Type of Fellowship: Specialist
Year of Fellowship: 2015
Resilient Economies Fellow (Friends Provident Foundation)
How has the start of your Fellowship been, Julia?
I have been focussed on meeting those in the Clore Social network, having coaching on secondment opportunities, developing new project ideas, and also continuing to read lots: everything from organisational self management, to coaching books and the power of storytelling. I've done some training on Influencing, Systems Thinking and have just started an eight week course on Mindfulness which I'm really excited about. I can feel it making me uncomfortable, which is a good feeling!
What has been your greatest challenge so far?
I'm still not sure what I want my next role to be, and so have been struggling a bit to work out how to use the opportunities through Clore Social most strategically. In spite of this I feel clearer about my passions, my strengths and the projects I'm interested in doing over the next year, which is a good start. The thinking space and networks provided by the programme have been incredibly helpful in pushing me towards this focus.
How has your leadership been having an impact on those you work with or for?
I have started developing a new idea for a training programme aimed at local government leaders which would bring together NEF's (New Economics Foundation, where Julia is a Senior Researcher and Programme Manager on Social Policy) work on systemic economic change. I've started discussing the idea with a range of people at NEF, and outside, including a former Clore Social fellow who has expressed an interest in piloting the project. This project wouldn't have started without Clore Social!
I also have more confidence and direction in my Chairing of the Redbridge Fairness Commission, which is an initiative to tackle poverty and inequality in Redbridge. I am focusing more on how to make the recommendations strategic, specific and meaningful.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I've introduced coaching into my one-to-ones with those I line manage. My team has noticed the shift and it has definitely improved the quality of our relationships and the support I can offer them. I'm thinking much more about networks and how to use them to influence social and economic change.
What pearls of wisdom have you received from your fellow Fellows?
When I met with Sanjiv (Lingayah, 2014 Fellow), he suggested I think carefully about why I might resist certain paths or opportunities. This has stuck with me when I have an instant aversion to something - whether it is a person or a project. A helpful challenge!
How would you sum up the Fellowship so far?
Energising, inspiring and challenging. I can feel myself moving forwards with greater confidence and conviction on new initiatives which I would not previously have had the courage or thinking space to consider. The last few months feels like a leap - in a very exciting direction.
Current principal role: Manager, Social policy and diversity
Current principal organisation: The GLA
Other leadership role 1: Lay member, patient and public involvement
Other organisation 1: Tower Hamlets CCG
Other leadership role 2: Coach and action learning set facilitator
Research: The impact of think tanks
Secondment host: Cabinet Office, social action team
Secondment host 2: Frameworks institute