Weeknotes 1

Weeknotes #1 - What happened this week? Sharing my learnings from my personal and professional life.

Weeknotes 1
Weeknotes 1 - What happened this week?
Intro 00:00 01:36 / Context switching 01:37 04:06 / Procurement 04:07 06:56 / Transparency 06:57 11:58

This week was my first as Cluster Consulting, a radically transparent consulting and marketing company, what a week it’s been! I’ve experienced three interesting things this week;

1. Concentration comes from a lack of context switching

My calendar has looked like a warzone for years now, it’s always been difficult to find actual concentration time. I’m sure this will change as the company progresses but so far I’ve had a very meeting-free week.

The time to concentrate has brought back a renewed wave of creativity which I haven’t felt in a long time — It’s an awesome feeling.

Print screen of my calendar showing minimal meetings
Minimal meetings means maximum m(efficiency) — I tried to make the sentence M’s.

One of the meetings was a masked-up lunchtime walk with a friend, a healthy reminder to get outside and have some (socially distanced, masked up) social time too. As winter starts to reside, I expect more of these lovely walks.

2. Procurement cycles are slow

I remember when I was working with Google and a dashboard was taking ~15 seconds to update, mainly due to the sheer amount of data being processed, but this lack of efficiency was unacceptably slow.

This week I ran into a few examples of very slow procurement processes. To be clear, it was a process problem and not a people problem — everyone was trying their best, it was the process which became unacceptably slow.

I understand the need for due diligence, ensuring companies are the right ones for the job, reducing risk, and all of the other great reasons why procurement teams are full of lovely people but I think there’s a big opportunity for a start up to come into the procurement market and shake things up a bit. Providing a level of efficient structure and digital channels as default (no, I will not fax you any documents!).

3. People appreciate transparency

A couple of times this week I’ve been faced with scenarios where I could have fluffed an answer, or negotiated in an expected corporate way to extract the most value from the other parties, and I opted not to do this.

I detest when others act in this way towards me, so why would I expect to win friends and influence by opting for those same tactics which I detest myself.

Acting transparently and openly takes courage as it places a lot of trust between the parties talking. I’m sure there will be scenarios where this won’t have paid dividend but thankfully I haven’t come across that yet. It also saves precious time for everyone involved, something which is highly valued in our busy lives.

Next week:

  • Excited to start my first contract as a limited company!
  • Giving a talk for an ‘Inspiring Women’ event
  • Finally figure out my accountants software

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