David Parker-RadfordHomeless Health Programme Manager, The Queen’s Nursing Institute
Looking at what isn't there
The missing person activity made me think about things from a new perspective. The activity involved drawing a picture of the 'missing person' within your organisation and labelling their attributes.
As I reflected and did the drawing the things that came to my mind were not so much related to people – but more ‘things’ that are missing within the organisation. Working in a small staff team in a charity inevitably means that each individual has to take responsibility for work across many different areas and functions. While this boosts teamwork and shared understanding of objectives, it can inevitably mean that specialisms aren't as defined as they might be in a larger organisation.
It was very useful, and unusual, for me to allow myself some reflection time to think specifically about my relationship with my organisation. We don't always spend a lot of time looking at what isn't there, and the possibilities this may bring. The Clore Social cohort then posted their Missing Person pictures on Slack and we had a good look at each other’s. This was really fun – but also quite profound. It wasn't so much about the quality of the picture more about what it meant to each person. It gave me a better appreciation of the complexity and impact of my organisation.
I used ‘missing person’ in a session with my team to enable them to reflect on how far they have come. They found this incredibly useful. It also opened my eyes to understand the challenges faced by the team - by asking this missing person question I have been able to reflect on where change may be most needed.
I also realised that I tend to I can be quite impatient when it comes to change and that by being calmer, and more reflective, I can still achieve the results I want, and probably in a more focused way. I hope to use the activity again in the future.