Work (welcome back my friends to the show that never ends)

By solle on 30/03/2017 — 1 min read

We all have a role in a project, even if we only deliver a small thing. Sometimes the impact comes much later. The thing that was delivered that seemed small, is suddenly much bigger. You can never totally tell. Sometimes what is delivered might seem small at the time, but later on takes on much more consequence and proves to be really important. A cornerstone in the right direction. Its influence expanded, maybe even in unexpected ways. Sometimes we just can’t see it (and sometimes it isn’t even there yet). It’s accumulative. We work together. We hand over batons. When you work with a good attitude, where the work is the thing and not the furthering of your ego and career path then you will only leave a positive legacy. If you don’t, you won’t. We don’t deliver work to look good, we don’t deliver work to be able to write it down. We deliver work because we want to make a difference. Making a difference is a team thing, not an individual thing.

Teams benefit from both long and short players. The benefits of the stability, commitment and focus of permanent and fixed-term staff and the energy, creativity and stimulation of consultancy and contracting. The reality of depending on either solely is unrealistic, unimaginative and unwise (though the pursuit of ‘mostly’ is admirable). Getting the right balance from both isn’t necessarily straightforward, but it is possible. People want to work as a team. People want a chance to make a difference, have some kind of impact. Attention to detail and a willingness to give and get the best from those around you is vital. Everyone pulling output in the same direction. Challenged but not blocked. Following processes that aren’t just thrown over the fence.

Dynamics are discussed elsewhere but short players, particularly, mustn’t be allowed to become demotivated, slow or disinterested. They need to be encouraged to quickly get to the bottom of things and feel confident to challenge. An appetite for facts and solutions. Always concerned with team building. Everyone leading by example. Listen, pause, reflect, and have the patience and judgement to sometimes let things play out. A requirement for tenacity and even temper. No substitute for experience and intelligence.

There is no excuse for anything but fresh and bold.


I am a user centred design leader working across senior design leadership teams and user centred design operations. I work across a wide range of digital services within the public, private and not for profit sectors.