- Free CAL Taster Sessions
- Not sure if Action Learning is for you?
Why not join us for a CAL TASTER SESSION and see for yourself?
- Call 07770 642 885 for info.
- Go to our Current Projects page for more info.
August 2017 News:
ATTEND Action Learning Programme: Building Solutions Together
We are pleased to announce our new partnership with ATTEND, the charity supporting volunteers in creating healthy communities. We are running an Action Learning programme for ATTEND members, funded by the BIG Lottery, starting with four Action Learning groups beginning in September and October 2017.
Each group is limited to 6 people and will be led by an experienced facilitator. Being part of the Action Learning programme will give participants the chance to share experiences and exchange knowledge with other people within the membership in a friendly and informal setting as well as working on topics connected to their particular work. They will also have the opportunity to:
- Explore ways of recruiting, motivating, managing and retaining volunteers
- Use the group ‘thinking space’ to air ideas and options
- Gain confidence in progressing plans and goals
- Develop coaching skills.
Action Learning Facilitator Training (3-day)
Following the groups, there is also an opportunity to be trained as an Action Learning Facilitator on our ILM recognised course in early 2018 which we are running in association with Carter Hall Associates. The course provides participants with a range of theory and practice, to enable them to use Action Learning with confidence in many settings. On successful completion of the course, participants will receive an ILM certificate (more details).
November 2016 News:
Coaching and Mentoring
CAL is now offering 1-1 coaching and mentoring at low community rates. Email for details
Training Action Learning Facilitators
CAL is delighted to announce that we’re starting to train Action Learning facilitators, in partnership with Carter Hall Associates.
If you facilitate others as part of your role, whether you are a project worker, a community organiser or working in collaboration with colleagues, Action Learning is a great addition to your skill set.
The course equips you with the theory, format and skills of AL facilitation and how to introduce this method to others. As well as learning how to use AL in your work, you’ll also gain professionally and personally as AL helps develop confidence, communication skills, self-awareness and problem- solving ability. Full details on our Current Projects page.
July 2016 News:
We’ve come the end of our year-long Big Lottery project supporting Leaders and Entrepreneurs in the community. Read the differences it made:
The difference the Big Lottery Project made:
Participants on the project included Chief Executives and Managers of small charities, Community Leaders, Social Entrepreneurs and people starting small businesses in the North London boroughs of Haringey and Hackney. They expressed a very high level of satisfaction with their experience; 90% of respondents considered that taking part had been ‘very helpful’ for their work life and the remaining 10% ‘helpful’. In addition, 50% found participation to be ‘very helpful’ for their personal life, 40% ‘helpful’ while 10% didn’t think it applied.
The main challenges which participants brought to the Action Learning sets were: a lack of professional skills and inefficient ways of working; being stuck in their thinking; a lack of confidence and self-belief and motivation; difficulties managing change and stress; a lack of resilience; isolation and lack of professional and personal support
At the end of the project, participants reported improvements in all areas. Professional skills that were developed, included planning, time and stress management, goal setting, and prioritizing work. Increased knowledge of the sector and understanding of roles in organisations and businesses was reported and participants overwhelmingly agreed on the value of having learned to listen actively and use a question-based approach both for themselves and others:
‘The experience has really allowed me to take ownership of what I want to do – I felt listened to and appreciated.’
‘In my work, I now try to approach colleagues with questions rather than solutions and I get more of an honest answer from then this way.’
Many commented on the fact that they had developed a different way of thinking and looking at the world:
‘It allowed me to take a step back and look at situations differently.’
‘It has helped me to remember that there are multiple ways of doing things and that we are never completely trapped.’
‘I’ve become more reflective.’
Some commented on a change of perspective related to themselves, other people and situations:
‘It has offered me the opportunity to move through the blockages that have held me back.’
‘It has given me an insight into how my manager might feel and I think it has improved our working relationship.’
‘Action Learning has given me a different perspective and has enabled me to explore views and opportunities, that ordinarily wouldn’t have occurred to me.’
There was evidence of people finding better ways of working with others through the group experience. The peer support was valued as well as the networks people built and learning better ways of working alone. Motivation and accountability were helped through monthly reporting back of goals to the group. Improved resilience and self-belief in the face of rejection and challenges of managing change were also reported.
There was a significant improvement in confidence, particularly in public speaking and group discussion.
‘I feel more confident in speaking especially in meetings’
‘I have more confidence to discuss ideas and opinions in a group.’
Finally, the receiving and giving of emotional and practical support was seen as making significant difference to the professional and personal lives of participants and helping to overcome the isolation of working alone or as a leader of a small organization through empathy and understanding:
‘I’m more compassionate to other people’s challenges and don’t feel so alone.’
‘Self-employed people can feel very lonely… families can be critical. The group lets me be heard without judgement.’
‘I got a lot out of supporting and listening to others. It helped with my concerns about my effectiveness as a leader.’
One social entrepreneur expressed the difference the project has made to her as:
‘I can sit, stand and be comfortable with myself.’
Wider benefits to the Community
As a result of attending the projects, the entrepreneurs are now more able to grow their businesses and provide services which meet the needs of their communities; the community leaders are better able to perform their roles and support the people they represent and work for, and the unemployed are better equipped to access jobs, improve employability and make an efficient contribution at work when they are employed.
Peer support is flourishing and participants talked about cascading their learning to their professional and personal networks. The diverse nature of the groups has led to better cross- cultural understanding and the building of new relationships and the creation of networks to sustain them in future. Partnerships were formed between a range of organisations and joint funding proposals were devised. In addition, groups with more advanced organizational structures and procedures shared policy and practice with those just starting out.
The decrease in loneliness and isolation in the workplace experienced by entrepreneurs or those in roles of responsibility through peer support and regular contact should lead to an increased work/life balance with improved health through better management of stress and burn out. The friendships and work relationships created have and will continue to help participants particularly those whose careers have been seriously affected by mental illness.
One group member summed up the whole experience thus:
‘It is singlehandedly the most successful professional training/learning experience that I have completed in my career. I feel like I truly have the confidence now to move forward and the insight to support myself to be successful.’
March 2016 News
- All our Big Lottery funded Action Learning Programmes are now up and running. If you weren’t able to get a place, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you on a waiting list for our next programmes. There also may be an opportunity for some coaching if you had been accepted onto the programme but couldn’t find a suitable time. If interested, contact email@example.com
December 2015 News
- Since August, CAL has been very busy running taster sessions for a range of participants at 639 High Rd, the enterprise building in Tottenham, which has so generously supported us in the past. Two of our five groups are already underway and working well. We are working with a group of Volunteer Managers through our partner HAVCO, with a lead from Cameron Fitzwilliam-Grey, Chair of Greater London Volunteering and with our partners MLB learning solutions where we’re working with a group of entrepreneurs who are turning passions into businesses.
- We are currently setting up three more groups for this project, which will start in January 2016. These will include a group for chief execs, in addition to another group for entrepreneurs and one for community leaders.
- Go to our Current Projects page for more info.
August 2015 News
CAL receives a Big Lottery Awards for All Grant:
- We were delighted to be awarded a Big Lottery Awards for All Grant this summer. The grant was awarded to provide Action Learning workshops and coaching to leaders and entrepreneurs in our local community of Haringey with a focus on Tottenham. Big Lottery recognises that the voluntary sector is under a lot of strain at the moment with increasing need and decreasing funding and those people running organisations and projects dedicated to making life easier for others in need, themselves sometimes require a place to step back and recharge. CAL offers this is in the form of small groups, which meet once a month for 4 hours and offer a friendly think-tank type group to exchange ideas and skills and try out new approaches to professional challenges. In addition, we are offering groups for entrepreneurs facing the challenges of starting up a new business in an area where employment prospects are particularly difficult.