Richard Ng

EdTech, Climate, Future of Work, DE+I

Learn more: what's a Now Page?

This version: 2021-08-26

What am I up to right /now?

What was I up to back then?

This was my /now page. It was written with two main goals mind:

  1. To answer the prompt:
    1. Think of what youโ€™d tell a friend you hadnโ€™t seen in a year.
  1. To provide focus, clarity and public accountability on my goals.

What's new in my life?

๐Ÿ“† 1 year at Academy

I very recently hit the 1 year milestone since I joined Academy. It feels like much, much more than a year, though...
I was hire #1, joining a founding team of 4 others, where there wasn't much more than an idea. The organisation has grown and changed a lot in the 12 months since - and I feel like I've grown and changed with it as well.
(My current team is bigger than the whole company was when I joined!)

โš–๏ธ Striving for balance

The past couple of months have built up to some burnout - which can be both a bit miserable and also quite counter-productive.
So, I'm going to try a few things differently.

โ›ฑ๏ธ Taking more holiday

I'm prone to workaholism. In the past 12 months, I only had one full week of holiday.
I don't say that to 'brag' - in fact, I think it's an absurd thing that people sometimes compete over things like this. ("Oh, well I've only taken two days of holiday in a whole decade, so I win!")
I am actively going to be trying to take more holiday. I'm not really interested in winning whatever competition it is that springs up from taking very little holiday.

๐Ÿงช Trying novel experiences

I think that I thrive on exposure to new stimuli - both inside and outside work.
I'm going to try to achieve that through taking on novel experiences - for example, I'm intending to start a pottery course!

๐Ÿ“– Self-reflective reading

Over the past few months, I've been reading bits and pieces that have helped me to reflect on myself and the thought patterns which I exhbit.
My most recent author discovery has been Philippa Perry - I absolute adore her books and writings.
What am I focusing on?
Here are some questions that I'm thinking about and working on:

How do you build and maintain a culture of proactivity?

One of the most delightful things of the past couple of months to me is seeing positive change happen in my team at work without me being meaningfully involved at all - people spotting that something can be improved, and doing something about it, with my role being as small as simply giving my blessing.
As the team grows, and new people come into it, I'll want this to continue - so I'm thinking about how this can be clearly culturally embedded.

How do you build communities of cooperative learning?

I'm really excited by communities of cooperative learning - and the promise they hold of being empowering, efficient and effective.
We're social creatures - but a lot of the time, we're ingrained into learning being an individual activity, and so it takes intentionality to switch people into a cooperative learning mode.
So, I'm currently thinking about the ways in which learning can be structured or cued up to be far more team-oriented than individual-oriented.