Helena Clayton | March: 3 Good Things
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March: 3 Good Things

11 Apr 2018, Posted by Helena Clayton in Monthly Blog

…a monthly post where I share what I’m doing, learning, reading, loving …

This month, some learning from a cracking programme that a colleague and I just closed plus recommending a book and a class…

1.  Early in March, I ran the closing Module of a 12 month programme for young high potential leaders in a Civil Service Department. It was one of the most rewarding pieces of work in a long time. Participants really shifted during the year – as technical specialists, they now look at people issues in a different way; they emerged with stronger critical thinking; they had widened their network and they had learned to bring the outside in. One feature of the design worked especially well and made a big contribution to the learning and to what participants will do differently as a result.

I’m increasingly using the principle of the ‘flipped classroom’, where material is given to participants ahead of a face to face module so that the time together can be more about discussing the application rather than teaching the material. Loosely based on that, we:

  • • Had participants go and talk to people in their immediate and wider networks about the topic of the module. So ‘talk to 3-5 people, at least two of whom must be from outside of your organisation and sector about what helped you make the transition to senior leadership’. Back in the classroom, we then invited participants to work in two groups and design and run a teaching session based on what they learned.
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  • • We sent everyone a copy of Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions and asked them to do three things before the module. First read the book. Second talk to someone else in the cohort about what they thought of it, suing some critical thinking questions– a form of book review, if you like. And then taking the Team Diagnostic survey that goes with the book, either complete the diagnostic with your team or (if you don’t have a team) consider a team of which you’re a member and complete it about that team. Again, bring back what you learned and teach that back to the group.

For a programme that aimed to develop collaborative working, self managed learning, stronger networks and more strategic thinking, it really hit the spot.

2. In January’s 3 Good Things, I told you that I had completed a form of 360, called Point Positive. (Do you remember that I cried?). I say ‘form of’ as it’s done through people telling stories about when they have experienced you at your best, stories rather than tick boxes. That was in preparation to design another client programme featuring the work of Dan Cable – and I want to recommend his latest book to you. Called Alive at Work, and drawing on his work with positive psychology in organisations it’s a great read. It looks at how our ‘seeking system’ enables us to be curious and be willing to experiment and how fear automatically shuts that system down; how we can encourage ‘serious play’ to support innovation in our organisations; and how getting to know our Best Self can result in greater job satisfaction. Here is it, plus a clip of Dan speaking about it.

3. And finally, I got to dance 5 Rhythms again after a couple of years of trying to find a class that worked for me with my timetable. It’s so wonderful to dance like no one watching for two hours and lose myself in sound and movement.  Joyous, liberating and I smiled for the rest of the day. This was with the wonderful Neda Nedanic and she runs regular classes in and around Brighton and Steyning.

So if there’s anything in this that you think other people might like, please do share. And you can find me tweeting from time to time via @HelenaClayton.

Wishing you a lovely April and I’ll be back with more at the end of the month.

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