Tuesday 5 December 2023

Following the Yellow Brick Road

This might be the last post I put directly here, as I review my personal SocMed footprint.

It is also one of the hardest I've found to write because it feels like the end of one journey and the start of another.

November was one heck of a month. I left my safe corporate life after thirteen years, but that probably isn't my most important experience of the month.

At the itSMF UK conference, I delivered, along with their chair, Karen Brusch, a keynote interview session about neurodiversity.

It was described by attendees as "brave." Anyone who, like myself, comes from a senior civil service background will recognise that as shorthand for "career limiting."

And perhaps it was.

But I felt it was important enough to do so.

I was, if possible, more passionate than usual because I had spent the Saturday before the conference at an academic symposium on dyspraxia in higher education at the University of Surrey.

And it broke my heart.

Forty years on since my experience of university and transitioning to a career it seems there has been little progress.  Neurodiverse students are still set up to fail, and that is even if they have managed to negotiate school life. The disparity in the statistics between measures of intelligence and academic success for the neurodivergent are simply heartbreaking.

When they transition to work, they struggle, because they not only don't follow the rules, they can't even work out what the rules are, and if they do, they question them.

But as an inherently diverse community, we, the neurodiverse, can bring so much value to the workplace. Gartner have how to leverage the value of the ND workforce as one of their top five strategic topics for 2024.

If I look across our ITSM specialism I see so many of the "Names" who are self-avowedly neuro-diverse.

There are many, many lessons to be learned. 

Why the yellow brick road? Well, despite the lion, the scarecrow, and the tinman not having what society thinks of as basic human strengths, they all turned out to be heroes in the story. Whilst the wizard turned out to be a very ordinary neurotypical human.

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