Enterprise Coaching – One Day Workshop

Just been putting together a one day Introduction to Enterprise Coaching programme. Unfortunately because delegates are coming from far and wide we have a late start and early finish.
Here is the outline:
10.30 Arrive, register, welcome etc
11.00am Introductions and Objectives Exercise
11.30 – What are we Trying to Achieve with Enterprise and Entrepreneurship?
12.00 – Self Directed Learning – a framework for managing and leading our own development
12.30 – When I was a Kid – An Insight into (part of) our target market
13.00 – Lunch
13.45 – Situational Enterprise – understanding technical and psychological demands of the service
14.15 – The Enterprise Coaching Cycle and 4 Interventions styles
15.00 – An exercise in acceptant interventions
15.30 – Self image and enterprise
15.45 – So what might change?
16.00 – Close
How does it look?  Interesting?  Challenging?  Relevant?

Just been putting together a one day Introduction to Enterprise Coaching programme. Because delegates are coming from far and wide we have a late start and early finish.

Here is the outline:

10.30 – Arrive, register, welcome etc

11.00am – Introductions and Objectives Exercise

11.30 – What are We Trying to Achieve with Enterprise and Entrepreneurship?

12.00 – Self Directed Learning – a framework for managing and leading our own development

12.30 – When I was a Kid – An Insight into (part of) our target market

13.00 – Lunch

13.45 – Situational Enterprise – understanding technical and psychological demands of the service

14.15 – The Enterprise Coaching Cycle and 4 Interventions styles

15.00 – An Exercise in Acceptant Intervention

15.30 – Self Image and Enterprise

15.45 – So what might change?

16.00 – Close

How does it look?  Interesting?  Challenging?  Relevant?

What else would you want to see covered?

There is so much material and so little time!

Alternatives to Tireless Exertions and Passionate Concern…

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…

Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

These days it seems that every step towards the goal of social justice requires a government policy and an associated funding stream.  We expect the state to sort this stuff out for us.  Well, it hasn’t and I suspect it can’t.

And given how the funding climate is likely to shape up over the next few years, even if the state did know how to sort this out it won’t have the money.  So instead I think we need a return to community development work that:

  • is rooted in communities rather than government departments
  • embraces affordable and human scale interventions rather than national projects and the rolling out of grand plans
  • honours the integrity of individuals over the narrow outcomes being purchased by funders
  • that attracts investment from venture philanthropists as well as the public purse.

Perhaps it is time to invest less in state funded mangerialism and more in ‘tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals’.

Community Development in Leeds

I have been inspired to start this blog to try and provide a home for the practice of community development work in Leeds.

It seems to me that much ‘community development’ work in the city is actually the delivery of national and local government initiatives prepared in response to policies that may have had very little input from the communities that they are designed to help.

Just because we call it community development work does not make it so!

Good community development workers are increasingly becoming an extension of the state rather than a catalyst for genuine community development.  I am fed up of hearing people tell me that they take public money and then see how far they can go in subverting it to do ‘proper’ community development work.  Not only are the ethics of this questionable – but so too is the efficacy.

If high quality community development processes work then we should ensure that they are properly resourced.  And if the public purse won’t pay for stuff that it can’t control then we must look elsewhere for investment.

But this is not about turning our backs on public funding.  It is about developing a proper relationship with funders so that they recognise what underpins effective community development work (long term relationships and an adherence to a set of values and practices) and themselves managing to resist the temptation to buy pale imitations and short-cuts.

Ripples Out – Reflections

First of all congratulations to everyone involved (Lippy Films, Yorkshire Forward, Together for Peace and local residents) in creating a powerful, provocative  film.

I sincerely hope that it helps disturb the comfortable equilibrium in Leeds (and beyond) that exists between the controllers of the public purse and the developers.  There maybe a brief window for reflection while development is ‘put on pause’ by recession – but I am sure that we will soon see business resumed as usual – if only temporarily.  At the moment, conveniently, there is no other game in town.

The likelihood of this will be increased if we focus our time and energies in trying to ‘influence’ the processes of planners and developers.  This will be playing their game – on their terms.  And I have a sneaking hunch about who might win – no matter how articulate and informed those that advocate the voice of the community are.  We also run the risk of further contributing to the dilution of our personal power as now, instead of relying on planners, we learn to rely on ‘our representatives’ to create a better future for us.  Developers and communities can become bedfellows – trading favours, but they are unlikely to become allies – they are seeking different and mutually exclusive goals.

The ‘Planners Analysis’ that says ‘give us time to finish‘, ‘forgive us a few mistakes‘ and ‘we just need to complete our investments‘ essentially says that ‘Planning’ works.  Visions, blueprints, plans and ‘investments’ will lead us to a better world.  ‘You ‘the people’ will be well looked after once we have engineered things fully – but we need more than 10 years – much more‘.

Can I be the only one that doubts this promise?

Am I the only one that thinks they, the planners, don’t really believe this themselves?

But it keeps the Porsches and the Mercedes on the road.  This is an unsustainable and unjust paradigm for progress that we engage with at our peril.  Our best endeavours are perhaps focussed on the search for a new paradigm for progress.

Perhaps the root of the problem is a perception that it is the decisions and actions of ‘others’ that largely determine the course and quality of our lives.  That the quality of our lives depend on decisions about where money is spent and what infrastructure is built.  If ‘others’ make the wrong decision or do their jobs badly our communities will be broken.  This is a dangerous and pernicious myth made even more dangerous and pernicious by an obvious ‘face validity’.  But we have learned that it takes more than PVC windows and doors to ‘renew’ communities.  Physical infrastructure creates profits (on a good day).  It rarely creates sustainable progress.

If we believe that others have ‘the power’ then we are relinquishing ours.

Finance and infrastructure accrue as a by-product of community.  As by-products of people (diverse tribes including inventors, creatives, workers, financiers, developers, mothers, carers, young and old, healthy and sick, bureaucrats and anarchists – you get the picture?) collaborating to make ‘good’ lives and ‘good’ work.  They are seldom the preconditions for it.

And now, more than ever before, what we need to produce is not profit or GDP – but ‘wealth’; that stuff which remains when the money has run out – wellbeing.

Learning to collaborate to do ‘good work’, understanding what ‘good work’ is – learning to use our talents to create (private and common) wealth (not just profits) for our communities offers us a more robust framework for progress.  These are the challenges that require our time and our attention.  Thankfully they are much less expensive than buildings and ‘walkways in the sky’.

If this analysis offers hope we need to allow a new cast to take to the stage.  Architects, planners and bureaucrats must become the servants of community rather than its masters.  Community development workers (not outreach workers paid for by the state to deliver outcomes), and educators (not teachers paid to deliver ’employer’ requirements) perhaps hold the keys to this kingdom.

Perhaps this is a crude analysis.  I do not believe that planners, architects and developers are bad people.  Nor that there is any planned assault on community.  This is cock-up – not conspiracy.  Nor do I believe that vibrant communities can develop without an effective dialogue with planners.

It is just that this is not the place to start.

Social Participation and Enterprise

One of the key themes explored at the recent Future Gov Work Better Together event was the promise that ‘social participation gives people the power to self-actualise’.

I am sure it does.

However ‘social participation’ has also been the technology of choice for us human beings to make progress at all stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy – not just at the ‘self-actualising’ peak. Competence in social participation (or what de Tocqueville called ‘association’) and the ability to negotiate self interest through effective collaboration is one of the critical enablers in community and personal development.

Whether it is learning to share a cave (or a housing estate) to meet needs for shelter and warmth, putting together a team to start a new business venture, or pursuing self actualisation, effective ‘social participation’ is the key.

The challenge facing us here is promoting social participation, collaboration, association. Not technology. In very few of the communities where I work is the REAL barrier to progress access to a networking site or high speed internet access (although these are cited usually after lack of money and skills).

It is often a lack of understanding about how collective self interests can best be met through negotiation and association.  About the need to see what can be contributed rather than taken.  About the need to build real trust rather than uncomfortable bureaucratic ‘compacts’.

The other barrier to social participation in the real world is an almost complete loss of belief that progress IS possible – manifesting itself in apathy and resignation. A belief that perhaps this is as good as it gets – and, if it is going to get any better, those bloody politicians had better get their fingers out, because I AM POWERLESS.

So IF we are serious about trying to shift the enterprise culture of a community we need to be in the game of building social capital, self belief and personal responsibility for making things happen.