Sashes are the new capes – part 2

2 Jul 2019
Jay Crangle, Events and Training Manager

Jay Crangle, our new Events and Training Manager, reflects on her first workshop at our Sustainability Leadership Programme, delivered by Catapult. Today she looks at the benefits of playdoh, helicopter views and resilience.

All hail Hasbro, first of its name

No adult learning environment would be complete without playdoh (this is probably a good time to state that this blog was sponsored by Hasbro). One of my favourite activities over the two days was mapping our systems in 3D, reconnecting with our inner kindy kids through paper, pipe cleaners and pompoms.

Our challenge – increasing staff engagement in sustainability – manifested itself through everything from monopoly money representing shared budgets, to a pipecleaner Trump representing political barriers (I can attest his hair is no more lifelike in fabric form). By creating two versions of our system – what it is now, and what we want it to become – we were able to visually represent the complexity in which we operate.

Our 3D maps allowed us to take a helicopter view of our environment, enabling us to to identify barriers and leverages we can use to overcome them. My takeaway from this is how much value there is in mapping and diagnosing the core of the issue we are trying to solve. So often we jump into solution mode when we need to spend more time molding our playdoh into the shape of our challenges first.

“Everyone has something to offer”

My final learning point from the two days is that leaders come in all shapes in sizes. As a fellow SLP attendee wisely said, “everyone has something to offer.” Establishing our personal vison, purpose and values (our leadership backbone) allows us not only to act authentically but to adapt our style to meet that of others. And adaptation is, in today’s chaotic world, a key part of being a leader.

Part and parcel of this is knowing ourselves well enough to understand how to build our resilience. It is vital that we fill our own buckets when we give a lot out to a cause we are passionate about. Whether that be dirt biking, as one of my group members enjoys (probably top of my list of activities least likely to relax me) or, as our facilitator Andrea suggested, enjoying a spa day (more my style).

So if I took nothing else away from the two days its that I need more spa days in my life. And that as a self-confessed introvert, my new goal in life is to embrace this and to work collaboratively with others who balance my traits in order to maximise our ability to bring about change. To bring a sense of steadiness, compassion and diplomacy.  My newfound purpose is to ‘empower quiet brilliance,’ in myself and others - which has a certain ring to it. Maybe I’ll have it made into a sash?

The SBC Sustainability Leadership Programme has been developed specifically for senior business leaders and managers, with accountability for sustainability outcomes and leadership.