It’s been one of those weeks that I will probably look back on fondly, but it felt stressful at times while in the middle of it.

It was a tricky week, with lots going on outside of work. I took my eldest up to see my parents for a couple of nights in the middle of the week, and then it ended with my youngest’s first birthday party on Saturday.

Bidding in partnership

We put a bid in for a sizeable project. It was a new partnership for us, and one that I was very pleased to be a part of, but I was reminded how hard it is to bid when there is not a lot of time, and you don’t know each other that well. You can agree on your partnership values, what the work is about, and your methodology, but that doesn’t mean you have the same approach to structuring and writing proposals! Cooperation is learnt in the doing.

The whole process wasn’t helped by me not having much time this week, other than at the very last minute, which put pressure on others. I hope we get it, but it was hard work for all of us.

Appointing Southwark Social Economy Coordinator

Last week I wrote that I was interviewing for a new role – Southwark Social Economy Coordinator. It’s part of our work for the Local Access Partnership. We got a lot of good candidates. Three I would have been happy to appoint. They all brought something different, which means it’s hard to give feedback when you have to say no to good candidates.

I really enjoyed interviewing with Hasmita Chavda from Business Launchpad, and doing it all via MS Teams was a lot easier than I was expecting. I hope our chosen candidate grabs this role when they start. I’m excited about the work. Going through the process also made me think about our other work in Southwark, and made me want to do more with it.

Board meeting

As always, our board was supportive and challenging in the right way. I felt like they were pleased with where we had got to and asked good questions about what our next steps could and should be. I always feel best coming out of a board meeting when I don’t have a load of very precise answers (I am reminded of an old non-executive who advised me never to ask them ‘yes/no’ questions), but do have a clear sense of shared direction. I did feel completely exhausted by the end of the two-hour call.

Reading, listening and watching

My youngest completely loves ‘Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes’, by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. I have read it more times than I care to consider. But given her delight, it doesn’t get boring!

I didn’t read much for myself, but I did get 40k of running in this week. It’s the first time in a while that I have got that far in a week.