On the 27th to 29th of October 2022, the Argyll Leadership Training course was held at Barmolloch Farm, Mid-Argyll. The purpose of the training was to gather a community of practitioners who share values, personal and collective practices and ideas to take forward the advantages of good leadership and collaborative learning across all sectors in Argyll.
Argyll is a vast geography and different communities face different issues, including de-population which is a considerable challenge
across the area. The Training offered a space to explore the values of self, nature, our shared knowledge of history and community, to work in leadership roles and to collectively address these challenges.
Through learning and practising together, the aim was to develop a deeper understanding of the main issues facing Argyll and to build connections with others who live and work there, creating the space, content, courage and support to build confidence & capacity
for ongoing work to benefit our communities.
Participants of the Training were introduced to a range of practices and tools to support their work, including; World Café, Open Space, the Flow Game and the core elements of Groundwork Practice. Groundwork is both a personal and collective practice which can be integrated and applied to any aspect of life.
Some of the main questions that the training aimed to explore including:
- How do we build a solid foundation for generative collaboration in Argyll?
- How can we practise more harmonious ways of organising ourselves, each other and the work that really matters?
- How do we invite others in a humane, real way to work collaboratively across sectors?
How do we create inspired and connected teams, committed to creating meaningful impact in Argyll?
- How do we create structures that reflect and support the deeper purpose of the need and purpose we are seeing in the area?
- Where has good practice worked before in your experience, and what are the good stories of application that can inspire and strengthen our work locally?
- How do we understand the ancient history of Argyll to learn well from the past to help create an interesting future with others?
This event was led by Inspiralba who brought together a hosting team with a wealth of experience. This team has developed and successfully introduced practices and tools to communities and organisations worldwide, including the Danish, Swedish and Scottish
Governments, The World Health Organisation, the European Commission, as well as in municipalities, disability services, businesses, indigenous communities, schools, networks and universities.
The hosting team included Toke Paludan Møller, co- founder of The Art of Hosting, The Flow Game
and the Practising for Peace Dojo. Toke has spent many years helping people, communities and businesses throughout the world to begin to use and implement these practices in service of wellbeing and peaceful existence for all.
Also part of the hosting team was James Ede from Status Flow who works as a learning host and consultant offering process design, facilitation and capacity building for organisations and communities in the fields of leadership, learning and collaboration. He is a co-founder of the Groundwork practice.
Finally, there was Pamela Galbraith, Sandy Brunton and Andy Lippok from Connecting Scotland, a community interest company providing capacity building for networks and communities across Scotland.
Participants arrived at Barmolloch Biodynamic Farm late afternoon on the 27th of October. The Training began with an opening circle session in which the group were invited to ‘check-in’ and say who they were and why they had decided to join the course. The topic of how participants might bring themselves to be fully present in the training was also discussed.
Dinner was then provided by Lilia Sinclair at Heal Scotland, as were all the meals served during the Training. Following this, participants took part in a World Cafe session. Some of the questions explored during the World Cafe included ‘What are the issues in Argyll that we’d like to alleviate?’ and ‘What is it I want to be able to do on Monday?’
The next morning, participants had the option of taking a quick dip in the river before breakfast to invigorate them for the day ahead. Following on from this, Sandy and Pamela held an Open Space session which allowed the group to explore several questions, namely:
- What are the questions we are wishing to explore more deeply?
- What issues do we wish to explore in more detail?
- What questions do I have about my leadership and my contribution to my community?
- What potential projects are developing further and need more help?
James then introduced the Groundwork Practice and allowed participants to put forward project ideas to be developed during the session. Various project proposals were put forward and teams were able to discuss logistics and questions as they emerged.
That evening, the group enjoyed a few drinks and a swim in the wood-fired hot tub before returning to bed for day ahead.
The next morning, Toke delivered a session on ‘Practising for Peace‘ which explores the concept that we can’t solve what has already happened, but we can start today by practicing peace consciously, individually and together.
Following this, the group reformed their smaller groups from the day before and resumed project planning through the Groundwork Practice.
The group were then introduced to the Flow Game which is a way of finding clarity alone and together. It is a humane and powerful practise for interactive reflection, conversation and action – opening spaces for groups, teams, individuals and families to find the answers they may be looking for.
Following this, there was a ‘check-out’ with the full group where they discussed: ‘What more learning do we wish to do?’ and ‘How might we stay connected in this work?’.
As the course drew to a close, the participants said their goodbyes and returned to their respective communities, invigorated by the teachings and knowledge they had obtain during the 2-day course.