Dialogue Update

The National Dialogue Community of Practice (DCoP) met and had a productive session on the 15 November at the COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh. Sharon Millar, Principal Lead Organisational and Leadership Development at NHS Education for Scotland, opened the session, reviewing the DCoP journey so far and the recent evaluation carried out by Marie Laidig from Insight Expedition. See Sharon’s insights on the session below.

Our Steering Group Needs You!

At the session, we decided to form a steering group of between 8-10 members of the DCoP to keep the drive for dialogue to support people through system wide transformation of public services.

The commitment of Steering Group members would be:

  • Contribute to quarterly meetings: face-to-face, telephone or Skype (locations will suit the membership)
  • Plan and shape events on behalf of the dialogue community
  • Guide the overall direction of the different strands of DCoP activity and their contribution towards national outcomes
  • Network and connect the DCoP with other relational based networks, groups and practitioners

A festival of fire and ice

As winter arrives, many of us are drawn to the magic of making fires. Personally I love this time of year. There is something about the stark beauty of the landscape, stripped back and illuminated by winter sun, with breath taking glistening frost. It feels elemental in the way that fire, light and dark play with our senses, providing an opportunity to take stock, reflect, let go and prepare for what emerges in the new year.

The upcoming Fire Starter Festival  provides an opportunity for us to share what we personally and collectively what we want to leave behind, and share some of the small fires of change we have ignited. And given that we are holding it in the last week in January (23rd – 30th) there is a strong chance of snow and ice as well as all of our fires! fire-snow

Already we have fourteen events open for registration, with the same number almost ready to be ignited. It’s wonderful to see the energy and enthusiasm of so many colleagues across public services, evidencing a paradigm shift in how we collectively share ideas, resources, and reimagine the future of public services in Scotland.

Here’s a small sample of what’s on offer but please do check out the Eventbrite Page and watch as the small fires of change emerge over the next few weeks.

Why host a Fire Starter event?

As you may now know, between 23rd and 30th January 2017, Workforce Scotland will be hosting and supporting the Fire Starter Festival, a week-long festival of collaborative learning events, illuminating creative, disruptive and innovative ways in which we can all transform ourselves, our organisations and the wider system.


fire-starter-poster-1We are now just over two months away from the launch of Fire Starter Festival and events are constantly being added to our EventBrite page. Look out for a newsletter in early December to formally launch the festival programme!


Over the last few months, we’ve been out and about, speaking to lots of different individuals, groups and organisations who have expressed an interest in hosting an event during the Fire Starter Festival.


If you are still on the fence about hosting your own event, maybe we can convince you to join in…

Workforce Scotland Newsletter – Fire Starter Festival

The latest Workforce Scotland Newsletter is now out! Click here to sign up for the newsletter, or read below to catch up on all our latest events and offerings.

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Fire Starter Festival 23 – 30 January 2017

Between 23rd and 30th January 2017, Workforce Scotland will be hosting and supporting the Fire Starter Festival, a week-long festival of collaborative learning events, illuminating creative, disruptive and innovative ways in which we can all transform ourselves, our organisations and the wider system.

fire picThe First Minister has provided a clear commitment to empowering individuals and communities to become involved in designing public services. Many people across Scotland are currently lighting their own small fires by exploring genuine, participatory methods of engagement, creating innovative and transformative changes.


Public Service Facilitators Network – facilitating the emerging future

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!

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Dangerous Ideas and Starting fires…

‘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?”

Why a Day of Danger? What is a Dangerous idea?

Pioneer Peer Learning Network – 30 November 2015

A major element of the Enabling Collaborative Leadership Pioneer Programme is sharing the learning from the Pioneer Sites through a Peer Learning Network which is programmed to meet three times during this year of learning.

The first Peer Learning Network meeting happened in June 2015. Our focus was hearing stories from people who helped develop the initiative. Those who came also generated lots of questions, which we grouped into themes which began to show the hot issues that many of us are eager to delve into together as we learn about ‘what works’ in collaborative leadership.

On 30th November, you are warmly invited to come along to our next Peer Learning Network, from 1.00pm – 4.30pm, at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh.

Our intention is to build on the buzz, and themes of our first gathering, in ways that welcome newcomers, share recent news and thinking. This will hopefully help us all to then delve into some of those hot or tricky issues by learning directly from the experience of people working in pioneer sites. As before, our focus will be on stories – sharing our own, hearing others, and practising story-telling as a practice of action inquiry. Expect a content and networking-rich event – sign up soon to secure your place. We will be hearing from Pioneer Sites, like the Musselburgh Total Place Project on how Enabling Collaborative Leadership has helped them so far.

The Musselburgh Total Place Project have been actively inquiring into families experiences of receiving public services. Using a variety of methods they have been considering two key questions:

– What is like to “me” in this family? What does it offer me?
– What is like to be a practitioner working with this family?

At our Enabling Collaborative Leadership Peer Learning Event on 30th November we will be hearing from members of the Board, and the Project team and the facilitators about what it’s like to be part of the Pioneer Programme and what difference this has made. By working collaboratively what ideas have emerged and what might they do differently?

This is a fantastic opportunity to hear about their learning journey and engage in conversations with peers about pioneering work in working collaboratively.

To register for the Peer Learning Network please click the button below.