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!

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…

How do you light your fire?

This is a question that seemed to dominate my holiday with my new (to me) camper van as my partner and I weaved our way through the Highlands.

Lighting fires isn’t just a lovely addition to a camping holiday, it’s a necessity to ward of the millions of midges intent of eating campers alive. However it is my favourite pastime, and one that I have been giving a lot of thought to both in terms of the practical skills needed to light fires but also metaphorically in relation to public service transformation and leadership and what it takes to create and sustain change: the underpinning aim of the Fire Starter Festival.

There were several things that occurred to me when walking around camping sites and beaches about fire starting. Everyone has their own techniques in terms of preparation – the styles of laying the foundations for fires are diverse and somewhat related to future purposes. Is it a fire that lots of people will be sitting around, or one for cooking, hence the use of flat stones or one where the stones will be used later on for warming up the inside of a tent (my own personal tip for wild camping)?  There was also a much admired technique of building a wall of slightly damp wood around the fire that both acted as a shelter and a means of drying out the wood. Neat. So, having a sense of what purposes your fire may serve is essential but also recognising that these can change over the course of an evening – keep it going to ward of midges.

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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