Leadership and Facilitation Programme

Next Programme runs 2-4 November 2021 Online

“This was the most amazing course I have ever been on in my 17yrs in Public Sector.
It challenged me and took me to a depth of work that I never expected but was very open to.
I am truly honoured to have been part of such a wonderful group of people from Scotland that took part. ”

Clair Thomson, Police Scotland

The complexity of the challenges we face today across society including issues like enduring poverty and inequality and climate breakdown calls for a different response from public service leaders: a collective leadership approach to bring about transformational changes where answers emerge from collective sense-making. This type of leadership requires self-awareness, the ability to suspend judgement, work in uncertainty and to surface and work with diverse perspectives. Leaders who have in their sights on the health of the whole system not just their organisation or area of responsibility, who can build relationships through deep listening and learn through taking action and reflecting.

There is an increasing appreciation that this is challenging work and therefore requires skilled support and new ways of learning to do this well. Key to shifting to this way of working is to have skillful facilitation embedded with groups of leaders who are seeking to bring about change in real, specific, complex challenges.  There is also recognition that leaders need to develop the capacity to understand their role in whole systems and become more relational and facilitative in their leadership practice.

To meet this expanding need, Collective Leadership for Scotland has developed a Collective Leadership offer, drawing and strengthening connections to other systems leadership offers in public services.

New Collective Leadership for Scotland Strategy Model.
To learn more about us, have a look here.

Facilitation for Collective Leadership – Thought Piece Mini-Series
For a long time we have struggled to articulate the process of facilitation that we believe to be important when working with collective leadership groups tackling complex issues. This art of facilitation doesn’t just lie with those who have a title of ‘facilitator’ but is also key to leadership practice. Over the next few months we will be sharing experiences and thinking around facilitation in complexity, with the view that we can tentatively make the “intuitive, tacit and unconscious” ways of knowing more visible.

Leadership & Facilitation Programme

As part of the development of this Collective Leadership offer, we are bringing experienced facilitators and leaders together for an online programme to deepen their own leadership/facilitation practices.

Who we are looking for:

This programme will not be focussed on learning technical tools and techniques.  It will be about cultivating greater insight in the use of self within the group experience, creating  the conditions for groups to learn and take better action together.  This programme will be best suited to those who have some experience of working with complexity and are open to reflecting on their own practice and willing to share their learning.

The programme will take place online, 2-4 November 2021. The programme is free of charge. Should it be held as a residential, there will be a fee attached for the accomodation. 

The ask

Of Facilitators

On completion of the programme, you will be willing and able (with any necessary permissions) to facilitate at least one sustained intervention with a group of collective leaders seeking to address a real, complex cross-partnership problem. This could be a group that you have already been working with or supporting.   Allocation of work will be done in conjunction with a member of the Collective Leadership for Scotland team after a supportive discussion with you about your readiness. Facilitation is focussed upon the real, complex work that teams are doing and so there is not one model that works for all teams.  As a guide, however, participation as a facilitator in the Collective Leadership site may involve working for around 6 to 12 months with a team on the complex issue they are trying to address.  This could be a pattern of monthly meetings with the partnership team, where the real work is done, but where some time is also set aside to focus on what is being learned about the process of collective leadership and the wider system. Ongoing support will be provided throughout this period by members of the Collective Leadership for Scotland Team

Of Leaders

For those in a leadership role the expectation would be that, following the programme, you would actively implement the learning in your work, with a particular focus on complex issues which require a collective leadership approach. This would mean taking up an explicitly systemic and inquiring stance to your work. The opportunities for this would be discussed prior to the programme and consultancy for this work would be provided by the Collective Leadership for Scotland Team.

Please note, this programme is still available to those who wish to develop their facilitation or leadership practice but are not able to offer their time to the Collective Leadership Programme. 

Please feel free to contact collectiveleadership@gov.scot to discuss your options if you aren’t clear about which route is best for you.

Application to Programme

All candidates for the programme are required to complete the application process. Read more on the application process below.

Applications for this cohort will be open until 11 October 2021. Should you have any questions please contact collectiveleadership@gov.scot

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