still true. LocalGovDrupal proves shared platforms can work.

Mark O’Neill is writing with admirable generosity and candour about his cancer treatment – wish you well, Mark. 

The interplay between products and services

Dai’s 2nd month notes are dead good. Kyiv project sounds incredible. 

Quite enjoying Tone Knob, a substack about brand/product tone of voice.

Once again Giles doles out profound advice incredibly simply, form following function. 

About ideas now via Steve.

Listening, watching, playing, reading

📽️ Sisters, De Palma. Silly.

📽️ Getting it Back: The Story of Cymande. Funky. 

📺 American Nightmare. Twisty.

📽️ Fyre. To show the kids. Googled what Billy McFarland is up to now and WTAF?!? He’s out of prison and selling tickets for Fyre Festival 2!

📺 The Jinx. Further schooling of the kids in the classics.

📺 Finished Drive to Survive S6. Gonna miss Gunther. Will Horner still be there in S7?!

📺 One Day episode 1. It’s nicely done, but I am not the audience.

🕹️ Cyberpunk 2077 baby! It’s stunning to look at (this week’s featured image) and I’m hooked. Tommy, a dev I worked with at GDS, has written a fab tribute to Night City here.

🎧 The Debutante, on Audible. Can’t get enough of Jon Ronson.

📽️ Starship Troopers. Showed the kids, only their second Verhoeven. It’s best when at its most overtly satirical, like the state TV vignettes, and this bit:

Neil Patrick Harris reading the mind of a captured brain bug in Starship Troopers. Caption: "It'safraid!" -  which the troops celebrate as a victory


  • Title drops. My eldest’s pet peeve! Turns out a whopping third of films have a character say the title of the film at some point in the runtime.
  • Mosaic Portrait. Check your postcode to see how Experian segments you (and your past homes). Ours is “cafés and catchments”, we feel seen.
  • Press Play. If you watch trailers, you might as well do it through this and trade opinions for Amazon vouchers. (Also yay user research).
  • Strands (beta). Latest addictive daily puzzle from New York Times.
  • Where did the burrito go? [Threads thread]

You’re all lovely, thanks for reading. See you again next week, I hope!

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One Comment

Alex Segrove March 21, 2024 Reply

I was a super lovely lunch – mainly the company and conversation! My brains are ever at your disposal :)

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