April’s L&D Blog

Hello and welcome to April’s L&D blog with another new author! I’m Katie and planning to stick around for a while, so expect more from me in the coming months.

You may have noticed that there have been a few new authors of this blog recently and the last author, Emily, set us the task of trying something new. I think these two fit perfectly together, so following this, the theme of this month’s blog is change and trying something new.

Here’s what I’ll be covering:

  1. Change: is it good or bad?
  2. Trying something new
  3. The CLoG L&D day
  4. L&D opportunities
  5. A forward look

Change: is it good or bad?

St Pancras
All change

I think that change can always be a good thing as long as it’s properly managed (which now makes it sound incredibly dull). In the workplace, change will happen. Everyday. It can be the reason a person stays in their job or the thing that causes others no end of stress, and there are of course a hundred different varieties of change.

I will admit to be a person who is easily distracted and so I often thrive on change; somewhere new to visit, a new book, a new challenge at work, a new hair colour, the character on that TV show to die so they can be replaced with someone new, better looking and more interesting, new shoes… standard stuff.

And then there are the things in my life that I don’t want to change; the people in my life, my home, all the things I am happy and content with, that make me feel safe. Unfortunately, these tend to be the changes we have less control over.

In our jobs we deal with change by being prepared, or when we can’t see it coming, we react to change by taking stock, reassessing priorities, asking others for help, crisis management. We manage it, and often manage to make the best out of the situation.

Helping each other is so important. My team leader made it our ‘challenge of the week’ this week as he knew it was going to be tough one for us. He managed (I promise that will be the last time I say manage) the situation to help us deal with upcoming changes.

So, if you would like to learn more about how to manage (sorry) changes, here are some L&D opportunities to look at:

25 April – MHCLG – Building Resilience through Change (an immigrant’s tale) – A Leaders Teaching Leaders Event – This event will be hosted by Chandru Dissanayeke, Deputy Director, Building Safety Programme. Chandru reflects on how his leadership journey – from riots to partying with Jay Z – has strengthened his resilience and provides tips on how to build resilience at work during a time of change.

16 May – MHCLG – Risk Management in MHCLG – a Core Curriculum event

23 May – MHCLG – Building your Resilience – a Health and Wellbeing Workshop

30 May – MHCLG – Career Conversations Workshop – A Core Curriculum Event

Trying something new

The path less taken

This was the task that Emily set us last month and I can confirm that she did indeed attend a cooking class in Rome and made a wonderful tiramisu (with egg, which apparently is the traditional recipe!) She did not, however, bring any back for us to try.

My own adventures into trying something new last month saw me signing up to a dodgeball team with my colleague and friend Pooja. My only previous knowledge of the game came from the Ben Stiller film Dodgeball which turned out to be both entertaining and educational; you do actually have to dodge, dive, dip, duck and dodge. And throw a ball, which I am terrible at. Unfortunately I managed to hurt my back last week by trying to put on a sock too aggressively, so my dodgeball career is on hold for now. The new things I will be trying this month will be swimming, lots of yoga and staying very still.

If you would like to learn or try something new, I would recommend the following L&D opportunities:

19 April – BEIS – Feedback Matters: Interactive Theatre

24 April – BEIS – Setting Expectations and Empowering

23 May – MHCLG – Meet the housing and local government legal teams – Legal Awareness Month

30 May – MHCLG – Economics for non-economists: Housing Economics – A Core Curriculum Event

The CLoG L&D day: Our Unit, Your Place

The government at work

“Our Unit, Your Place” took place at the Francis Crick Institute at the end of March. It was one of the rare and wonderful times that the entire unit were not only in the same part of the country, but in the same room! We were also raising money for ‘Jeans for Genes’ day, so it was quite a sight to see all that double denim in one room (great charity, great cause; if you would like to donate, please do here: https://www.jeansforgenesday.org/).

We had a great day including a geography quiz (with embarrassing results for some) and some creative workshops where we were encouraged to use our imagination. This led to a suggestion that we should freeze the sea in Newquay to improve winter tourism… we are awaiting the official response from the South West.

During our time at the Crick, we were encouraged to think about the idea of place. We documented our time there with a photo sharing app which provided many thought provoking and entertaining moments and all the photos in this blog. Many people took pictures of their commute to the venue, the new architecture of the area, the people they work with. My favourite picture was one of a man dancing in a slightly grubby Pikachu outfit. Beauty occurs in all forms.

Members of the Crick and developers of the surrounding area spoke to us about how they are transforming this place into a new ‘Science quarter’ in London. My own reflections whilst exploring my surroundings is that this change is good. The area felt fresh and full of opportunity and has a Harry Potter themed gift shop. However after deciding that I didn’t really need a plush Ron Weasley doll, I also remembered that this is the first part of London people see as they arrive from Europe on the Eurostar. People visit London for its history and gimmicky tourist attractions (no, the Harry Potter shop is NOT one of these, it’s an institution), but what they see is a new and fresh London, one that intends to lead in research and development. The future of the capital.

L&D Opportunities

Here are some other upcoming L&D opportunities that caught my eye this month:

24 April – MHCLG – Economics for non-economists: Introduction to Economics – A Core Curriculum Event

24 April – BEIS – FAME – Family roots: Jewish and Asian (with Richard Harrington)

1 May – MHCLG – A Brilliant Civil Service in Action Roadshow: Sheffield

1 May – MHCLG – Policy Essentials 1 – An introduction to those new to policy in MHCLG Part 1 – A Core Curriculum Event

8 May – BEIS – Setting Expectations and Empowering

10 May – BEIS – BEIS Academy Seminar: Long-tail or Fat-dog: the role of analysis in answering the UK’s productivity problem at the heart of Industrial Strategy

18 May – MHCLG – European Programmes and Local Growth Delivery ERDF TourIt!- A Core Curriculum event – on 18 May 2018 there is an opportunity to take a trip to the Thames Valley Science Park in reading to take part in a guided walking tour by the local European MHCLG team.

22 May – MHCLG – Rise of the intangible economy – an ESR seminar

Forward Look

I have a milestone birthday coming up in May, so my theme for next month will be milestones.

I would also love to have some contributors to this blog, so if you have something you want to promote or a write up of an event you’ve attended, get in touch.

See you all next month


PS. Here’s the picture of Pikachu.