Recently a couple of people contacted me on Twitter to ask about the OneTeamGov breakfast club which takes place on Wednesday mornings in Whitehall. They told me that they were really interested in the work, but worried about attending because they weren’t sure that they could contribute.
I felt the same at first; I missed the unconference, I’m a newbie to the Civil Service, and I’ve never worked in policy. I was running late and bottled out of the first breakfast meeting; imposter syndrome getting the better of me.
But I thought again about the principles of the movement which had appealed to me in the first place, and resolved to go the following week.
I’ve now been to three breakfast meetings, I’m nearly always late. The first week I went James asked everyone round the table to put their hands up if it was their first time — about 70% of the people there put their hands up and I immediately felt better.
If you’re coming for the first time, you’re unlikely to be the only one.
I hope that if you are worried or unsure about coming that the points below might sway you. Looking forward to seeing you there!
1.Listening and learning
You don’t have to contribute to be useful. Listening and learning is as important as speaking and giving your opinion.
So maybe you come alone one week, listen to the discussions and think little of it. But when you go back and talk to someone in your team, they find one of the points you mention really interesting or useful. They might come with you next time, or you might be able to put them in touch with someone with a common interest.
…reform happens through a million small steps, not a few big ones so, rather than try to overdefine where we need to be, One Team Government is going to practise reform by doing small, achievable things — we call them ‘microactions’.
2.You’re allowed to be nosey
Earlier in my career I spent a lot of time inviting myself to other people’s meetings. Things that had nothing to do with me. Meetings with senior stakeholders. Meetings about subjects that I had no idea about.
I called myself nosey, but that’s disingenuous, I was curious. If something sounded interesting, I wanted to know what it was about. Over time, I started to contribute more as I started to learn and form my own opinions.
If you’re a junior, a Fast Streamer, an Apprentice, if you’re senior, or a leader, you work in digital, you work in policy, you work outside government, or something else entirely — if you are curious, then you are welcome.
Which brings me nicely on to…
3. This movement needs people
OneTeamGov is about everybody working together more effectively to help make better policy and services for the public. It’s quite simple, it can’t make things better for everyone if not everyone is represented. So you may not think you can contribute, but your unique perspective and experience is what makes you important.
Wait, OneTeamWhat? Find out more here: https://medium.com/@kcollingwood/what-is-one-team-government-962089d6375f or here: One Team Gov
P.S — If you can’t make the breakfast club, I think there are plans afoot for spin off clubs in other locations or a video hangout. Alternatively you can join in using: