One Thing At A Time

Introduction

During this unprecedented global situation, the Collective Leadership for Scotland team has been reflecting on what its response and offer should be. Our first instinct was to rush to “do” something, but we’ve taken the opportunity to reflect, read, speak to partners and listen to
thought leaders in the system and have found an appetite for some focussed learning and practice around some key themes.
We fully recognise the fear, anxiety and overwhelm of this time and thought it would be useful for us to provide some space and time to slow down, work at depth and move away from the frenetic pace all around us. As a team, we want our response to be helpful, we want to stay present and available and to create “islands of sanity”, which are defined by Meg Wheatley as creating the safe conditions for people to do meaningful work.

Over the next couple of months, Collective Leadership for Scotland will be offering “One Thing at a Time”, creating a gentle framework for learning that is available at different levels of depth for colleagues to opt in to, as the time and opportunity permits. “One Thing at a
Time” will be an opportunity for connection with one another, to share and learn together, based around some of the really core aspects of our work. We have identified 3 initial themes of focus, starting 27 April, which you can find and sign up to below. Additionally, we make an offer of a co-inquiry group. For more information on this, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

 

There will be opportunities to learn and engage with these themes in lots of different ways, recognising the current constraints in how colleagues are working. Across our themes we will offer the following elements:

  • An initial brief input from our team, one of our partners or other thought leaders on an issue or topic or themes from collective leadership.
  • Sharing relevant stories of the work people are involved in around the issue, including our own work.
  • Introducing a related practice or practices and the opportunity to try these out.
  • Hosting a session to bring the communitiesy of learners together to connect and share what is important.
  • Curating and making available relevant resources around each theme.
  • Bringing a focus on what we are learning around the theme.

Next to the themes that have already been developed for the upcoming weeks (see below),  we aim to also consider the important themes of:

  • Deep Listening
  • Telling our Stories
  • Embracing Uncertainty and Unknowing
  • Reimagining and Creativity

We welcome input, ideas and opportunities to work with partners where there is a shared interest in particular themes. If you are interested please get in touch.

Event Calendar

All of our upcoming events from our ‘One Thing at a Time’ Programme and more at glance! 
The blue dot indicates whether there are any events on that day. Click on it to learn more about which events are on that day – and sign up to them! Scroll down further to get to the content pages for our themed weeks.

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Themed Weeks

The 3 Horizons (Week 1 & 2)

27 April - 8 May 2020

We are launching the first of our themed “One thing at a time” weeks. We will be taking some time to reflect and focus on a theory or approach that is central to the Collective Leadership work. For the next couple of weeks we’ll be focusing particularly on the 3 Horizons. This work has been produced in collaboration with Graham Leicester from the International Futures Forum.

The idea is that you can take this at your own pace and delve as deeply as you wish. You might simply want to read up a bit more, watch some YouTube clips to help you to get to grips with the 3 Horizons; you might want to take a bit more time and get involved in practising using the 3 Horizons and you may wish to participate in the offer of the 2 online live workshops; you might want to share a virtual dialogue walk with someone to talk it through in a bit more detail one to one. The level of involvement is up to you. 

Action Inquiry (Week 3 & 4)

11 May - 22 May 2020

Weeks 3 & 4 will be hosted under the theme ‘Action Inquiry’ in collaboration with Dr Cathy Sharp.
We will be adding more resources to this webpage over the coming weeks. For now, we invite you to read the reserach paper and sign up to our Reading Circles.

Cultivating a Stable Mind (Week 5 & 6)

25 May - 5 June 2020

The framing ‘A Stable Mind’ is taken from Margaret Wheatley, whose work guides this practice. By ‘Stable Mind’, Wheatley refers to how being contemplative and reflective allows us to attend to our minds (in how, and where we are).

The materials and resources have been kindly generated by many interested in mindfulness and working in different roles across public services. We invite you to gently stroll through the materials at your own pace and time but highlight some live sessions that you may want to sign up for and put in your diary.

Leading in Unknowing (Week 7 & 8)

8 June - 19 June 2020

We are delighted to be offering a series of online learning opportunities with Martin Kalungu-Banda, creating short but in-depth opportunities to learn and reflect together on our leadership at times of unknowing.

The sessions will offered as a series, with participants invited to sign up to attend all four sessions, creating a sense of progression over the two weeks. Martin will take participants through key concepts and practices of leadership in these times, with embedded opportunities to connect, practice and share experiences.

Supportive Practices

Recognising the very difficult circumstances that many colleagues are working in at present, a really important aspect of this offer is to share a range of approaches and practices that could be tried out by colleagues, either individually, in pairs or small groups. These might create a route for reflection, support and connection or might simply create an opportunity to try something new and have a different experience.

We have made a range of resources available to provide colleagues with simple guidance and information on how to get involved. Have a look at them now!

An Invitation to Co-Inquiry

Are you interested in joining a co-inquiry group which will run over the next 6 weeks?

As we introduce our Themed weeks the Collective Leadership for Scotland team members have been formulating some inquiry questions for ourselves as we move through this pandemic season.
Part of the reason for developing the questions is that we wanted to bring to the fore the role of action inquiry in our work and take some time to engage in the practice of learning in real time for ourselves and as a team in this unique set of circumstances. Our intention is to use the questions as a frame for 1st person inquiry (How am I…?) and co-inquiry (2nd person) (How are we…?). 

Our inquiry questions

  • How am I/are we learning to slow down, bring quietness and steadiness to my/our situation and enable deeper levels of reflection?
  • How am I/are we being present for others, in service of the work that needs doing?
  • How am I/are we sustaining collective leadership and whole system working at a time when the crisis response is so dominant and requires significant elements of command and control?

We are using this time for action inquiry:

  • As a Team,  as prompts for personal and co-inquiry in our team time each week  to explore what we’re finding as we inquire individually, keeping a few notes as we go through the week as a reflective practice and gather our co-reflections as they emerge. We will record them either on a shared document or someone will start by writing down their thoughts and then circulate out to the others in the team who will add their own reflections to the one document until we have captured our collective reflections including any artefacts, photos, poems, art etc.
  • As a wider co-inquiry group for anyone who would like to be part of this.

If you are interested in joining the co-inquiry group, the commitment would be to:

  • Notice what you are drawn to or particularly curious about in your life right now.
  • Select all or one of the questions that particularly resonate with you, or reflect and craft an inquiry question or questions of your own. 
  • Keep a reflective log over the next 6 weeks. Your reflective log might include writing, photos, poetry, art or any other artefacts you might want to incorporate. 
  • Join with the other co-inquirers at least a couple of times via Zoom to share reflections and learning. 
  • (you are very welcome to use the questions personally and not join the co-inquiry)

The co-inquiry group is there to support participation by creating a space that makes it easier to become aware of the question(s) that feel particularly important. Slowing down, distilling your own thoughts and noticing what is drawing your attention and sharing with co-inquirers. 

How this fits with the themed weeks

We will be giving some slow consideration to Action Inquiry in the second themed sessions, but there will also be opportunity use the learning from the first Theme, The 3 Horizons, as a scoping and reflective tool. The third Theme of Developing a Stable Mind will also fit well with the inquiry questions. 

If you would be interested in taking part in this co-inquiry, please let Dot know. (Dorothy.mclaughlin@gov.scot )

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