162: successful succession planning 101

(If this week’s post jumps about a bit it’s because I’m semi-watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer over the top of my laptop. Apologies in advance, but Angel keeps taking his jacket off.)

This week I was finally able to tell the rest of the team that I’m leaving Young V&A to join the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration as Head of Learning and Participation. It’s been a tough secret to keep as I am really excited about this role, but there was the tricky matter of getting some ducks in a row – we already have a jobshare role open as B has gone off on mat leave; YV&A is opening in July and the wheels of recruitment move slowly in a large organisation. My handover file is growing daily and there are things I really need to get sorted out in the next couple of weeks.

You’d think this might be things like who will become responsible for my direct report, and where we’re up to with various projects, and these things are indeed on my list. More importantly, however…

  • who will take over as Chief Elf at Secret Santa time?
  • who will I pass my Monday morning banana bread recipe to? (‘What sort of deviant puts Maltesers in banana br….oh my god, mmm’)
  • who will become responsible for the Futureplan Bingo card (featuring phrases like ‘across the piece’, ‘value engineering’, and ‘at pace’, among other things)

I mean, everyone has an official job description, right? But the unofficial things are just as important: making team meetings a little sweeter, for example.

I am very lucky to have been working in an amazing team for the last few years, and I’ll miss them – can’t wait to see the new Young V&A when it opens the doors in July.

Am I a tassel person?

As it turns out, yes, surprisingly.

On Tuesday most of the Learning team went to Aesthetic Laundry‘s studio at Bow Arts to take part in a workshop with Heidi and her team. A couple of us were already fans of the brand (not me) which was founded in 2014 to make size-inclusive, body positive clothing. Each piece is made to order so they’re not creating waste, they incorporate scraps into things like their tassels and confetti, as well as into their festival clothes, and their studio is a riot of colour and tactile textiles to squish. As you can imagine, I was in my happy place…

In the workshop you get to create your own jumper, learning some sewing and cutting skills as you go along, and then the AL team put it together and send it to you! Some of the team wanted to crop theirs, and Heidi was rocking one of their Phoenix cardis so they kindly worked with me to turn my jumper into a cardi. You get to choose your tassel colours (or no tassels at all!), cuff and collar ribs, where you want your initials, thread colour and the base colour. I have gone for a grey base, with burgundy, navy, white and grey tassels with dark pink ribs and thumbholes on the cuffs. Once I’d committed to the tassels there was no stopping me…

Finishing off with prosecco and biscuits was a bonus! Can’t wait to show off my creation…

Other things making me happy this week:

  • A walk with Thing 2 to see the baby cows yesterday morning – two so new they were still wobbly on their little legs
  • An afternoon with the KS2 LETTA trainees making games and inventions inspired by the Hero Arm. The ‘RAVE’ board game is definitely not one for the schoolkids.
  • A midweek training meander through the woods – sponsorship link here

And that’s been it! Same time next week…

Kirsty x

What I’ve been reading:

Kate Shugak Investigations 18 – 23 – Dana Stabenow

Witches Abroad – Terry Pratchett (Audible)

Desperate Undertaking – Lindsay Davies

4 thoughts on “162: successful succession planning 101

  1. Brilliant Kirsty! How exciting. Wishing you all the best for the transition. Still missing you at MoL… Can’t wait to hear all about your new role and what kind of imaginative cake you will think up for Monday meetings…


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