Over the last few months I have reflected on why I have chosen to 'rejoin' AMED and become more involved in its activities. This at a time when there are numerous other organisations and forums that could relate to and support my own development, and my interest in facilitating the edcuation and development of people who manage or lead others.

The more I reflect the more complex the factors become, but the more I recognise the value of the diverse views and support offered by the AMED network. The attached reflection (Word document) is offered in the hope of perhaps generating a wider debate as to the role AMED might play to those engaged in similar activities, and - in the spirit of why I choose to be a member of AMED - to then read and listen to the views and reflections of others.


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Hi Roger

Thank you for this. I know what you mean... I guess people join for the mix you've mentioned:  a rap-room, a concept-stretch, something that take up time and space. The Forum sometimes feels like a Senior Common Room when I'd rather have that of an innovation consultancy.

 I guess though, what sustains people and generates contribution is creating value for each person.  And this begins with a 'soft yes' where there is more at the end of any exchange than at the start. I've recently written on this: value-creating is an innovative 'research method' used to enable organisation to reach their next stage of development faster.  ( See: 'Testimonials: participant success stories': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV2FnYR_FdE)

However value-creating can only engage around problems where members pose issues they are currently facing: for instance how do we deal with people/orgs who say 'I want to change but not if it means changing'; or where/how do members network when their current ones are declining/insufficient?? In my experience I've found AMED Forums a bit thin here. But hey! Prove me wrong... Feel free to use my 2 issues above, or members can state issues they're facing and we can all help (initially by 'soft-yessing')   Best  Donal 

I've been trying to think what you might mean by a 'soft yes', Donal.  Am I starting with a 'no' because I don't much like the sound of a senior common room? (I know many of us are rather senior and not in the good way.)  I don't much like the sound of an innovation consultancy either.  Makes me expect whacky furniture and decor in primary colours.  (I'm surely revealing I've never been in one!)  

The key thing about AMED for me is that I might well find myself sitting with a retired headmaster and an innovation consultant and not even realising it because we are helping each other to think about how the human systems of the world - schools or consultancies (or governments, hospitals, prisons, farms, factories - whatever we are involved with) might be better designed to take account of how humans really are.  

I agree our online forums seldom take flight.  Thank you for having a go.  We'll keep trying.  You can be confident that the face-to-face meetings can be relied on.  

Donal and David,

Thanks for responding to my reflection. I agree our online forums seldom 'take flight', so your responses have created an opportunity to see if this asynchronous conversation might develop alittle bit more. Since I have a predisposition to 'lurking' in on-line forums I feel I should try and oversome this.

One of the triggers for my piece came from conversations at the AMED frontiers conference held in Bournemouth at the end of last year. Apart from being struck by depth and variety of experience and insight in the room I was also made keenly aware of how many practitioners work with people in organisations that do not seem to value them. So your comment Donal about creating value for each person - including ourselves - as we work in such a context seems very important. My own reaction to your senior common room / innovation consultancy is that one of the reasons I am often refreshed by AMED conversations is that they are in the main innovative, with people wishing to listen, explore and challenge, not proclaim and defend. Perhaps this aligns with David's description of human systems and a growing realization that in complex systems there are no right answers, no single best practices, and a rediscovery that values are not always best protected by goals and peformance management systems?

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