Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2012
Update Spring 2013
It's been a busy three months since my last update but it feels as though the key components of my Fellowship are now coming together. The start of my second year on the Fellowship has had the effect of galvanising me into action and I have made really good progress on my research project and in organising my secondment which feels both reassuring and exciting.
I've also taken on a couple of new Trustee roles with organisations I really respect.A fellow 2012 Fellow asked me to become a non-exec Director of his social enterprise, the GoodGym. I have also been selected as Trustee for another organisation I really admire called Riders for Health. In addition to this I also helped to set up a collaboration between CSLP, On Purpose and Charity Works to discuss new ideas and approaches that are of relevance to the social sector.
The most challenging part of the last three months has definitely been making choices. I have a wide range of interests and my preference is definitely big picture thinking and linking which has made focusing down my options for a secondment and research questions really tough. Clore is such a great opportunity to learn and expose yourself to new ideas and approaches that it's easy to feel paralysed by the sheer number of options you could pursue.
I have had some opportunities to apply what I have learned over the last year recently. I have made a couple of presentations and used the story telling techniques I learned at the presentation skills course I attended in December. The result was much more engaging presentations and really positive feedback which was great. We also had our last formal Action Learning Set and have agreed to continue as a self-facilitated set which is fantastic. I regularly use the open questioning skills I've learned through Action Learning in supervision and coaching sessions with my team at work and find it a really powerful process. I hope we will be able to make the set work ourselves as it's a great way of staying in touch with other Fellows and supporting each other as we transition out of the formal programme. It's also a great way of practising my facilitation skills.
Since my last update my research has taken a slightly different direction and I have decided to focus on innovation in the social sector, particularly on how large organisations and small social enterprises might collaborate more effectively to help good ideas reach a larger scale. This focus emerged from the reading and discussions we had undertaken to explore the use of futures thinking by the sector and the overlaps with the sector's approach to innovations and creating social value. Working with my fellow 2012 Fellow Owen Jarvis we have refined our research questions and have already started our interviews so it feels that we are well on the way.
Notwithstanding the shift in research focus I still have a keen interest in future studies and horizon scanning as tools to help the sector anticipate and mitigate emerging social problems and improve its social impact. I am hoping to learn more about this area through a secondment with the Future Foundation. This isn't finalised yet, but I hope to be able to confirm this month that I will undertake a placement with them from September.
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