Hi, my name is Kate Stanley and when Clore Social put out the call for stories about leading through this period of lockdown, I thought it was an interesting opportunity to reflect on my own experience of transition during this lockdown period.
Last week I was working at the NSPCC as a Board Director, where I was director of strategy policy and evidence. I was at NSPCC for over eight years and I had a team of 65, a substantial budget and a significant span of control. Obviously NSPCC is one of the country's largest children’s charities and has a long history of over 130 years of preventing cruelty to children.
That was last week. This week I have started my new role - I’ve joined the FrameWorks Institute. We have a team of three in the UK and big plans. It would be a really significant change at any time but obviously it's particularly significant during this time of lockdown.
The FrameWorks Institute is a non-profit based in the US and it works to help other non-profits to shift public understanding of important social issues to drive social change. It does this through framing research. Framing is really about what we say and how we say it, so it helps organisations to reframe their issue to drive social change.
That would be, as I said, a big change at any time but especially big now, so I was reflecting on the things that have helped me during this transition. There are three things that really popped to mind straightaway:
1. Don’t neglect rites of passage
The first one was about rites of passage. My background is an anthropologist. In anthropology you learn about rites of passage being important. Ways of marking moments in time. Obviously when we leave organisations there are certain rites of passage that we normally have and at this time of lockdown many of those just aren’t possible; the get-togethers, the drinks and so on. So we had a zoom farewell which was that opportunity for me to say bye to colleagues and to say thank you and good luck, and for them say bye to me. I was very hesitant to do this at first but actually I'm really glad that I did. It was an important opportunity to mark that rite of passage, to mark that moment of transition and I'm really glad I got the chance to to say bye.
2. Pay attention to your work environment
The second thing that's made a difference is something as simple as rearranging the study in which I work. Now obviously, we're all working, or many of us are working, at home at the moment but having a new setup, new things around me to mark that transition from one organisation to another has again been really important and helpful for me in marking that change.
3. Reconnect with your network
The third thing that, I would reflect, has been important is to reconnect with networks. As many of you will recognise that when you're doing a high pressure intensity job, it’s quite difficult to keep up with your networks. But if you're involved with Clore Social, you’ll also know how important that they are. So this has been a really good moment for me to reconnect with networks, reconnect with former colleagues and to strengthen those ties so I feel like I'm part of something much bigger.
So, there are three things that have helped me in this transition during this lockdown phase. I hope you're getting on alright, and I look forward to hearing your story.