Bringing it home


I’m looking at my schedule of posting and feeling a mite guilty because this is the first one in 2 months. In my defence I’ve been really busy. I posted about the Accelerator programme, and how much fun that was going to be, here: well I wasn’t wrong. It has turned out to be possibly the most challenging piece of professional development I’ve ever undertaken. Over the three months we’ve learned new skills and viewpoints, made new friends, strengthened links with people we already knew, and developed an idea that might just change the world. For given values of ‘world’ and ‘change’, obviously.

We came home after the final presentation and demo day and Martin, having booked some leave to give himself space to process the experience, produced this thoughtful and inspiring set of blog posts about the different aspects he’d observed and what he thinks we should do with what we’ve learned. Read them. Seriously. I don’t use words like ‘inspiring’ lightly, and I’m awed and envious of how he has captured so much of the value of the thing and turned it into content for others.

As for my thoughts; I felt it superfluous to cover the same ground as Martin already did so well so I’ve held off initially. But I realised I’ve got something he’s yet to catch up to, since he’s only just this week returned to a normal work routine and I’m a couple of weeks ahead. Here it is:

I was lying on my sofa half dozing, and as I woke I had a realisation. I was thinking about the Accelerator as I surfaced, how good it was, how much I miss it, how much I miss the place and the people and the peripheral activity like the travelling and the digs I stayed at and the friends I made unrelated to the programme itself. 

And I just had this thought – if you transported me back there right now, and tomorrow I had to start it again and in the morning I turned up at the Hub and all those people were there … I would not know what to do. It wouldn’t be the same, the energy would not be the same, because every scrap of every hour was carefully planned to build the vibe to a certain pace and point until we were ready to pitch and present and deflate and go home. If you took me now and dropped me in the exact same set of circumstances I could not reproduce the excitement and motivation and creativity I found back then.

Ok, that’s a disappointment. I want that back, I want to feel that way again and recapture that free and lively and shiny immersion. 

So here’s the second part of the realisation; I still want to work on the things I did then, I still want to follow the ideas I had and develop them and build them and break them and rebuild them as many times as it takes to get them right. The first few days back in my normal environment have been strange and foggy and confining and I have resented the risk of the pull of the mundane and tedious.

Note that I say the risk and not the thing itself, because there is nothing mundane or tedious about what I do. Martin thinks he’s the luckiest person in local government, but really secretly it’s me. Because even before the accelerator I already had fun and adventure and really cool things to do, and some fascinating people to do it with. These things and people are still around me and still part of my work day. 

So if I want the accelerator back actually what I have to do is draw that around me and carry on creating the product we’ve visualised, pulling together the creative spaces and the brilliant people and the resources into the shape of what the Accelerator gave to me. I want the people I already work with to be part of it, and I want my usual workplace to be an environment where this happens, and I have the chance to make all those things real right here and now. So today is a good day. 

Granted, I haven’t figured out exactly how that looks yet. Watch this space.

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About jargonaut

Unashamed geek lost in policy land. Frequently required to believe three impossible things before breakfast, and implement them by tea time.
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