Year-End Reflections

#Weeknotes: Dec 13, 2019

What I’m proud of, challenged by, and looking forward to at work.

Every month my place of work, The Exchange Lab, brings together delivery teams to share in a potluck. My teammate, Ari, does a wonderful job coaching individuals from these teams to participate in the “Lunch n Share” where they offer:

  • Insight into their team’s digital product;
  • What they are proud of; and
  • What they are challenged by and could use help from the community on.

Sometimes we get teary it is so heart warming. I mean, we’re not talking about puppies or babies here… at least not directly. We are talking about building teams that are really making a difference in the lives of people who use services provided by their hard earned tax dollars.

I’ve decided to adopt this format for my weeknotes, with a little modification. I think it will help me focus… and actually commit to writing every week.

What I’m Proud of

I have an awesome team. And better yet, we are on boarding new people to the lab who are forming more awesome teams.

The best part is that it isn’t always awesome, actually. Because the point of coming to the lab is that we are all learning how to be better. The people who show up with a growth mindset stick around and have wild success.

For my part, the journey at the lab started as eight months of digital strategy exploration and drafting ended. Rumon, my boss, jokingly describes how he brought me along “in a headlock”, which I take to mean two things.

One, we had just come out of a lot of heady work and my brain was definitely entangled in the puzzle of how to modernize government.

Two, our task at the lab was to bring some predictability and programmatic structure to something that was very emergent and working well. That meant I had to take off my pioneer hat, and lace up my settler boots (as per Simon Wardley’s model).

It has been a year and I’m proud to share that we’ve stabilized the Lab. We’ve taken the good results of the pioneers and opened the doors for others to participate more effectively.

What I’m Challenged by

Where do I start…

Falling behind.

First, weeknotes have become month notes as I was sick with the flu and then getting caught up. My Inbox is a disaster and I feel like I am letting people down.

Letting things go.

I know I have to let some things go, and frankly, I’ve made very good progress over the years letting go of my perfectionist streaks… but there is a lot of attention on my team and needs from our community. So my failures trickle down to them.

Turns out they are human too (good humans), and they have by back (and the backlog).


I have sight across many organizations and we are asking a lot from leaders who are trying to figure out radically different modes of organizing and enabling productivity.

When I’m stretched, I oscillate between telling them how it is… and being nicer. Particularly when I’m surrounded by a lot of nice Canadians. I am one as well, but I’m pretty good at channeling my very direct German ancestry from time to time. Especially when I sense there is the “let’s get real” gap to fill.

I think I need to watch that Brene Brown Netflix special again… and be okay with my radical transparency, while inviting others to step into their vulnerability.

What I Look Forward to

2020 promises a lot. Here is the shortlist:




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Heather-Lynn Remacle

Slow to judge, quick to suppose: truth and alternatives I’m keen to expose. Open by default. How can I help?