Leadership Exchange – Don’t Miss Out!

Application Deadline – 29 September 2017 – apply now

We welcome you to apply to the next application round of our FREE Leadership Exchange Programme.  The initiative pairs leaders at middle, senior and executive levels to offer them brief cross sectoral exchanges to learn from each other, develop an understanding of other sectors, encourage collaborative working and improve leadership skill capacity.

Over the last 5 years, we have matched over 260 leaders across public, private and third sectors, including representatives from; Scottish Government, Local Authorities, NHS, Scottish Natural Heritage, various Scottish Universities and Colleges, Local and National Charities, Police Scotland, Scottish Prison Service,  and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.  With individuals from more organisations engaging with our programme every week, we can offer a wide range of exchange and sector experiences for all our participants.

We received 41 new applications in February, our first cohort this year, and look forward to exceeding this number in September.

New-LEx-branding-image smallSome of the key programme benefits include:

  • Insight into a different sector – its culture, language and environment
  • Seeing the challenges other leaders experience
  • Offering a fresh perspective on your own leadership role
  • Gaining peer support and the opportunity to share best practice
  • Developing your own leadership skills
  • Building relationships and connections in another sector
  • Collaborative partnership working potential

Testimonials from previous participants include:

“It’s a refreshing way to take time from the day to day of your organisation’s operations to reflect, share and learn from a leader from a different sector – outcomes on both sides are very positive.” (Geoff Leask, Chief Executive, Young Enterprise Scotland)

“Having people working together from different organisations and backgrounds is an incredible enabler of learning.  I would recommend the programme to anyone who genuinely wants to develop their professional practise. ” (Ian Elliot, MPA Co-Director & Senior Lecturer in Business & Public Services, Queen Margaret University)

“You’re not going to get many opportunities like this one, so I would take it right now.” (Louise Macdonald OBE, Chief Executive, Young Scot)

To find out more about the programme, watch our videos, phone Phili Wetton on 0131 243 2755 or email phili.wetton@acosvo.org.uk.

To apply in time for the 29th September deadline you can complete the short online application.

“I Know Your Dad Isn’t Really With Us”

As 30 May – 4 June is Dementia Awareness Week in Scotland, Karen Lawson, Programme Lead for our Pioneering Collaborative Leadership Programme, wanted to share her own experiences of dementia care, and reflect on what this means for how we can approach public services in Scotland.

 

“I know your Dad isn’t really with us.”

dementia blog1These were the words my cousin wrote to me in relation to my dad and his dementia. Of course, I knew what she meant, but it doesn’t really convey the complexity of what life is like for my dad or the changing relationship of those who are close to someone with dementia.

This is Dementia Awareness week, so I thought I would share a personal story that I hope conveys that each person who has dementia is unique and needs support and care tailored to their individual strengths, interests and needs.

Breakfast Club – new Edinburgh dates added!

We have new dates in the diary right through to 2018 for our Edinburgh Breakfast Club! We meet on the second Wednesday of every month at the Starbucks, Leith Street in Edinburgh – though we are open to recommendations of any good central Edinburgh cafes and coffee shops that can accommodate our lively conversations!

The breakfast club is open to anyone who sees them self as a ‘mischief maker’. Do you like to try new things at work? Do you like to question process to make improvements? Do you try and bring more fun and creativity into what you do? Or do you just want to meet people who are doing this and more at work?

Then the breakfast club is for you!

Topics for discussions range widely – they are always dependant on who turns up and what has sparked their interest and imagination that day! No matter the topic the conversations are always engaging, interesting and insightful. The breakfast club has given us all a great opportunity to expand our networks and our horizons –  whether we are regulars or just occasional visitors.‎ When times are hard and we are all feeling a range of pressures at work, it’s empowering to meet with others in similar roles and situations to share our experiences and stories.

The breakfast club will be meeting at , on the following dates‎ – follow @Workforce_scot for regular updates:

  • 14 June 2017 – 8.30 – 10 am
  • 12 July 2017 – 8.30 – 10 am
  • 9 August  2017 – 8.30 – 10 am
  • 13 September  2017 – 8.30 – 10 am
  • 11 October 2017 – 8.30 – 10 am
  • 8 November  2017 – 8.30 – 10 am
  • 13 December  2017 – 8.30 – 10 am
  • 10 January 2018 – 8.30 – 10 am
  • 14 February 2018 – 8.30 – 10 am

 

We’re also looking to set up a Glasgow Breakfast Club. If you might be interested in helping us get it started, email info@workforcescotland.com.

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

Fire Starter Update

With the Fire Starter Festival rapidly approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to start a monthly blog, to keep all of our sparks and fire starters up to date with all the latest news and events. For our first post we have some stories from people who have attended some of the taster events we have been running over the last few months, as well as information on some of the big events we have planned for the actual Fire Starter Festival in January 2017. We’ll also share a breakdown of exactly how you, your friends and your networks can get involved and become fire starters!

If anything in this blog sparks your interest please email us. We are always keen to share stories, blogs and other fire starters events.

 Karen and Kirsty, Chief Fire Starters


A 21st Century Public Service – Launching the Fire Starter Festival

The conversations we have had with people all across public services whilst planning and scoping events and opportunities for Fire Starter Festival seem to have all drawn on a core theme – that of transforming our public services for the future.

Recent research – including ‘The 21st Century Public Servant’ – indicates a paradigm shift in public service: one characterised by services co-designed with citizens and with a far greater emphasis on experimentation, improvisation  and collaborations.
The Fire Starter Festival provides an opportunity to explore this shift in paradigm. It is unique in that it is being co-produced by services themselves, illuminating the ways in which we are already changing: the small fires that have been kindled; the learning about how these are impacting on professional identity; as well as considering the bonfires of practices and procedures that no longer serve us well. The aim is to inquire into what is happening, as it happens, with openness and curiosity, and a willingness to use the learning to shape the future of public service.
To ignite the Fire Starter Festival we will be holding a launch event looking at the idea of a 21st Century Public Service, hearing stories and examples from people and services already trying these new ideas. Registration for this event is now open. If you have a story that you think you might like to share at the event, please contact Karen.



Breakfast Club

If you’re looking for a place where people understand that you’re trying to do something different and can give you moral support, and possibly practical help, the Fire Starter Breakfast Club might be it.  Photograph of Breakfast Club attendees

The Breakfast Club is a monthly space for all fire-starters, quiet disruptors and system-shakers, risk-takers, rebels with a cause and civil disobedience makers. You may see yourself as all or none of these things but that doesn’t matter. It’s not about the labels, it’s about the work.
If you want to find out a little more about how the breakfast club works, Keira Oliver has written a short blog on the last meeting. If you fancy joining in the Breakfast Club you can join us:

  • 9 Nov 2016, 8.30 – 10.00  – Starbucks, Leith Street (near the Omni Centre)
  • 14 Dec 2016, 8.30 – 10.00  – Starbucks, Leith Street (near the Omni Centre)
  • 11 Jan 2016, 8.30 – 10.00  – Starbucks, Leith Street (near the Omni Centre)

Walking Westport to Westerhailes

Over the last few months we have had lots of meetings and taster sessions with people from all across the public service landscape in Scotland. These meetings have really helped us to understand your ideas and the kind of work you are doing. The taster sessions have also been a catalyst for new ideas and events.

20161003_090128.jpgElaine Lawther, NHS Education for Scotland, Lorraine Gillies, Audit Scotland and Pete White, Positive Prisons, all met at our first taster session in August. By the end of the day they had started planning a walk for the festival. Elaine shares their story with us below:

Thanks to the Firestarter Festival, three very different organisations are coming together to explore the links between communities, civic space, public service and how money is spent and counted!  Positive Prison Positive Futures, NHS Education for Scotland and Audit Scotland are hosting a walk from the shiny offices of Westport, along the Edinburgh canalside to Westerhailes.

Come rain or shine, the walk will invite individuals to draw on their observations across the miles, exploring the link between their roles in the finance community, the civic and public spaces they walk through and the people they meet along the way. 

The aim is to set fire to narrow definitions of value, community and outcomes that may result in short term decision making and limited civic engagement.  Although the event, scheduled for Tuesday 24th January, has a focus on financial governance, it will be of interest to anyone who wants to explore and shape the connections between the communities we live in and support, and how our performance is measured and valued in our public management frameworks.”


Registration for this event is now live. 


Host a Fire Starter Festival Event

There are examples of innovative work happening all across Scotland. We hope that you will join our festival and host your own event to share what you’re doing.
We are hosting a few events during the Fire Festival, but we’re really keen for others to catch the sparks and create their own small fires of change.
You may have an event already planned for January 2017 which could be ‘badged’ as part of the Festival, or you may want to host a bespoke event on a theme or topic that aligns to our ethos. This short guide outlines some of the benefits of hosting a Fire Starter Event.
If you would like some help thinking through how you and your organisation could get involved please email Karen.Lawson@gov.scot or Kirsty.Merriman@gov.scot


Sparks and Kindling

We have already had a number of people and organisations, from Shetland to the Borders, contact us with events and ideas that they want to share during Fire Starter Festival. Below is just a small sampling of some of the sparks and kindling already emerging. If you have a similar idea, or want to connect into one of those below, please contact Kirsty.

  • Human Library – looking at equality and diversity through personal stories
  • 100 Stories of Co-production
  • Bonfire of Performance Measures
  • Playing with Fire – playful facilitation methods
  • TeachMeets – sharing innovation in education
  • ‘Sparks’ Education reform
  • Pathways to Prosperity – looking at economy and how we work
  • Participatory Budgeting

All Fire Starter events can be found on our EventBrite page. Events are being added on a weekly basis, and we will send out further updates as the programme for the festival shapes up.

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!

 facil pic

You and your friends are invited to find out more about U.Lab…

Want to know about what is happening with U.Lab in Scotland in 2016? Have a read of the #ULabScot blog and check out the taster events running in May and June!

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/ulab-scotland-10483928357

u.lab Scotland

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Do you know of someone who you think would get a lot out of participating in U.Lab later this year?  Perhaps they’ve heard about it but have some questions before deciding whether to participate this September?

Well, a number of amazing ulabscot folks from across Scotland have decided to host their own taster events and you (or a friend) can now book a space here.

There are still a number of events to go up on the page so if you don’t see one that suits, please keep an eye out for more coming soon.

Last year, the number of people who knew about U.Lab was relatively small.  So we held three big events over the summer to start a conversation about whether U.Lab would be helpful for people in Scotland. As over 900 people registered for the course last September, there are now many more people who have experienced U.Lab for…

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