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Ruth Marvel

Ruth Marvel

Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2012

Update Autumn 2012

The last three months have been largely about consolidating and applying my learning so far and trying to distill my broad and myriad interests into some clearer goals for myself for the remainder of the Fellowship.

I feel as though I have learned a huge amount since I began the Fellowship and I have been enjoying the opportunity to reflect on what is important, and put some of it into practice. Recognising what gives me energy and what doesn't has been an important element of 'double-loop' learning for me recently.

I've brought some of the focus on self-awareness and effective listening into my day job and found this really helpful in supporting team building and working with colleagues who have very different working preferences to me. Applying what I've learned through Clore in the workplace has been really helpful for me and has been a big part of embedding my learning over the last three months - it's often very challenging and can be uncomfortable, but I think this is a vital part of the learning process. Recently I learned that only about 0.1% of the population has a more flexible working preference than me, so those that like structure and order can find me a challenging to work with!

In July I volunteered to co-lead a session on leadership for the 2012 Charity Works cohort. This was a great opportunity to meet some people at the beginning of their careers in the social sector and I really enjoyed the experience - it reminded me how energising I find helping others to learn and interrogate ideas. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that I did in fact know a bit about leadership!

I am continuing to enjoy the Action Learning process and remain surprised at how powerful this is for me. I think it has been a deeper and more intense experience than my coaching so far. I've been able to apply the skills to good effect outside the formal sessions, especially at work, and I am planning to do the Action Learning facilitation training to develop these skills further.

Over the last three months I have also begun to further explore my interest in design and impact and the applications of this to the social sector. The design process is simply an effective approach to problem solving (which is what the social sector is here for) and I have been inspired by some of the interesting work that social design agencies and international forums are doing. These interests have also helped me crystallise my thoughts on where I want to focus my secondment and my research, and I'm looking forward to learning how to use this in practice through the Service Design course at Central St. Martin's.

Getting back together with my fellow Fellows on our mini-residential at Roffey Park was a great opportunity to reflect and to reassure myself that I am not the only one who is still not quite sure what I am looking for! I can't quite believe that we're nearly three quarters of the way through the first year of the Fellowship. Time seems to have flown and balancing work, family and the Fellowship continues to be a challenge. Although I have more than a year still to go I am beginning to feel the pressure to make some key decisions about where I want the programme to take me.

Twitter: @ruthbmarvel

Current principal role: Director of Foresight and Innovation
Current principal organisation: Scope
Other leadership role 1: Trustee
Other organisation 1: Riders for Health
Other leadership role 2: Non-Exec Director
Other organisation 2: GoodGym

Research: When Bees Meet Trees - how large social sector organisations can help scale social innovation
Research topics: Impact; Leadership; Social enterprise; Social innovation;
Secondment host: Future Foundation

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