Many colleagues will be aware that the Collective Leadership for Scotland Covid Response was the rapid development and delivery of the One Thing at a Time Programme, offered from April to June as an opportunity for connection and learning in exceptional times.
There was probably something very particular about those early months of Covid which, although characterised with exceptional levels of uncertainty, drew us to the places where there could be certainty and predictability. There was possibly something about the clarity and rigidity of the rules around the early stages of lockdown that offered comfort in a crisis-dominated environment.
Now, as Covid continues to dominate our lives in different ways, and the unpredictabilities of human behaviours are layered upon this, it feels like we have entered an uncertainty of different proportions. In a conversation with colleagues this week, we began to think of this as “the space between no longer and not yet”. This can feel extremely uncomfortable and difficult to manage, particularly in a world which often demands rapid answers and solutions.
As has often been the case over recent months, I am very thoughtful about what I learned in our Life Affirming Leadership Programme with Margaret Wheatley in March. In this Programme we learned about how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve in these turbulent times to do good work maintaining the best of humanity – treating people with compassion and dignity. Margaret Wheatley refers to these leaders as “Warriors for the Human Spirit” and in our learning we became familiar with a series of Warrior Slogans to offer a guide in our Warrior work. The slogan that is most prominent for me just now is “Savour the uncertainty”.
There has also been a very strong shift towards Renewal in many of our sectors and organisations, with widespread eagerness to learn all that we can from our global pandemic experience and to use this to help us re-build from where the pandemic has left us. In this, many people have spoken about a feeling that the pandemic enabled a window to briefly open, where we saw some alternatives, and it would be sad to lose that by moving too quickly to business as usual or back to normal.
It seems clear that the breadth and scale of impact of Covid warrants the time to stop and reflect together on what we have learned, challenging ourselves to consider the really important aspects that would feel wrong to ignore for the generations ahead.
Collective Leadership for Renewal is therefore our offer into this space, inviting colleagues to participate in a series of leadership conversations and practices that will create time, safe space and opportunity for deep reflection and learning with others, allowing to emerge together the most important elements of our learning from Covid that we wish to take into our wider work and lives.
We are delighted to be working once again with Martin Kalungu-Banda in the development and hosting of our Programme and Martin will be co-hosting the fortnightly Leadership Conversations with us. Martin is a consultant in organisation and leadership development, a facilitator of innovation and change, trainer, coach and author. He is a part of the faculty at The Presencing Institute and worked with us previously on Leading in Unknowing in our One Thing at a Time Programme.
Images for Renewal
Throughout the Programme we will be exploring different ways to access our creativity and imagination around the theme of renewal. One of the ways we will do this is through a focus on Images for Renewal.
Colleagues will be invited to make and share their own images over the course of the Programme. These might take the form of photos, drawings, poems, magazine clippings etc., and we will weave the images submitted into our work and provide contemplative space for people to share images over the Programme.
The dates and times of scheduled sessions will be published on our ‘Collective Leadership for Renewal’ page. Colleagues are invited to select and sign up for the sessions which feel most relevant to them for these times.