Rosehips in autumn light


Holding the space

Whether or not we are directly affected by school or college timetables, it is hard to miss the feeling of the start of term.

Partly the changing light, crisper, bright mornings, rosehips and yellowing leaves.

And partly the buzz of activity, resonating with our shared experience of ‘back to school’.

I often think the new year should be rescheduled to September, with the sense of fresh starts and new beginnings.

I am fascinated by the state of mind immediately after a holiday; back at work, and still believing, maybe for only a few hours, that everything is perfectly manageable!

Giving your attention to just one or two things at the top of the jobs list, before the reality, complexity, and ‘overwhelm’ reappear.

Being on holiday often connects us with open space. Floating in the sea, sitting on a hill, watching the night sky for satellites and shooting stars.

As a facilitator, I see myself helping to recreate those moments of seeing, of space, of having, briefly, stopped the world from crowding in. Of different perspectives.

Just as it is valuable for us to be able to take time to look at the sky, it is important for organisations to take themselves away from the day to day clutter of competing priorities and allow themselves time for future gazing.

A well-facilitated away day holds the space for listening and thinking as a group.  It values the perspectives of everyone, whatever their role. Because they are all contributors to the whole.

I design and lead days that might involve:

  • pooling our world views to draw out possible futures
  • building towers to assess core resilience for new projects
  • creating mini-biographies of hypothetical clients to raise awareness
  • drawing out maps of user journeys to understand barriers
  • debating changing beliefs and expectations
  • creating metaphors to hold our values in a changing world

Not part of the usual day job, but a really important space for any organisation.

And then, of course, the good facilitator holds the valuable outputs of this special time, to crystallise as practical (and manageable) actions.

Is it time to plan an away day?  Happy to help!

Rolling green hills and open space