June’s L&D Blog


To prepare for this month’s L&D blog (which I challenged myself with by giving it the theme of ‘milestones’) I ended up reading the Wikipedia entry for ‘milestone’, which is a very thrilling read indeed. However, I did glean some useful facts from it, my favourites of which are below:

  • Milestones were designed to be reassuring for travellers and for reporting accidents
  • Milestones are often referred to as MPs (after Mile Posts or the Latin ‘Milia Passum’)
  • The Romans’ loved a milestone. They had a big gold one to mark the centre of their Empire, but it has since gone missing. (This part of the article also helped with the my game of ‘get to Julius Caesar in 5 clicks or under on Wikipedia’)

The last two are just bonus facts but the first fact really resonated with me. It’s not shocking information, but shows that milestones are not just for marking time or distance, they’re about giving people direction and giving them a point of reference.

My own recent personal milestone was my 30th birthday. It prompted me to look at where I was and where I wanted to be. Although it’s nice to look ahead, it’s nice to look behind us as well and give ourselves credit for all the things we have achieved to get to this point.

This lead to me looking at my career development and so, as is the curse of this Blog, I will be moving roles in July and we will once again be looking for a new author of the L&D blog. If you are interested please let me know (promotion not guaranteed).


Well-being Week

We held our second Unit-wide Well-being Week in May and once again it was a great success. The highlights are below:

A team jigsaw puzzle that apparently got quite competitive.
Journal Club
A journal club on the topic of ‘Why do we work so hard?’
Running Club
A lunchtime ‘Running Club’. I’m told it was just a swift 10k.
Some real life and still life sketching.
Fridge Magnet
The lost art of fridge magnet painting.


These activities gave us all a chance to exercise our minds and bodies, but also to get to know each other and have a bit of fun. I can’t honestly say that I find running very relaxing, but it’s great for the mind to concentrate on doing something different, and to not think about all that work that’s sitting on your desk! Ten minutes of well-being a day is proven to increase productivity in the work place and we as a unit do not plan to restrict it to two weeks a year. We’re looking at incorporating well-being into all aspects of our work and will be looking to work with various networks across the Civil Service to help do this. If you have any ideas or want to be involved please let us know.


Upcoming L&D opportunities

Here’s my pick of L&D opportunities coming up over the next month:



Personal Well-being: Unexpected Twists – a Core Curriculum event

Thu 14 June – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Simon is a lawyer in the Government Legal Department, and moved to Legal Advisers in October 2017. In 2012, Simon was diagnosed with an eye condition, kerataconus, which he receives treatment with through Moorfields.

In March 2016, following a routine minor operation, Simon unexpectedly found himself rendered partially sighted. What ensued involved him having to take an unexpected leave of absence from work for over two months, and when he did return, a severe change to his day-to-day life.

This talk will cover the personal impact this took on Simon’s life, how he and his colleagues had to adapt to this change and more importantly, what the experience taught him and those around him about resilience and personal well-being

The target audience anyone going through similar issues or who is interested in this area, especially those in leadership or management roles.


Commercial Conscious – by Chandru Dissanayeke – A Leaders Teaching Leaders event

Tue 19 June – 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

This presentation will be delivered by Chandru Dissanayeke from 1.30 – 2.30pm.

Before joining MHCLG Chandru designed the transformation of the Government Commercial Function and led negotiations with some of government’s biggest suppliers.

This session we will explore what we mean by commercial in government and how you can be a commercially conscious civil servant, and when you know you need an expert.


Building your Resilience: a Health and Well-being Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Wed 27 June – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

After attending this session, attendees will:

  1. know what personal resilience is
  2. know how a lack of resilience impacts on our well-being
  3. know what the key qualities of a resilient person are
  4. know how to build your resilience
  5. have had an opportunity to assess your own resilience
  6. have developed a resilience plan and committed to at least one action to build your personal resilience.

This session is open to all staff, but is particularly relevant to those who have management responsibilities.


Bad Science: Working with Lobbyist’s data and research – A Core Curriculum Event

Date 20 July – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

In Government, we work with a lot of data, facts and numbers. They inform our decisions, help us evaluate our policies, and underpin the advice we give ministers.

Sometimes those numbers are our own. Other times, we rely on data from others.

Often, we’re aware that externally sourced data might not be independent, but we’re not always sure why or how. This session will introduce how numbers and data can be turned into a lobbying and advocacy tool. It’ll walk through a series of real life examples to explore:

  • How the in-house research environment in advocacy/lobbying teams can lead to bad data
  • Examples of how data can be exaggerated, massaged or used to make a point – even when they don’t really support it.
  • The tactics organisations use to package external data they like, and discredit the data they don’t like.

This will be aimed at policy professionals using data in their policy development, and is intended to help us take a more informed, critical and self-aware approach when we use external data.



Setting Expectations and Empowering

Date 19 June, 2018 10:00 am – 11:30 am


A highly recommended Mind Gym workout suitable for all managers.

The 90 minute session (also known as Held to Account) will show you how to help your team take ownership for their best performance so you can watch them deliver without the fear of it all going wrong. Understand how to set clear and realistic expectations that motivate performance, help them to be at their best throughout the performance cycle, and learn how to get your team back on track after a setback, without leaving scars.


SCS Micro Behaviours Training

Date 2 July, 2018 10:30 am – 12:00 pm


This session forms part of our wider focus on developing a more inclusive culture by highlighting the small positive or negative (micro) behaviours we all display and which can have a significant impact on how others feel when they engage with us. The workshop provides some hints and tips on how we can self-manage our own behaviours to ensure the micro signals we send out are as positive as they can be.



Green Finance Summit 2018 – Mainstreaming Green Finance


Tue 17 July 2018

08:00 – 18:30 BST



Gresham Street




Drawing on the theme of Mainstreaming Green Finance, the 2nd Green Finance Summit will bring together high-level speakers to present keynotes on policy and regulatory developments that must be incorporated into the financial system and embedded through corporate governance.

On a practical level, how can we move forward and how are companies committing to the TFCD recommendations? Our first panel will open up the debate on governance, strategy, risk, metrics and targets. In the transition to a low-carbon economy what are the next steps needed to bring climate-related disclosures into the mainstream?

Green infrastructure financing is key to our transition to a sustainable and climate resilient economy. Our second panel will examine the investment case for green energy and infrastructure, barriers to capital flows and how global governments and investors can facilitate green infrastructure development and financing.

The close of the event will focus on leadership in global green finance. How are nations, financial centres and other institutions demonstrating commitment and stepping up actions in green finance? How can we accelerate the development of the green finance market at an international level and maximise the impact of the financial sector in achieving green objectives?

Keynote speakers include:

  • John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury;
  • Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth;
  • Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative;
  • Lord Stern, Chair, LSE Grantham Research Institute;
  • Nick Bridge, Special Representative for Climate Change, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Sign up here: http://greenfinanceinitiative.org/green-finance-summit-2018-mainstreaming-green-finance/


City Horizons with Sir Richard Leese: Manchester Then and Now

In his talk, Sir Richard Leese will reflect on his 20 years as leader of Manchester City Council

Date: 12 July 2018
Time: 6pm
Location: The Shard, London

We are delighted to welcome Sir Richard Leese for our event series, City Horizons. Leader of Manchester City Council for over 20 years and a councillor for over 30 years, Sir Richard has been at the forefront of major transformations in the city, from overseeing its regeneration following the 1996 IRA bomb, to helping secure the successful bid to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

In this talk Sir Richard will offer his reflections on his career leading Manchester, both successes and the challenges, and consider how Manchester and Greater Manchester’s partnership model has helped fly the flag for cities across the UK, and deliver devolution to English city regions.

This event will take place on 12 July 2018 from 6pm until 8.30pm at Warwick Business School in the Shard.

Sign up here: http://www.centreforcities.org/event/city-horizons-sir-richard-leese-manchester-now/


Connected cities: making the most of digital connectivity to improve prosperity

Join us to launch a new report looking at how cities can make the most of digital connectivity

Date: 12 July 2018
Time: 11am
Location: Birmingham (contact for details)

Centre for Cities is working with O2 to launch a new report looking at the ways cities can make the most of digital technology, ensuring that both communities and business can access the opportunities that digital allows.

Backed by on-the-ground case studies in cities across the UK and beyond, the new report offers cities, national government and industry stakeholders practical lessons in making sure that developing quality digital infrastructure goes further than just installing cables and masts.

The report will show how strategic and integrated planning beyond physical infrastructure can and does lead to both a supported economy and productive businesses, as well as a community equipped to take on the emerging employment opportunities that digital can bring.

To discuss the implications of the findings and what policy on the national and local level should be doing to harness the opportunities of digital, we will be joined by a panel of experts, to be confirmed.

Sign up here: http://www.centreforcities.org/event/connected-cities-making-digital-connectivity-improve-prosperity/