We had the first of our public service facilitators network events on Wednesday 18th May, to test out whether there’s an appetite for such a network and what could it look like.
Facilitating a room full of facilitators from across diverse areas of public service is quite an energising thought! However from the outset both my co-facilitator Dot McLaughlin and myself were clear that we were providing a structure for the day and relying on the wealth of talent, interest and enthusiasm of those in the room. This was very much co-production and co-delivery in action!
Now seemed a good time to share a bit of what we are learning on this journey into collaboration, co-design and co-production, and highlight a couple of upcoming events that have grown out of that learning.
What is abundantly clear is that we are all working in a rapidly changing and complex landscape. A revolution in public service is underway, but is there more of a sense of improvisation rather than a well-orchestrated dismantle or restructure?
Day 5 of the Fire Starter Festival was an opportunity for colleagues from across public services to come together and try out some of our Workforce Scotland tools. Janet Whitley, Workforce Scotland lead, blogs for us about two of those tools: the Enabling Collaborative Leadership Pioneer Programme and the Dialogue Community of Practice.
We began with a taster of the Enabling Collaborative Leadership Pioneer Programme, which is an offer to work with collaborative teams (‘Pioneer Sites’) across public services on real work issues where there is a need to find different kinds of solutions to complex challenges. The approach is built around a core model of action inquiry, supported through a team of facilitators and a shared commitment to learning as we go.
For me, hearing some of the stories from the collaborative teams that we have been working with really brings the programme to life. This approach has made a real difference to how they have worked and the outcomes they have achieved.
Colleagues from the Musselburgh Pioneer Site shared some of their experience of working with families who were intensive users of multiple services, beginning with the questions: “What is it like to be in this family?” and “What is it like to be me as a practitioner working with this family?” This approach has really changed how they’re thinking about this work.
‘Days of Danger’ have come to Scottish Government!
I’m sure every day, is a day of danger for someone in Government but these particular days were created to stimulate and identify ideas that could challenge our thinking and orthodoxies of working in a large organisation, such as the Scottish Government. We asked “What is your dangerous idea for the Government as an organisation that we work in?”
Thanks to everyone who got in touch about Enabling Collaborative Leadership Pioneer Programme and also to share their stories about collaboration.
It’s now a month since I started as programme manager for Pioneer, and an apt time (as any) to reflect on what I know now, or rather what I have begun to inquire into.
Collaboration lies at the heart of the programme and I don’t think anyone would disagree that in these complex times, with less public resources, and a desire for a fairer society and better outcomes for all, that’s it’s not a good thing.