A weeknote, starting Monday 6 March 2023

Paul Moran
2 min readMar 13, 2023
Sketch from a Quentin Blake-style illustration workshop at the weekend (my son dressed as Sherlock Holmes for World Book Day)

A few highlights from this week:

  • We held our cross-agency quarterly senior leadership event this week and it was good to see colleagues from across the organisation. As always, good to connect and spend some time together, including an interesting discussion on resilience, and how as leaders we can help create an environment where the weight of being resilient isn’t just on the individual. Was nice to hear from my direct reports how our weekly team meetings help. They’re specially designed to surface issues, celebrate success and look forward and they enable people to connect on a personal level as much as talk about work. It’s been an enduring format that has survived 100% turnover in the team.
  • This article by Matthew Godfrey about design leadership and operating at different altitudes feels timely. Having expanded my team with new senior roles there’s some recalibration needed for me, and also for the people in those roles as they move forward in their careers. Think I’ll be revisiting this one again for some further reflection.
  • This piece by the Design Council has helped me recognise that I’m increasingly drawn into the strategic design space where I’m involved in discussions about organisational level challenges. Possibly one of the benefits working in a relatively small government agency and being organisationally located alongside policy, strategy, digital, technology and security colleagues. It also led me to discover this resource which I’ll spend more time on when I get chance — What is Strategic Design?
  • Professional envy that Rochelle Gold has a UCD Ops team 👏
  • Reading: Jony Ive – The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, Leander Kahney (2013). Interesting read illustrating his personal story and development as a designer and the impact he had not only on Apple products but also alongside Steve Jobs and Tim Cook on the entire organisation and how it operated.
  • Creating: Enjoyed a Quentin Blake-style illustration workshop at the Hanwell Wine Estate in Leicestershire. Was interesting to essentially be doing crazy 8s but in a different context from the usual workshop at work. This time it was 30 seconds per image, then added some watercolour. Was a new, much looser style than my normal illustrations, and a fun way to spend Saturday morning. Also did some more experimenting with Affinity Designer
Part of my continued learning of Affinity Designer

2023 13 Feb | 27 Feb

Exploring Service Design – Collections of books to inspire thinking and action in how services are designed and run

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Paul Moran

Head of Service Design & User Research @ Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, UK https://linktr.ee/pauljosephmoran