Week Note: 11 October 2021
How come the first week after a holiday flies past so quickly?!
After last week’s tales of remote Scottish islands, I had to laugh when I went into a workshop on Friday and had a warm up exercise that included naming the three items you’d take with you if castaway on an island. Turns out I was the only one with yarn at the top of their list! There were times during lockdown I kind of felt like I’d been castaway, I was grateful a wee ball of yarn was always around to keep me occupied 🙂
The workshop was run by The Scottish AI Alliance team, and the purpose was to capture thoughts and needs from representatives of the Third Sector for the Playbook that’s being developed. One of a series of sessions across different sectors, I was there as a representative of the Leadership circle of the team. The Leadership circle is a broad mix of people, backgrounds and experiences, but this engagement piece with other groups is of key importance to ensure the playbook is of value for all who will make use of AND feel impact of AI. The Third sector includes organisations working with many minority and marginalised groups, and a number of key questions and points were made about how to ensure these groups are part of the ongoing work in this area. It made for a very interesting discussion, facilitated by the great team from Lunar Works and opened a number of areas for future discussions.
Taking the lead
Taking a leadership position in any organisation means really thinking outside of your own experiences and knowledge. It’s not about you. Even just thinking about speakers for events, it’s all too easy to default to folk you already know, or those you’ve seen speak before cos they’re easy to find. Give new folk opportunities. Put effort into seeking speakers. Ask people directly – all too often just asking for volunteers won’t get you a diverse group as many won’t think they have something to offer, or that they are not the sort of folk who do that type of thing. Anyone can be a speaker, and bring value and worth to an event. Being an expert speaker isn’t actually the key to giving a good talk. Having a story to tell is.
Make a plan
The bulk of my week was made up of working on a number of Data Strategies we’re doing with folk. I find this stage of engagement with an organisation really interesting as it’s when we start to get into the nitty-gritty of the current use of data, and find the good stuff, and the bad! Establishing this baseline is really key to being able to move forward though, and it’s always great to run a kick off workshop to help share the vision and purpose of what a Data Strategy really means, as well as how individuals can contribute to the process. It’s a growing area for us, and I think it demonstrates how more and more organisations are realising that just trying to jump straight into a data project without structure, plan and purpose to these activities can be recipe for disaster.
We’re growing again!
We were delighted to get involved with Scotsoft last week, Jo was on a panel talking about challenges of recruiting and retaining great developer talent, and innovative ideas on how to address those challenges. Recruitment has been high on our minds in recent week and we are really excited to say the team is going to be growing again in the next few weeks. It feels like it’s time to introduce you the the team a little more too, so watch this space as we do some introductions over the next wee while.
Share and share alike
Unlocking Ambition programme continues this week too – I’m really delighted about the value I feel we’ve already got from it, and also the opportunities I’ve had to be able to share knowledge and contacts with others on it.
Have a good week all!