A new way to start thinking

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time and I hope I can do it justice, so please keep with it. I would also love to have your feedback on the content once you’ve had a chance to read through so please click the comments box and add to the discussions, thank you.

This post is all around how for me there is need to explore a different focus to create and develop a whole community involved, connected social care service that lives seamlessly within the communities we live in.

A couple of years ago now I was fortunate enough to be involved in a really innovative project that was brought together by likeminded individuals under the guise of the “Good Enterprise Lab” https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ice/2014/03/05/good-enterprise-lab-real-change-enterprise/  that was held within the Edge Hill University complex  with a special nod to the creator Andres Roberts http://andresroberts.com/

Now this post is not to go into the finer points of the work undertaken, however I’d like to highlight a couple of the really positive elements experienced including:

  • From the start people involved didn’t focus on where they were from in terms of job role, however following the positive conversations, focussed on what skills and attributes they wanted to contribute to the ideas created
  • The use of person centred approaches, asset based community development and appreciative inquiry in order to develop those innovative ideas
  • The total negation of the focus of money and/or higher management decision and policy leads in the progress of the project

What I’d also add is that the whole project from my perspective and involvement started to unravel as many of these projects do (in my experience) when people in higher positions got more involved to steer the focus of aims to access funding streams. This then became the single focus of actions and outcomes to take instead of the positive innovative social care ideas – a totally contradictory approach to the positive work that was undertaken in the first place.

Now I am not trying to start an anti-establishment, rebellious thinking, free funded movement (or am I?). What I am interested to initiate, explore and would love to hear from other likeminded individuals about is; can the positive work started in the ‘Good Enterprise Lab’ be used to further nurture social care community ideas without fear of cost, funding or higher position management led focus?

Thus for this to be further explored and developed in such a way that the ‘contract/funded rule book’ is out the window and we create a foundation of the following:

  • Likeminded individuals working together, from all different backgrounds but a common goal to make a difference, to explore ideas and creativity in the health/social care sector
  • A pooling and exploration of existing positive streams/services/projects that could come together or be enhanced to create a collective positive stable wellbeing project in itself
  • The re-appropriation of existing services that don’t specifically look at achieving outcomes of health/social care inequalities, however with a little tweaking could be supported in achieving those goals
  • A chance to change the very way in which planned changes to community health and social care is looked at to a more community driven citizenship owned, ‘what a community needs’ led health and social care provision

I am not saying that this project would require you to down all existing tools and work in order to make happen.  What I am saying though is, ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful?’ …  are you not just the slightest bit curious to see what could happen if focus is slightly shifted and the community itself as well as the people living and existing within it are those in the ascendency to create, develop and nurture unrestricted social care and health led communities to live in?

I would love to hear from likeminded people and maybe this could be the starting point of the future thinkers in social care to develop and nurture a different focus on how to achieve positive wellbeing for all across local communities.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I look forward to the journey it may well take us on,

Till next time remember,

“With hope and belief there are no limitations”


PS thank you to my lovely daughter for letting me use her lovely photo in the featured image 🙂


4 thoughts on “A new way to start thinking

  1. Oh Stephen – there’s so much to consider here! I too miss what GEL might have become, and the unique buzz around that first event, and the conversations and actions that came out of it. I’m not sure it’s all around money or higher ups taking control though – I think people’s time and availability to take on extra stuff is also a big issue, so there’s something about generating a movement that truly spreads actions throughout its members maybe…great post 🙂


    1. That’s a very valid point well made. I didn’t neccessarily want to put GEL in the same group as others however to include those other experiences would have made the post extra specially long!
      I like the phrasing of a “movement” and think very small scale that can grow and be nurtured would be a starting point 🙂
      Thank you for the kind and intuitive comments

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic, thought provoking stuff. How to keep the energy of projects like GEL going when culture is normally set around rigid plans and siloed working… such a key question. Would love to hear what comes up as you ask these questions Stephen. I certainly feel we can go deeper and have greater impact with similar processes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Andres as always truly value your thoughts.
      Keep returning to the inspiration of GEL & have now started to think how that initial spark can be further developed. I firmly believe taking the tiny acorn creating the great oak tree idea is the way forward, so I will keep you updated with the avenues it explores 😀


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