Week 3-4: Action Inquiry

Introduction to Week 3 - 4

Welcome to Weeks 3 & 4, which are hosted under the theme ‘Action Inquiry’ in collaboration with Dr Cathy Sharp.

We invite you to read the reserach paper ‘Collective Leadership: Where Nothing is Clear and Everything Keeps Changing. Exploring new territories for evaluation’, which Cathy authored for us in 2018. You can find this paper below. Please also watch our Action Inquiry animation.

Navigating with Action Inquiry - Animation

“Have you ever wondered if there might be a better way to work together? Perhaps you would like to find ways to avoid habits, or patterns of behaviour, that whilst you say you don’t like them, you seem unable to escape.”

Written & narrated by Cathy Sharp (Research for Real) and animated by Keira Oliver (Collective Leadership for Scotland) and her son (10yr) in an animation-sprint style (created quickly, but with care), this film summarises the ideas and practices of action inquiry. It introduces a set of statements designed to stretch, challenge and encourage us to talk about these ideas to find better ways to work together.

Reading Circles

In collaboration with Cathy Sharp, we hosted two reading circles as part of our two Action Inquiry weeks. A recording of part of the second reading circle has been recorded and you can watch it below.

Further Resources on Action Inquiry

Please have a look at our separate Action Inquiry resources webpage.
If you would like to read our research paper ‘Where nothing is clear and everything keeps changing’, please keep scrolling down.

Where Nothing is Clear and Everthing Keeps Changing

Our Collective Leadership paper, authored by Cathy Sharp (2018), reviews some of the interrelated concepts that underpin Collective Leadership and public service reform, through embedding action inquiry. Action Inquiry is not a prescriptive process, but it is about conducting action and inquiry as a leadership practice, that increases the effectiveness of actions now. Here, Cathy offers a way of understanding how we might practice change in environments where nothing is clear.

You can also download the paper here.