Are we working well together?

I often ask myself ‘is this worthwhile work?’ And this guest blog for Space Unlimited is some part of a response; it describes a recent highlight of a stimulating week when I took part in a Space Unlimited Lasting Change event that brought young people and teachers from different schools together to explore how to engage and sustain young people to be genuine and active partners in learning.  They have a great deal to teach those of us interested in how to develop collaborative leadership practices that might produce better outcomes for people and communities.

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The facilitation of relationship centred practice and appreciative inquiry

Facilitation for developing effective relationship-centred practice

Excited to be co-facilitating this course again in March and April 2017.

University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton Campus
30-31 March and 27 April 2017

This course is for people who wish to develop more facilitative leadership practices for themselves and within their wider organisations.

Likely to be particularly useful for action researchers and practice developers, it is also suitable for people working with complex change and organisational development in private and public sector services, such as NHS health and social care professionals, as well as teachers and academics engaged in facilitation of learning with student groups, people working in community development and the voluntary sector.

If you are interested in how to lead and support change with colleagues and teams, do consider coming along.

Posted in appreciative inquiry, Co-production and new ways of working, Courses and events, leadership, Partnership working, What is action research? | Comments Off on The facilitation of relationship centred practice and appreciative inquiry

Is this the best it can be?

I’ve very much enjoyed being involved in the development of this new toolkit for Creative Scotland. The ideas and approaches were developed from desk research and  action research, with seven pilot partnerships of artists, partners and participants using the tools  and sharing learning.  It was fascinating to be engrossed in the challenges of translating principles derived from research into best practice, into useful and practical tools that arts organisations and their partners would actually want to use.

This toolkit aims to open up conversation within partnerships about what is important and what can  be improved. It doesn’t try to define or limit an understanding of what ‘good work’ is.   Rather it aims to help those using the tools to openly discuss what they’re doing – asking themselves, and all those they work with, to think about whether they can do what they do in better ways. The goal is to encourage  a culture of reflection and continuous improvement.  In this respect it’s relevant for many partnerships situations where people need to develop mutual understandings of what they have come together to do.

Posted in leadership, Participatory research methods, Partnership working, Research Impact, Stories, What is action research? | Comments Off on Is this the best it can be?

Participative transformation?

I have recently written a book review of Participative transformation learning and development in practising change, by Roger Klev and Morten Levin in the Journal Action Learning:  Research and Practice, 2015

They propose that given the challenges of the uncertainty in which we live, there is a need for learning processes that support and develop the practice of leading change, not by copying recipes or methods, but by being able to create collective reflections around our own and others’ experiences.

So, it’s highly relevant to discussions about developing a ‘Scottish Model’ of learning and change, leadership development and the challenges of health and social care integration.

I hope that their book and my appreciative critique of it can contribute.

The first 50 people who download it through this link will be able to do so for free.

http://bit.ly/1CQ14xa

 

Posted in Co-production and new ways of working, How can evaluation be useful?, leadership, Partnership working, Research Impact, What is action research? | Comments Off on Participative transformation?

Calling time on ancedotal evidence….

I notice my irritation rising whenever someone refers to ‘anecdotal evidence’. As if people are saying the evidence is merely anecdotal. It’s unreliable and based on hearsay. It doesn’t count for much. And so often, such remarks are made in a situation where what we are actually discussing is people’s lived experience, of those who use public services or who work in them….Guest blog at the Alliance for Useful Evidence

Posted in Co-production and new ways of working, How can evaluation be useful?, living systems research, Participatory research methods, Research Impact, Stories, What is action research? | Comments Off on Calling time on ancedotal evidence….

Yoland Wadsworth Book Group launched

You are invited to join a new book group to Yoland Wadsworth’s book Building in Research and Evaluation Human Inquiry for Living Systems. Allen and Unwin 2011  More here at http://livingsystemsresearch.com/

All details still to be agreed – but we expect that this will probably meet every 4-6 weeks or so on 5-6 occasions.  Probably in Edinburgh (although could be Glasgow too); probably 8-10 people. Offers of room space welcome also.   No charge but you’ll need to buy the book and we might need a donation if there’s a room hire fee.   Given that interest in this is likely to be wider than the numbers actually able to commit to attending I imagine we might also commit to sharing our learning more widely, including blogging and social media.

 Please reply to Cathy info@research-for-real.co.uk by Monday 3rd November stating clearly

a) if you’re interested in direct participation or b) want to be kept in the loop on a wider circulation list.

Please bring this to the attention of any others who might be interested.

Posted in Co-production and new ways of working, Courses and events, How can evaluation be useful?, living systems research, Participatory research methods, Partnership working, Research Impact, Stories, What is action research? | Comments Off on Yoland Wadsworth Book Group launched

Caring conversations in action

Taking time to hear the stories that matter to matter pays off in the long run…it’s just the way we do things round here.7A

 

Asking for feedback can feel a bit embarrassing but we find the courage because it’s good to know what works well.

32A

 

 

We see inequalities sensitive practice as more than providing equality of care to clients.   We stay curious and find a way to ask what people need. 

28A

 

 

These are just three positive practice pointers that were developed in a recent Inequalities Sensitive Practice inquiry involved practitioners working in early years, homelessness and primary care mental health settings in North East Glasgow.

A strong message from the inquiry is that inequalities sensitive practice is about more than whether services are providing ‘equality of care’ to clients, patients or service users.  It is also about professional practice, the daily business of how staff interact with the people they work with – their clients and with each other.   Read more here about how using caring conversations helped to uncover the good practice under the radar.

Posted in Co-production and new ways of working, How can evaluation be useful?, living systems research, Participatory research methods, Partnership working, Research Impact, Stories, What is action research? | Comments Off on Caring conversations in action

Research as if people were human

I’m delighted to be a guest blogger for IRISS this week.  This post talks about how stories energise and restore people’s connections with each other and what they care about, so motivating people to work together.  Action research – a truly humane approach to inquiry

Posted in Co-production and new ways of working, How can evaluation be useful?, living systems research, Participatory research methods, Partnership working, Research Impact, Stories, What is action research? | Comments Off on Research as if people were human

Appreciative dialogue – co-production in action

Here’s a new article on appreciative dialogue by Belinda Dewar and Cathy Sharp.

We discuss the role of appreciative dialogue in facilitation of practice development and action research. There’s not much guidance about the ‘how’ of facilitation – here we highlight one really valuable approach – the 7Cs of Caring Conversations.  We’re finding that this is a great way to:

  • Get feedback about what is working well as a basis for forward development and motivation.
  • Provide a framework for questioning and co-analysis that helps to share the role of facilitation and supports the development of inquiry skills.
  • Promotes active engagement in service design and delivery of staff and clients, service users or patients.  It’s co-production in action.

Our current work uses this approach with a wide range of practitioners including those who work in Care Homes, mental health practitioners, health visitors and those working with homeless people and in the wider voluntary sector.  The scope is wide and there are forthcoming fuller reports on how this approach is being used, so watch this space.

The journal is free but you will need to register to access it.

International Practice Development Journal

Appreciative dialogue for co-facilitation in action research and practice development

 

 

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Better by Design

Research for Real has been selected, in partnership with Animate, to act as a Learning Partner to the Young Foundation and Taylor Haig in the 2 year BIG funded project Better by Design, which will be supporting 15 voluntary organisations in Scotland to review their work using design principles.  More to follow soon.

Posted in Co-production and new ways of working, How can evaluation be useful?, Partnership working, Research Impact, Uncategorized, What is action research? | Comments Off on Better by Design