BrAIN Story: Chapter 4

Identifying, Developing and Managing Talent – Nov 2016

5 min read (+15-20 min read or sound clip of the speech)

CHACR had mentioned previously that the intention was for me to present the findings of the Young Officers (YOs) forum at another talent themed study day they were running on behalf of DPers (Director Personnel) in November.

I was told to start preparing for a 15 minute talking slot in which I would give a read out from the YOs event. I spent a long time trying to craft a script as I knew otherwise I would go off on tangents and as this was a senior leadership event I didn’t want to look like a babbling wreck.

Just prior to the event I received a letter signed by DPers at the time saying how much he was looking forward to the event and to thank me for my attendance.  I then turned it over and looked at the agenda…where was my slot?

I checked it again and saw that my name was featured in a 15 min segment labelled:

“Reference Group Perspective. Lead by Lt Col XXX (to include Lt Kirsty Skinner)”.

Umm what? This sounded like a panel to me. I had spent hours worrying about a script for a 15 minute segment, by myself.

I called CHACR just to check what was going on and see if I was just reading too much into the wording…

Apparently someone (not from CHACR as they weren’t in charge of the agenda) had decided that they didn’t want a full slot for the YOs forum stuff so I had been bumped to make space for other speakers.


After a lot of persuasion from CHACR they managed to wangle me back in for 15 minutes.  At this stage I was told “don’t waste it”.

So obviously as any perfectionist would….I panicked.

Nobody asked if they could check my script or anything in advance…
…which was lucky because I rewrote the entire thing the night before the event.

(Including me messing up the slides, stumbling over my words and the audiences reactions).

(Some of this may be slightly different to what I actually said on the day. I tried to add things as I went based on what had already been said by others).

The speech seemed to do the trick and luckily it got a lot of feedback and engagement through the rest of the day.  It also initiated discussions about me moving to CHACR.

I won’t go into the ins and outs but just before Christmas leave I had it confirmed by my Chain of Command that I would be moving to CHACR in the new year.

BrAIN had a home… I just needed to wait until June to bring it to life.

But others had started to hear about BrAIN and some decided they would take the concept further themselves.

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