Weeknotes S02E15 — action learning sets, Community of Practice and more dogs…

Colour photo of a small, black and brown cockerpoo dog with a yellow collar
Barbara, ‘the little one’

Missed another week! But the main thing is to keep trying eh?

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Learning Set (ALS).

I had my first one of these last Friday as part of our ongoing EDI Learning programme.

The ALS is a peer-led space which provides the group with a structure to offer helpful challenge, gentle support, insight, and practical advice to our colleagues. It’s a closed space where one person shares a challenge at a time whilst others listen and through a series of open questions, support one another to build skills by working through an individual scenario.

Our facilitator did such a fantastic job of making the space feel safe and comfortable. I loved that they brought a sense of humour to things and gave everyone space to think and speak. It was great for me to see how they led proceedings, as I will be doing the same for another cohort next week!

Community of Practice and our Progression Framework

Freya and Lauren did an ace job of facilitating this month’s session, which focused on prioritising 3 x capabilities from our progression framework which we want to work on developing as a group and how to do that. These were:

1 Measuring and reporting progress and value

Some of the ideas we had were:

  • A session with our Data and Impact teams to learn more about what they do in this space
  • Visibility on what we’re all doing already. What questions we’re already asking and how and where the demand comes from
  • Run a pilot to measure impact/ report on activity in the Community of Practice to see what we could learn and apply this to our multidisciplinary teams.

2 Planning and prioritisation

Ideas:

  • One-off shadowing and feedback on each other’s sessions
  • Longer-term and more detailed ‘peer review’ of each other’s approaches to planning and prioritisation activities
  • Case studies and examples of what we can work through to improve in this area

3 Coaching

Ideas:

  • More deliberate knowledge-sharing from the variety of coaching courses members have been on
  • Practising in pairs to create a safe space to try new things, fail and learn
  • Exploring external ‘coaching circle’ which provide a safe place for people to watch coaching and give feedback.

Really excited to support on developing these ideas and seeing how they pan out.If you want to read Emily’s take on what it was like creating progression frameworks here with us at Citizens Advice, check out her blog.

Future of work (return to the offices)

This week marked the first time our offices have reopened since we got sent home on March 13 last year (well, people in the London office got sent home that day).

Freya and Lauren also led a session for us to look at challenges and opportunities of ‘hybrid working’ in the CoP. Examples: at home — you can have nana naps (a great phrase one of our Senior Delivery Managers Glenn used!), at work: we finally have the chance to celebrate successes in person.

It’s certainly a strange old time and I’m not sure how I feel about it all but I have booked a desk for Monday 5 July and I’ll be intrigued to see how I get on with being back in the office, commuting (hello Loughborough Junction, it’s been a while!) and treating myself to a nice lunch from somewhere near the office.

Launderettes, penknives, creative writing and other stuff…

Colour photo of a cream (blonde?!) cockerpoo, sitting on a red cushion
Margot, ‘the big girl’

I’m dog sitting again! This time it’s Margot and Barbara, my girlfriend’s dogs, and they have been a real joy this week. The little one (Barb) likes to bring me her pink teddy bear and the big girl (Marg) is very partial to ballroom style dancing with me, tapping my arm, and making unwavering eye contact with me.

I’m also off to Henley-on-Thames for the weekend with my four best friends from university and I am so giddy with excitement, I might pass out! We’re planning for a tapas night, river walks and dinner out tomorrow, then Sunday I am meeting another bestie, Stephen, for a pub lunch. So I am feeling very lucky and happy as this week draws to a close!

Delivery Lead at Citizens Advice. Ex-Stonewall and UCL digital person. I like launderettes, collecting penknives and doing my best to step up as an ally.