Forward Look Blog: February 2021

As we rapidly move towards through the early months of the year, it seems that we are starting to get a better sense of what working in this year will be like and it felt like the right time to outline some of our plans and development activities over the coming months.

Colloquium Events

It was great to experience our Colloquium events in January, offering a clear reminder of a world-wide community of scholars and practitioners who are working in different ways to “raise each other up” in our conviction that there are ways to lead that move well beyond the individual. 

It has been a genuine pleasure to be part of these conversations and to be part of the development work with Prof Joe Raelin and other colleagues over recent months.  Now that the events have taken place, with widespread interest and involvement from many different parts of the world, it feels like there are a great many possibilities for new areas of development together, building and growing our sense of a community with some common aims and aspirations. 

We will be reviewing all of the feedback from the events over the coming weeks and I hope to see some the conversations that were started at the events continue over the coming months.

Fire Starter Festival

Many colleagues will be aware that the purpose of Fire Starter Festival is to highlight and share innovation in public services.  The Festival was very different this year, offered entirely online throughout last week.  I am delighted to say that there were many elements which remained absolutely the same, however, including a strong focus on pushing boundaries, being experimental and trying something new, a real openness amongst participants to step into the unknown and be creative together and a warmth of human connections permeating the sessions and the Festival as a whole. 

There was also a strong emphasis on creating spaces for reflective practices in our daily Sanctuary sessions and a wealth of opportunities in our many café sessions just to connect with other participants and reflect together. 

I have certainly been left with a great deal to think about from the Festival, and from the many views expressed by participants.  In particular there seemed to be a clear recognition of the many ways that we were really pushing the limits of the depth of experience that it was possible to have with an online Festival, as well as a strong plea to recognise the many ways in which a Festival offered online had an equalising impact on the potential to participate from a far wider range of places.  There was also some reflection that, for some of the experiential sessions which could feel more edgy, there was a feeling of greater comfort and confidence in participating from a familiar home environment, freeing some participants of some of the inhibitions that they may otherwise have felt.

So, once again, a great many fires have been started and the flames will be kept alight at our regular Campfire sessions.

for anyone who would like to join the conversation.

Collective Leadership Development Work

The team is currently involved in a wide range of development work, including some sector-specific work with partner organisations.  This includes an exciting new development with Police Scotland and Local Government which will be offered over three localities from March 2021.  We are also involved in development work with Young Scot around an experiential Young System Changers programme, co-designed with young people to learn about achieving change in complex systems, as well as the inner work and human relations aspects.   

Our development work also currently involves working with groups from the Third Sector, Scottish Prison Service, Rural Social Enterprises, Education Regional Improvement Collaboratives and Head Teachers.

Alongside these developments, we continue to develop our range of offers online, and hope to make available some Hosting and Facilitation modules in the Spring of this year. 

Meantime, there are still many ways to find out more and become involved in our work and the current possibilities include:-

Please just get in touch if you would like a conversation about any of the above or about how Collective Leadership might apply in your work-place.

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