It’s a strange time. Both stable and unstable for reasons that we’re not normally used to.

An empty field with multiple football goals in it.

The combination of watching a football tournament called Euros 2020 in summer 2021, the sense that it really shouldn’t be halfway through the year, and a feeling that we’re just about to get back to something that looks like normal, but then we don’t, is making it feel like we’re living in a kind of limbo.

That feeling is heightened by what was described in a piece I read about the US jobs market about ‘the great resignation’. There is so much change in organisations I know, including ours, that it seems to be creating anxiety and uncertainty in those that are not moving.

Our ParkLife CIC

It was the AGM of Our ParkLife CIC this week and I am going to take over as Chair for the coming year. It’s right up Renaisi’s street: a focus on a place and a holistic approach to working with people. With the coming transition arrangements around the future of the LLDC and wider legacy, it’s an exciting time. I’m keen to see what we can do next.

I’m really grateful to Jamie Quinn, Director of Responsible Business at Engie (now Equans) who has chaired our collective work for the past four years, and I’m very much looking forward to working with the team.

Things we carry

I read a piece in The Athletic written by Alan Shearer about the England manager, Gareth Southgate titled “Gareth, you don’t need to apologise to us for Euro 96. Let it go. We’re so proud of you”. I’m assuming it was ghost-written because I refuse to believe you can be that good at football and know how to write in this way.

It made me think about the influence of incidents and relationships on our behaviours, but how rarely the get acknowledged in our professional lives. I am not asking for us to share everything, but after a week of working closely with a place-based partnership that is dealing with some challenges, I am struck by how the things that people carry with them shape and challenge the work we do. We carry so much.

Reading, listening and watching

Football. Of course.

I’m an Everton fan, and normally a club before country kind of person. However, with all of the Everton news of the moment, it’s been quite nice to have something else to focus on. It’s also nice to watch an England team that takes the knee, is young and confident, led well, and has a captain that wears a rainbow armband.

John Hitchin Renaisi CEO