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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.

What I Now Know About Lighting Fires

The Fire Starter Festival 2017 drew to a close last month after 35 events which attracted around 1500 participants. Over the coming months we’ll reflect on the evaluations, and have many conversations about what went well, what could have been better, what inspired people, and what actions have been taken to light some small fires of change.  As the inspiration for the festival came from the Seven Steps for Lighting Small Fires of Change, I thought I would share seven things I now know about lighting fires and what it takes to light a Fire Starter Festival.

It’s all about trust… isn’t it?

glass

“If you don’t know what to do, there’s actually a
chance of doing something new.” Philip Glass

“It’s basically about trust”

“What is?”

“Well, everything. Strip out the buzz words – ‘transforming public service’, ‘open government’, ‘co-production’ – it basically all boils down to building trust doesn’t it?”

“Well yes I suppose so”

“EXACTLY! Scratch the surface, every story of positive change worth its salt … has building and sustaining trust at its core – the leaders who earned it; the friends and colleagues who are sustained by it even when things get tough; the organisations that go out of their way to create the conditions for it”.

“And so…?”

“So why then do I get the feeling so many of us are confused about what it is and how to build it? Why isn’t it at the top of everyone’s job description (who works in public service)? What is getting in the way?”

“And so what are you going to do about it then…?”

“Well good point I suppose I’ll have a think”

That is pretty much a summary of a few different conversations I had at an event called ‘Shaping Scotland’ in November 2016. The event was run by the same team who run an online change course called ‘Ulab’ (see www.ulabscot.com) which thousands of people across the world do every autumn.

A week later, I saw how I could try something out.

Breakfast Club – Don’t you forget about us!

The breakfast club had been meeting for about six months now and we thought it might be timely to remind you when we meet and what we meet for!

coffeeThe 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!

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…