My lockdown year at GGI

17 March 2021

A personal reflection by Stephen McCulloch, Director of Communications.

In the middle of March 2020, I got the call everyone looks forward to – I was offered a dream job as the Director of Communications at GGI. Just a few days later GGI went into lockdown and the rest of the UK and world followed suit the week after.

The following few weeks were a blur. I agreed with GGI that we would hold off taking forward my recruitment while we figured out what the world would look like and I got my head down at an incredibly busy communications role in regulation. As the world started to settle into a different routine, I started with GGI part-time in May, followed by a full time start in July.

Starting a new job in a pandemic is certainly different. All GGI colleagues have been so welcoming, but as a natural extravert and someone who likes to talk through approaches, being sat in my living room on day one didn’t give me some of the sensory pieces of the puzzle that I would have found beneficial.

The shift in my own working style has probably been the biggest challenge for me. I’m so used to turning my head to the right and quickly talking through an idea or issue with colleagues. This now exists in the world of Zoom and WhatsApp. It’s by no means perfect, but our agile approach means I now get much of the conversation stimulation that helps me to do the best job I can.

Now, sat here - still in my living room - in March 2021 I’m amazed by how much I and GGI have achieved in the last 12 months. Our communications offer has gone from strength-to-strength, with world-class events and thought leadership pieces to rival the largest and best-known organisations on the planet. Everyone at GGI is so dedicated to the causes we work for, looking at governance with a lens that can only be described as innovative, thoughtful, personal, lean and ethical. It’s exactly the place I want to be – surrounded by like-minded people with a passion and drive for the right things in this world.

And all of this without knowing how tall my teammates are, or what sort of shoes they wear. I suspect, at the moment, slippers.

As we look to the future I’m delighted by some of the things we have discovered, including that it is possible to get more than 350 senior leaders from across the UK into the same (digital) room at the same time. It’s important we don’t lose things like this, but I’m also looking forward to meeting the team face-to-face and finding new and even better ways to work together.

Prepared by GGI Development and Research LLP for the Good Governance Institute.

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