Forget ‘thinking outside the box’, step outside the box.

Blog post by Laurian Hubbard, Senior Media and Communications Manager, Welsh Government

Whenever I have worked through my personal development plans, I always look at courses, things to read and networking events to attend to create new relationships. These are all great ways of developing but this year I wanted to step.

hands reaching out of a box

I wanted to step outside the box and out of my comfort zone in Wales to make a leap across the border to London.

I have spent the last three months in Cabinet Office. Not only have I had the best three months being the ultimate tourist, I have learned so much just by stepping away from what I am used to and immersing myself in another department.

All too often we can become jaded in our roles and just ‘go with the flow’, but by getting out there and learning something new I am going back to my department in Wales refreshed, revitalised and raring to go with new ideas and better ways of working.

The top three things I’ve learned:

Leadership

I was lucky enough to secure a place on the GCS Leadership Roadshow – book onto one if you can. Spending time with colleagues from other departments and sharing experiences to work through problems was invaluable. One thing I will definitely keep in mind is what Alex Aiken believes the difference between management and leadership is: management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right thing.

Planning

OASIS – the one word that will be forever engrained in my mind whenever I think of planning a campaign. Objectives, Audience Insight, Strategy / Idea, Implementation and Scoring/Evaluation. The biggest part of OASIS that resonates with me is Audience, working in government we deliver services for people so we should always think about what they need before we ‘send out stuff’.

Evaluation

If you don’t evaluate how do you know if what you are doing is working? How do you know if what you are doing is adding value and how do you know if what you are doing is meeting the objective? Evaluation is so important, even if something fails – evaluate, learn from it and do better next time.

Finally, if you are thinking about a secondment – just do it, I cannot recommend it enough. The support I had to do mine was incredible and for this I am entirely grateful.

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