Life gets busy sometimes doesn’t it? I’ve been away from my blog longer than expected and away from my normal place of work longer than anticipated, on extended secondment. So what better time to take space to reflect on my learning and evolution…


The way I think and feel about the strategic role of communications in organisational development has seldom evolved and been consistently challenged as much as it has over the last three years. For that I have many civil servants to thank, not least my (now former) team head Andrew Wilkie, and others who probably will thank me for remaining nameless.

During my time on secondment I offered colleagues food for thought, creative reflections, opportunity and challenge – and sometimes it was even welcomed! It’s been three productive and immensely enjoyable years. If I arrived from the NHS armed with a blend of digital communications skills and traditional PR and marketing experiences honed at and outside of work then I’m returning a more rounded professional. Better understanding dynamics, how to affect transformation, and how to work more effectively for the benefit of others are just three areas where my development has been accelerated.

kenny ipad resize 1

Picture by John Young / http://www.YoungMedia.co.uk.

I value the way in which constructive discussion was encouraged to help problem-solve. I’ve learnt from that. Sometimes I say too much. I’ve learnt from that too. Sometimes people aren’t always ready for what they perceive as radical but I perceive as good practice. Sometimes it takes step-change. Choose your battles. It’s all about culture.

And in parallel to my main responsibilities, I benefited from the trust I was afforded to allow me to go to where I and the team can add most value in supporting the corporate objectives of our senior team. Close working with many others proved hugely beneficial in helping me go beyond just doing my job.

That may be one small contribution to helping our team gain recognition at the Institute of Internal Communications Scotland Awards 2016 including Team of the Year and Andrew being awarded Communicator of the Year. Not forgetting team recognition at the NHSScotland Communication Awards 2016, what a great high to leave on.

So in waving goodbye here’s three things upon which I’d encourage continued focus:

  1. Push further, fail faster
  2. Go fly – don’t worry about falling
  3. Redesign don’t only restructure or realign

The light bulb moment really came just a couple of weeks prior to my time ending, as a result of some Yammer posts from two directors and another colleague, which translated in my head to an analogy of how a sports team operates – or as was highlighted to me, an orchestra. It really helped bring everything full circle in how to more holistically connect structures and networks and the role communications, culture, digital, engagement, and people play. Making sure transformational change is creative yet grounded, focused yet scalable while understanding how people connect with it is a skill.

I look forward to applying this to my latest role, as Marketing Manager for now, focused on digital transformation and digital elements of camapign planning activity. Next it’s onwards and upwards when the right opportunity arises.

So yes, I’ve been away. But now I’m back, with three little words… keep moving forward.

See you in the near future