Every workplace has different values: different cultures and stories that shape and reflect staff habits. When I was at the Treasury, credibility came from getting a ‘measure’ into the budget, with cheers as the Chancellor duly read it out at the dispatch box. At Google, it came from having been there a long time – being one of the apostles, there at the start. At the Department of Energy & Climate Change, it was being recognised as expert in your particular field.
Where I currently work is different. At GDS, one thing that reliably brings respect is to be able to say ‘I made a thing’. Things like Roo’s Jargone, Jordan’s departure lounge, or Richard’s dials. I don’t make many things, alas. Just words, and occasionally pictures. But it is a complete pleasure to work with those who do.
I prefer not to carry a bag around, but I often want to take a tablet or a book. Limited by the size of my pockets, I looked around for things to buy. This shoulder holster looked a little strange. And the neoprene laptop rucksack just looked hot. I wanted something slim that could fit under a jacket. So rather than buying a thing, I asked a friend to help make something better. I drew a sketch and worked with Emily to cut and stitch a prototype from a cotton/linen mix. After a bit more measuring, cutting and trimming, voilà.