Mayvin Practice-based Learning Community Event

How do vulnerability and expertise come together in your practice and in your particular context?

Together with the Mayvin Community, we’ve been exploring practice-based learning in uncertain times. In this blog we share some of the insights about practice development, expertise and vulnerability from our event: Practice-based learning in your world.

What’s the relationship between vulnerability and expertise in your practice and your particular context? At our latest Mayvin Community event – Practice-based learning in your world – we were joined by an ‘un-panel’ of speakers from different sectors who shared their experience of practice development during times of discontinous change.

As we listened to these different stories from the financial and public sectors, charities and universities, we were also struck by their similarities. Across the sectors, there was a focus on reframing learning so that instead of it being something that happens in isolation, ‘over there’, it takes place close to the grain of the work itself.

Other insights and questions shared by the Mayvin Community included:

Our role as Organisation Development (OD) and change practitioners

It’s our time! Organisations are in denial about the depth of change all around us: it’s an earthquake. OD is equipped to deal with that anxiety.

Be okay with helping others to achieve. Part of our role is to enable others, we don’t always get recognition for that but it is essential, valuable work.

Remember that it is often the simple, practical interventions that have the greatest resonance and deepest impact – such as creating the space for people to talk about what matters.

Keep the conversations going. For example, build in to every one of your top team conversations the question ‘how do you want to be together as a group?’ And then start off the next conversation with ‘how were you together?’

We need to keep developing our own practice and connecting with others. Are we in danger of being behind the curve? What can we learn from other fields, such as neuroscience, that could keep our knowledge and expertise fresh?

Creating a safe space…

Psychological safety is paramount, so how can you create a dynamic learning environment when the safety isn’t there?

How can we make it okay to make mistakes? How safe do people need to feel to create courageous disruption and change in an organisation?

…for vulnerability

When it comes to the idea of vulnerability as a leadership skill, it is interesting to notice similarities and differences between sectors. It can be easier for third sector leaders to show vulnerability; it is more readily accepted as a strength and a core capability.

Authenticity may be a more helpful word to use with our clients and organisations. Explore what resonates with your people.

Being vulnerable yourself helps others to be. People need to know from the top that vulnerability is acceptable, and helpful.

You can read Mayvin Director James Traeger’s blog about practice-based learning through vulnerability.

To join us at a future Mayvin Community event, email pip.rowson@mayvin.co.uk.