Recently I nominated DWP Digital’s Digital Voices for the A Brilliant Civil Service Effective Leaders Award. Digital Voices had been shortlisted from 100 applications to the top five finalists. The normal process was that a team of Senior Civil Servants would choose the winner from the top five. However, for this award they decided to do something different. Each of the candidates were asked to pitch for three minutes about why they deserved to win the Effective Leaders Award. The audience in the auditorium and from the Online Live Stream was asked to vote for their top three via an application called Sli.do. A mix of Permanent Secretaries and Directors from HMRC, Cabinet Office and DWP then chose the winner.
When I got the email that Digital Voices had been shortlisted and that I had to do a three-minute pitch, I was nervous and excited at the same time. During my time on the Civil Service Local Leadership Academy I had in a team pitched to ‘friendly dragons’ about our project, so it was good to put the skills I had learned into practice. After a speech from John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service, taking about the reasons why the ‘A Brilliant Civil Service Awards’ was set up, it was the shortlisted finalists time to deliver their pitches to the audience and the judging panel. Along with a colleague Terri Woods, Senior Development Manager, we delivered our pitch on behalf of the digital voices team and we finished in the top three. Not bad for an Administrative Officer who was a complete novice at pitching and nominating in the awards process! A year ago, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to put myself forward to do the pitching or join the Women in Digital Group as I was quite timid.
I am so proud of what the team developing the Digital Voices Programme have achieved and also how the Digital Voices participants have grown in confidence in such a short space of time. Based on my experience of Tech North’s Northern Voices, I suggested to the Women in Digital Sub Working Group – Building our reputation as an employer of choice for women, why don’t we have a DWP Digital Northern Voices programme, so women of all grades can benefit from the experience I had on the Northern Voices programme where I gained confidence in my communication skills and helped me build a network of internal and external colleagues.
I think anyone can be an effective leader with support, creativity, being open to change-leaving egos at the door, being inclusive and by stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while.
I would actively encourage you to nominate a colleague or a team for an award. You can find out more by clicking the link below. Lets showcase the innovation and excellence of our colleagues.
In the meantime please keep a look out on the blog for opportunities to get involved with the CS Local NEYH Leadership Academy.