Watch your language!
Blog posted by: Collaborate CIC, 10 April 2019.
In our new report, Exploring the New World, we identify how funders, commissioners and organisations working in complex environments are fundamentally rethinking the design and delivery of support. Not only does this require new mindsets, skills, relationships and processes, but also a new language that supports human, collaborative, strengths-based practice.
Lynn Mumford, Development Director at the Mayday Trust, explains how language has been central to forging a new relationship with the people they work with.
In 2011, prompted by austerity, but driven by mission, we took a long, hard and honest look at who we were as a regional housing-related support organisation. When we really listened to what people said (not just what we wanted to hear) we heard that the process once someone became homeless was humiliating, dehumanising and at worst, institutionalising. People were becoming trapped in homeless services. People were also staying homeless too long — the results just weren’t good enough. We captured what we heard in a blog series called Wisdom from the Street.
We couldn’t ignore this and decided to see if we could do something really different. Not just a new project or programme, but a fundamental shift in how we worked with people and how we behaved as an organisation. A way in which people could genuinely take back control, build on their strengths to find a new self-identity, find good networks and a purpose, by-pass the sausage machine of services and get on with their lives in the real world.
Over a period of 7 years, we scrapped our old deficit way of working and prototyped a radically new personalised and strength-based approach to homelessness and tough times, the Personal Transitions Service (PTS). What we didn’t realise at the start was that it would demand the complete organisational transformation to our systems, processes, people, culture… and language.
Language can have an enormous impact, not only on the culture of an organisation and the people that work there, but also on individuals working with us and how they feel about themselves.
Latest News from
Reflections on the value of a place-based plan from Hannah Anderson, Director at Collaborate CIC18/04/2019 13:20:00
For some time now Collaborate has been an advocate of the place-based plan; a collaborative statement of intent across key organisations that draws on a range of insights, and sets out an ambitious, place-specific approach to improving outcomes.
Collaborative leadership — making it everyone’s business17/04/2019 16:20:00
Last month, we facilitated a two-day collaborative leadership convention for 280 staff and board members from the 43 Active Partnerships across England, plus wider partners.
Exploring the new world: practical insights for funding, commissioning and managing in complexity20/03/2019 13:20:00
Yesterday Collaborate CIC and Newcastle Business School (of Northumbria University) are excited to publish our new research into funding, commissioning and delivering in complex environments, supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and Tudor Trust.
Notes From The Tield: Tackling Physical Inactivity in Essex14/02/2019 09:20:00
Blog posted by: Collaborate CIC, 13 February 2019.
So what difference does it make?06/02/2019 16:15:00
Since 2017 Collaborate has been working closely with partners in Tower Hamlets to develop a place-based borough plan and support a new Strategic Partnership Group.
A new year’s resolution by Collaborate28/01/2019 13:20:00
At the end of last year, the Collaborate team spent a day reflecting on what we are learning from our work and made a collective resolution for 2019: to be bold about the future we want to create.
Collaborate’s highlights of 201819/12/2018 16:20:00
As another challenging year for the UK and beyond draws to a close, the Collaborate team have spent some time together looking back over the past 12 months, exploring what we are learning from our work with places and organisations from across different sectors.
Conversations, connections & collaboration17/12/2018 12:25:00
Last month, Collaborate supported large-scale cross-sector events focussing on health and care priorities in the London Boroughs of Croydon and Sutton. Below are our reflections on the value of these types of events and some critical considerations on design, delivery and follow-up.