What are your personal flotation devices

Posted by: NHS Horizons - Posted on:

Originally published by Leigh Kendall – 15th February 2018

Today the NHS Horizons team launched the 2018 cohort of The School for Change Agents. With 4,500 people from all over the world signed up to the innovative, interactive online course, it’s the biggest School year yet!

This year is the second year I have been involved with the School. I love the energy that surrounds the team as we’re preparing the content and ensuring the technology will work, and I enjoy the buzz of excitement of our global School community.

More than 1,000 people joined the live webinar, many of whom were also tweeting and sharing their favourite slides. I’m ‘Twitter Monitor’ during the live sessions, and love seeing what particularly resonates with our community. 

During the first module, our presenter who is also our Chief Transformation Officer, Helen Bevan, talks about how anyone can influence change. We cover change agency (that is, one’s own ability to create change); old and new power; social media; and finding the 3% of people in your organisation who influence 85% of the others (and they’re not always the traditional leaders!). 

One of the most crucial points is that to influence change successfully, you need to be both a boat rocker and  be able to conform – it’s a fine line to walk!

This afternoon, many people clipped and tweeted this sketchnote, about rocking the boat. It’s a brilliant sketchnote (not only because I drew it!), because it so succinctly articulates the qualities needed to walk that challenging line and achieve sustainable, successful change.

As one of our community @volk_shawnc tweeted: “I like to think of the Qualities of Boat Rockers as personal flotation devices! When we rock the boat, we need to carefully consider the environment in which we operate, and find ways to tread safely forward. #S4CA 

Staying in the boat requires passion, energy, resilience, optimism, and working together with other people. It’s not a dichotomy, though: we’re all human and we’ve probably all had moments when we’ve fallen out of the boat.

So what can we do to make sure we stay in more than we fall out? I love this excerpt from John Perry Barlow’s 25 Principles of Adult Behaviour that Helen shared. 

3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.

4. Expand your sense of the possible..

6. Expect no more of anyone than you yourself can deliver.

7. Tolerate ambiguity.

9. Concern yourself with what is right not who is right.

14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.

16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.

7. Praise at least as often as you disparage.

19. Become less suspicious of joy.

23. Live memorably.

24. Love yourself.

25. Endure.

These feel to me like some effective personal flotation devices – not only for effecting change at work, but for life in general too.

If you are interested in joining the School for Change Agents you are very welcome – please follow the link to sign up. You can find more information about module 1, including the recording if you missed the live session, on our website.