I went to Local GovCamp in Birmingham on the 20/21st June 2014. While I was there I picked up a framework for reflective practise from Esko Reinikainen and so I’ve decided to use that to order my thoughts.

Here’s @reinikainen‘s list of reflective practice questions #localgovcamp pic.twitter.com/EFbdvsbqpw

1. What did I learn?

Too much to fit into one post. The plans some people have, the ideas that are floating around, the reading-between-the-lines of certain people in the sector, the way I react to pressure, the layout of Birmingham city centre, some of our industrial heritage, and much much much more. In fact you learn so much in a short space of time that you get what I call “govcamp lag” – your mind has moved so quickly it takes your body a couple of days to catch up with it.

2. How will I behave differently?

Early evidence suggests I’ll be slightly more focussed and a bit more impatient. I hope I’ll be more effective on multiple levels and more confident as a result of my experiences but this is not a certainty just yet.

3. What held me back?

Not much. I’m much more wholehearted than I used to be although lack of certainty over the direction things are taking occasionally surfaces – but this is part and parcel of working with a strategy label. I need to lose the worry of what might happen and make things happen instead.

4. What surprised me?

My confidence at handling the Open Data session – I couldn’t have done that in the way I did a few months ago. Probably the PS Launchpad prepared me well for this (and in general, there were similarities in feel between the two experiences).

5. What got in my way?

The usual local government tendency of talking rather than action exists even at a govcamp, and we tend to broaden conversations rather than narrow and focus them into action. I need to do better at this and probably need to recite something to myself mantra-like on an hourly basis until my thick skull gets the frigging message.

6. What happened today that gave me a glimpse of the future?

I pitched an idea at a complete stranger and they didn’t ignore me or walk away. This happened more than once. If I am to be effective, stating my ideas confidently must be the cornerstone of my approach or I should just go back to putting the lids on gateaux on a factory production line (which was my first proper job).

7. What frustrated me?

I still pussy-foot around too much.  See #5.

8. What did I do today that I do every day?

Woke up at 5am,  argued pointlessly once or twice, and didn’t produce anything.

9. What did I let go of today?

The untouchability of certain individuals. There is no-one in our sector with all the answers, I don’t think it’s mathematically possible.

10. What will I do tomorrow?

I have a plan but I don’t want to talk about it just yet.