This report describes an example of collaboration between a group of public service leaders to develop a learning and development ‘offer’ to support collaborative leadership in public services, called the Enabling Collaborative Leadership Pioneer Programme.

Summary

This report describes an example of collaboration between a group of public service leaders to develop a learning and development ‘offer’ to support collaborative leadership in public services. The initiative is called the Enabling Collaborative Leadership Pioneer Programme (referred to as Pioneer) and the work has been taken forward by a multi-agency group, known as the Design Team. This account reflects on the experiences of the Design Team in the first phase of their work developing and designing Pioneer.

Pioneer forms one part of a programme by Workforce Scotland – a collaborative initiative to develop the workforce across public service organisations. Workforce Scotland comes under the banner of the Scottish Leaders Forum: a network of senior leaders from central and local government, public services and the third sector.

Pioneer is explicitly experimental in its approach to working and learning in collaboration. Its central elements are ‘going to’ and ‘working in’ the sites and locations of collaborative challenge experienced by participants, and facilitating action inquiry(AI) as an integral part of the approach to learning.

Action inquiry is a shorthand term for an approach to individual and collaborative learning being applied in Pioneer. Action inquiry encourages the sharing of individual and collective reflections to help make sense of what is happening in a collaborative process, as it happens, in order to improve it. It offers an opportunity for conversations about the extent to which people are ‘walking the talk’, the difference they think they are making, and what evidence they have which gives them confidence the changes they see are an improvement.

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Practising Collaborative Leadership: Reflection and Learning from the Enabling Collaborative Leadership Pioneer Programme (PDF)

More details

Authors: Nick Bland and Cathy Sharp, director of Research for Real

Publication date: June 2016

Type of publication: Working paper

 

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