Tag Archives: Team working

Podcast Episode 095: A Funky Case Study

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2So, what does funky and creative working look like when you have to implement things through a team? It is one thing for a creative individual to plough their own furrow, but as soon as you get two or more people together the opportunity arises for three or more opinions on how to go about things!

In this episode I outline my consultancy work across 2000-2010 with an assertive outreach team that was based in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The vision was largely developed by the team manager, Sue Jugon, with reference to the training I undertook as part of the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. It requires careful recruitment, and the type of training and practice development support established at the time as the Practice Based Evidence consultancy.

What it looks like is a commitment to good clear communication, flexible working, and on-going reflection and developmental support. The outcomes were best reflected in the changes seen in what were deemed to be very challenging clients when you devote sufficient respectful time, and deliver client-centred working rather than overblown service rhetoric.

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/095-a-funky-case-study/id867043694?i=361448998&mt=2

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” [Phil Jackson]

Podcast Episode 094: Making it funky

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2We spend so many hours, and restless nights, focused on work, so don’t we deserve to get enjoyment, fun and creative challenge in our work? Managerial structures, systems, procedures and processes are designed to achieve consistency and homogeneity of output. Monitoring and auditing of standards and targets keeps a watchful eye how we work. So, are we in danger of losing the pursuit of genuine creative endeavour? Where will positive risk-taking fit into this controlled picture?

In this episode I reflect on a review of a previous book I co-authored that identified our approach as ‘Funky Mental Health’. Funky ways of working are about working with and around the rules; breaking the rules in a creative rather than illegal way. It is about pushing the boundaries, but needs a few conditions to support it to happen. I outline how it needs a vision, a guide of what exceptional people do naturally, a flexible environment, and team-working. I also reference a classic example of putting all of this into practice from my Practice Based Evidence consultancy work.

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/094-making-it-funky/id867043694?i=360203262&mt=2

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” [Scott Adams].

Assertive Outreach: Examples of Great Teams

IMAG2227_1‘Strengths’ Assertive Outreach: A Review of Seven Practice Development Programmes.

The Practice Based Evidence consultancy made special efforts to get involved in going beyond simple training; focusing on developing teams with a positive impact on practice. It is one thing to claim to support best practice, but another thing entirely to provide evidence for such claims. Assertive Outreach teams in the UK were a particular passion from the original establishment of the consultancy in October 2001. The following article was first published in the Mental Health Review Journal (June 2008) and is reproduced with their kind permission; it is an evaluation of the support provided, from a strengths perspective, for seven such teams.

ABSTRACT

Assertive outreach is based on extensive international research and has been promoted in the UK in 1999 as a key area of the National Service Framework for Mental Health. Its primary aim is to provide a specialist service for people disengaged from traditional approaches of mental health services, but very little attention has been paid to how such services can be developed. Practice Based Evidence, a practice development consultancy, has engaged seven assertive outreach teams to focus on development first, and follow-up evaluation of the impact of reflective practice on team functioning. This has prompted a number of strengths-based recommendations for changing the way we think about developing services before we engage in research and evaluation.

PDF: ‘Strengths’ Assertive Outreach: A Review of Seven Practice Development Programmes

Podcast Episode 062: Problems with Meetings

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How effective are all of the meetings you attend? It’s very likely that whatever business you are working in you will have to attend meetings either occasionally or frequently. They take up an inordinate amount of time, but the question is just how much time are they wasting?

In this episode I will take a formal definition of meetings, but add my twist with several reflections on how I have experienced meetings on occasions. Hot-air, self-importance, shared insecurities, ineffective time-wasting… but enough of me!

How can we attempt to make this precious time as effective and engaging as possible? I set out seven pointers that can help achieve these goals in ways that either reflect the good practice you are already doing, or will transform the experience of all who need to be attending.

For the full content of this episode click on iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/062-problems-with-meetings/id867043694?i=344569093&mt=2

“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.” [J.K. Galbraith].

Podcast Episode 049: Anne Clilverd Interview ~ Team-Working

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2An interview with Anne Clilverd as she reflects back on three specific teams to identify what elements contribute to good team-working.

An acute admissions ward where, despite being based on a hierarchy, a strong sense of belonging was fostered. The environment was supportive through all staff being encouraged to contribute their observations in a way that was respected by multidisciplinary colleagues.

Compass as a walk-in advice and mental health centre also offering a degree of outreach work as a new initiative at a time when long-stay hospitals were beginning to be closed down. This initiative was joint funded and managed by health and social care, operating as a small multidisciplinary team of four people committed to a strong set of values and principles. As a group the workers need to feel confident to have their ideas openly and constructively critiqued; and they were supported by an advisory group that included several service users and representatives of local voluntary sector services.

As team manager Anne worked in the Kings cross Community Mental Health Team. This type of team functions as a group of individuals who come together for a common purpose, but belonging may be more to the team name than a sense of full collective working. The team manager carries the specific responsibility to stamp a personality on the team through a vision for common goals and purpose, and the quality of supervision as a means for encouraging reflection and professional/personal development.

Anne also briefly reflects on the optimal size of good functioning teams. For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/049-anne-clilverd-interview/id867043694?i=337032545&mt=2

Podcast Episode 048: Team Strengths Assessment

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2We all work in teams from time-to-time but how much do we really focus on identifying and developing the individual talents of the workers, and the overall strengths of good team-working?

A team is a group of people coming together for a common purpose or goal, and often it is the challenges and difficulties that define the work of the team that will most influence its outlook in terms of development. All too often teams and services look on training and developing the areas of weakness, to the detriment of boosting and exploiting areas of success into areas of excellence.

In this episode I outline my categorisation of teams in relation to the degree in which they relate to, identify, and work with strengths, and the Team Strengths Assessment tool that I developed in the early 2000’s to support this area of practice development. Examples of three types of mental health teams are referred to as examples where these tools have been used.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/048-team-strengths-assessment/id867043694?i=336480841&mt=2

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” [Margaret Mead].

 

Podcast Episode 039: Team-working with Kirt Hunte

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Steve Morgan in conversation with Kirt Hunte about what contributes to good team-working. We frequently make a claim to be a team but function more as a group of individuals.

What influence does the team manager or team leader have on the identity and function of the team? Can a talented group of individuals simply come together as a great team? Does the size of the team have any affect on its ability to function as a team?

The creativity and risk-taking required for developing a new initiative is very different from the long term sustainability of an established team or service. Kirt and Steve reflect on football teams and mental health teams through their observations and experiences over many years. Reference is also made to the book entitled ‘Organizing Genius’ by Warren Bennis and Patricia Biederman describing and analysing seven case studies of great teams.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/039-team-working-kirt-hunte/id867043694?i=328112639&mt=2