Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Click three times

Summary: Yesterday I handed in my notice in my current job as Digital Engagement Advisor at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. In a months time I will be Digital Engagement Lead for the Government Digital Service, reporting to Emer Coleman, Deputy Director of Digital Engagement.

There are some people, some offers, that you just do not turn down. There are logistical nightmares, it's true. I'll make no bones about that. Al's mum is ill, his father is ill and he cannot relocate with me. I simply wouldn't let him. In real terms this will mean a lot of to'ing and fro'ing for some time. It will mean we are not as available at the last minute as we used to be.

But it will also mean many other things too. I will be leaving a team of dedicated, inspirational people who have been endlessly patient, allowing me to find my feet and spread my wings. I will be leaving a Council at what feels like a tipping point in terms of new understandings, new ways of working, new efficiencies but also new opportunities. I will be leaving a desk which I remember feeling to be too big for me 18 months ago and a smaller team who have made me laugh, think and put up with my endless questioning and incessant 'why can't we's'. It will mean not playing a part in the changes and improvements which are happening right under our very feet.

So what could possibly tempt me away? What question was asked which finally made me say yes, yes I will leave a job I love in local government which I also love, yes I will do some ridiculous weekend commuting, yes I will come back to a city which I very much have a love/hate affair with?

A year ago, I met a man briefly in a coffee shop. His name was Chris Chant. He left an impression. Earlier this month I sat with my legs crossed, back against a wall and listened to Mike Bracken. He left an impression. The drip drip drip of tweets from the GDS team in my stream, full of passion and pride. The code on github. The API's. The 0's and 1's. Meeting one of the team in person and listening and understanding the glee of problem solving but also the challenges inherent in the size and scope of the problem. The start up culture. The sheer ridiculousness of the aspiration but the sensibleness of approach and implementation.

But most of all, the delivery. Because words and aspirations aren't enough. You've got to deliver on them. It's not enough to know the path, you have to also be able to walk it, taking the sticks and stones thrown at you along the way.

That unique combination is probably about the only thing that could have tempted me away to be honest.

Some things, you just don't say no to. So I'll be interpreting and translating and educating and informing, networking and connecting and helping some other people to do the same too. I'm excited but I'm also honoured. Let there be no mistake about this, it is an honour to be asked.

This will be the last post in this blog. I'll continue with the other ones as they could never be construed as a conflict of interest but this one must pause, for a while. I take some things very seriously, and the impartiality of a civil servant is one of those things. If I have anything to say relating to work there are more appropriate places to place those words. This will not be one of them.


19 comments:

  1. Wow!!
    Congratulations!!!
    I'm frankly envious - they'll be such great people to work with that the job will be fabulous :-))

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    1. I have suspicions there might be a few giggles inbetween a tonne of hard work.:O) And thank you.

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  2. Louise, that is honestly the most fabulous news. You are so talented and you have so much to give and this is a case of awesomeness joining an awesome team. If I could offer you one piece of advice it would be believe and have confidence in yourself and your abilities. I'm sure you will thrive and flourish at GDS - well done, much deserved!

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    1. *nods* Message received and understood. And appreciated.

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  3. Wowsers! they could not have picked anyone better than YOU.
    Join them that canopy hun and keep coming home at weekend to the grassroots. This news has given me hope that at last the forest floor is being looked at and they have seen the innovation seeding there ;)
    keep rockin, keep the faith, keep telling the truth and looking to your roots.
    I think you will do a fantastic job, and they will be glad they found you.
    chris x

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    1. :O) I will def be coming home and def be getting covered in mud. Nowt better to remind you of the place in the world. :O)

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  4. Good on you. And worthy recognition of your talents. Go get 'em!!

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    1. Thank you lady. I really will ;O)

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  5. Haha - I remember you well, thank you for the kind words - many congrats - enjoy

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    1. Oh eck ;O) Thank you very much. Rolling sleeves up in preparation.

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  6. Brilliant! It was only a matter of time! I could see it in the stars about two months ago

    This is great news. You're never too far away. I would expect a visit to your new work abode, as I need another excuse to frequent our southern office more often!

    Congrats Lou

    Dave b

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  7. If that campfire chat on the swivverly chairs at #ukgc12 that was so sparked up was anything to go by the future is going to be very exciting. I can't wait to see what comes out of this match, GDS is lucky to have you. Congrats Lou :)

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  8. This is the part I love: -

    "I take some things very seriously, and the impartiality of a civil servant is one of those things. If I have anything to say relating to work there are more appropriate places to place those words. This will not be one of them."

    Ms.K, as one #non-jfdi #lgovsm'r to anyone, I salute you!
    If you ever need a wingman, tweet my name and I'll be there.

    So proud :-D

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  9. Well done Lou! I remember including you in one of my very first blogs as someone with a LOT to offer! Hope the commuting and computing and new biking opps all bring fab shiny times :) Gill

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  10. Congratulations! :-)

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  11. We don't know each other it I've fond my way here.

    Well done. This sounds deserved.

    I commute every weekend to see my partner. You get used to it.

    JohnR

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  12. Well done Lou,

    Local gov will miss you...not many people could or world say no to that offer.

    Carl

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  13. Fantastic! What a great challenge! Best of luck.

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  14. Well, I will miss your blogs, you've been inspirational to me, and to lots of other women (and men, I'm sure) out there.

    Personally, I can see why you couldn't resist the role- such exciting times for GDS. But, I think they are very lucky to have you.

    You are a very shiny piece of my shiny world, and I have loved peeking into yours through this blog. Best of luck to you. It couldn't be more well deserved. It couldn't be more appropriate. It couldn't be anything but absolutely the right thing both for you and for GDS.

    Bravo. #epicwoman

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