Leading to Change Digital Community Event: Collaboration is messy – why people are the key to partnership working

Date and time
Thursday, 6 July 2023, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm (GMT)
Virtual event.

“Collaboration is about compassion, love, support, kindness, and the power that we gain when we share with each other and lean on each other.” – Everyday Power

Collaboration is vital to sustain what we call profound or really deep change, because without it, organizations are just overwhelmed by the forces of the status quo. — Peter M. Senge

Join us for our third event of this series where we focus on leading partnership working and the reality that collaboration is messy. This is part of our leadership theme of Collaborating & Influencing which is our focus for the next three months.

We offer two quotes as our provocation for this event as together they bring the balance of the compassion with the focus on deep work and real change that impactful collaboration can bring.

Collaborating and influencing means leading together for better outcomes. It’s where individuals come together for a common purpose to achieve a particular benefit be it for someone we are caring for, someone we are leading or the wider communities we serve. At work, the vast majority of people are required to collaborate with others to achieve a given objective within and across teams.
The spaces we live and work in are complex, requiring input from numerous individuals to respond to that complexity. Coming together effectively, connecting as people, is what collaborating and influencing is all about. Effective collaborative working requires the ability to influence others to see things differently, to be open to alternative courses of action, and to be open to their influence in order to see things differently ourselves.
In this event we will explore how successful and practical collaboration can be achieved with compassion, character, and purpose.

Join us as we hear different experiences of collaboration from real people and share our stories with new and known connections.

We welcome into the conversation:

TracyAnne Miller, Employee Director, NHS Lothian

I started my employment with NHS Lothian on 4th July, 1983, over 40 years ago and am a Registered Mental Health Nurse. I have been a Shop Steward for 31 years and am the Branch Secretary of Unison. I was successfully elected to the role of Employee Director on 1st January, 2022.

Management and unions have been working in partnership for over 20 years now. It can sometimes be hard work and requires mutual respect and trust on both sides, but having involvement from the outset in decisions that impact on our staff is invaluable. Collaboration is the key to success.

Jillian Torrens, Head of Adult Services – Mental Health, Learning Disability and Life Long Learning, NHS Highland

Jillian initially qualified and worked as Mental Health Nurse before moving into management roles.  She has worked for several large health boards in senior manager roles – GGC, AA, Fife and Highland in both acute and community settings.  For the past 14 years she has managed both health and social work services. Jillian has also worked in the third sector, working for a large social care charity and an independent care home company.  Jillian is passionate about older people’s services and her area of expertise and interest is in Dementia Care. Jillian has experience of regulation when this function sat with health boards i.e. before the inception of the Care Commission (now the Care Inspectorate).  Jillian has worked with some unique and inspirational leaders and has had a variety of roles – Nursing Officer, Clinical Services Manager, Quality Manager, Service Manager and Senior Manager – working with different care groups and specialist services. Jillian is committed to integration and the opportunities that collaborative and whole system working presents us.       

With a focus on storytelling and reflections, our contributors will share their experiences of collaboration and working in partnership. Collectively, we’ll explore what this means for us, in our own workplaces and in our day-to-day roles using breakout groups.

Questions for us to consider:

  • Who do you admire as a natural collaborator and how have they inspired you?
  • What do you think are the most important aspects for collaboration?
  • How do you support collaborative approaches within the system you work in and with colleagues at all levels?
  • Are you comfortable with the term ‘influencing’ in collaboration and are you open to being influenced?

Resources to consider:

If you would like to consider this topic in advance of the event, we recommend any one of these four, external, resources to read, watch or listen to. They are quite different and are offered as optional thought-provokers for those who like to get into the topic in advance. Click the titles below to find out more.

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Explore your potential with the Leading to Change app
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Visit the National Wellbeing Hub for resources on how to stay well
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