I really wanted to increase my writing and focus on my research outputs this year and to some extent I have achieved that. Although I have not had lots of articles published they are in process and I feel I have made progress. I organised a writing retreat in January 2020 and this was fantastic in making progress and achieving some of my goals around a focus on writing. It was as much to prove to myself that I could do it. I think I need to be more strategic in which journals I am writing for and thinking about the research process. Although some of my reflection on this has been that perhaps published academic journals are not the best place for my work, hence building my blog and finally achieving this. So this is definitely an area I wish to build over this year.
I also wanted to establish myself as a Lego Serious Play practitioner and run more sessions as this is an area that I absolutely love working on. I was really pleased about how this was progressing until Covid-19 hit and I need to think about how to work this into the new “normal”. I would like to start a series of reflections and videos on my blog and have some ideas for that.
A further rationale for my work this year was to build the newly structured Directorate and engage in CPD around this in terms of vision setting and thinking about the future. Again some of this work has been delayed due to Covid-19 but the main work of the Directorate has come to the fore and the LSP sessions I ran were really helpful.
I have thought more this year about how to organise my time and the writing and development work. Running the writing retreat made me appreciate the space needed to write and how to support this. I also factored in various days over the course of the year but this has been much harder to do in recent months. This is something that I need to think about going forward.
Attending conferences as planned and presenting on my work has been severely reduced as Covid-19 hit during the conference season and I had three or four conference presentations planned from April to June on various projects. The sheer amount of work required to respond to the pandemic has meant that work on these projects has been delayed too. Thinking about how to progress these in the future will be an important aspect of next year.
My objectives for this year were a mix of attempting to develop new approaches in the Directorate and for myself and improve my writing opportunities. I think I have been successful in these despite the constraints around the pandemic, which has both provided new opportunities as well as challenges to existing situations. The pandemic has made me focus on what is important in my role and how to safeguard this in times of stress and pressure.