Insight experiences for leadership and social enterprise development

After being involved in the initial design and management of Spark, I was invited back to facilitate four of the ‘Enterprise Insights’. These three day events bring together small teams from corporate partners with a social enterprise working in the homelessness sector. The corporate employees gain experience of applying their skills in a new context, first-hand experience of a social challenge, get inspired by social enterprise leaders, and learn new consulting, teamwork and leadership skills. The social enterprise addresses a specific challenge they face using the insights, expertise and networks of the corporate team.

My role was to ensure the experience was one of learning and healthy development of the individuals, teams and enterprises. This meant playing a variety of roles over the three days including leadership and communication trainer, social enterprise and homelessness expert, facilitator, team and personal coach, consultant, advocate for corporate transformation towards sustainability and waiter ; ) The insights were all a great success in many ways and a transformational moment for many individuals and organisations. While making a positive contribution I also learned a great deal myself. There is no substitute for lived experience and first-hand conversations to generate real learning

Spark is an innovative programme developed by Communities and Local Government, The TREES Group, Big Issue Invest (part of The Big Issue group) and Eastside Consulting. Through investment-readiness consultancy, £500,000 of prize money, ‘Enterprise Insights’ and ongoing mentoring, it aimed to build and inspire social enterprise to prevent homelessness. It will be run again in 2009 and 2010…