Beyond working with organisations to help them overcome team challenges and realise team potential, we are also a social enterprise with a real interest in place-based work. This is the story behind one of the projects we are delivering in Plymouth for social impact. If you want to find out more about the programme and how to register, click here.
Using lockdown productively
Since incorporating Sky Space Team Development CIC, we have held an aspiration to have an impact and contribute to the evolving culture of how ‘business is done’ and ‘who we are together’ in Plymouth. This sits alongside our ambition to bring something new to the commercial team and organisational development marketplace in the South West.
Starting-up during the pandemic has made things more difficult for us in some ways. Particularly when it comes to getting out into the world and developing new relationships with companies and organisations. On the flip side, there have also been blessings. Martyn, Jen and I have had space and time to really get to know each other and invest in the existing relationships we had prior to Covid without having to rush anything. A luxury we would not have had during ‘normal times’.
We have embraced the opportunity to develop our own chemistry by delivering workshops to national and international communities of coaches. Worked with longer-term client organisations to support leaders and teams through the challenges they have faced. And have also made our own small contribution to supporting the emergence of community-level responses over the pandemic period.
Critically, we have spent time building rich relationships with some wonderful people and organisations. Shout out to the Diversity Business Incubator CIC, POP+, and the Plymouth Social Enterprise Network to name a few!
Sowing the seeds of “Relational Excellence” and “Inclusive Leadership in Plymouth”
In Zoom meetings we have been busy sowing metaphorical seeds: Asking people around Plymouth to imagine what ‘relational excellence’ is; what it would mean if ‘relational excellence’ could be experienced at an individual, organisational, community and city level; and, if ‘relational excellence’ was a lens we could look through, what would it reveal about who we are, who we had the potential to become and what is in our way.
Because we have been gently and persistently sowing these seeds, it is really rewarding to see that people picking-up on the term and using it in their own worlds. Particularly because whatever it means to you, ‘relational excellence’ is a phrase that calls us all to become more – individually and in relationship with others – regardless of context.
It is through all of this that the concept of an ‘Inclusive Leadership Training Programme for Plymouth’ started to take shape. And it is only because of some new friends that we were able to find a practical way of bringing the concept to life. At this point I’d like to say a particular thank you to Jabo and Liliane from the Diversity Business Incubator CIC.
Working with new friends
I met Jabo Butera and Liliane Uwimana in Autumn 2019, at around the same time I met Martyn – my fellow co-founder at Sky Space.
One of the earliest conversations I had with Jabo was around ways that we could support people to experience lives outside of their own bubble. I think we joked around that we could name a project delivering those experiences ‘Adventures beyond your bubble’. It was slightly tongue in cheek (I think) but we did think it was quite a clever metaphor. That was until Covid struck and the world went bubble crazy, leaving us creatively flat-footed and out of easy metaphors.
My first memory of Liliane was having a conversation about her life and the many experiences she has had. I remember finding the range of life experiences she has had remarkable. And being struck by the level of insight, compassion, and belief that lives in her. It was also clear that she had some magic about her, the kind of magic that could make her a fabulous professional coach one day. She is on her journey towards that now, and that is a wonderful thing.
Since those first meetings, I have had the pleasure of making many new friends through Jabo and Liliane. My circle of friendship is bigger now and that is a real gift. Doubly so given the year we have had. It has also been great reciprocating, welcoming Martyn into the picture and experiencing all four of us growing into relationship with each other over time.
The emergence of the “Inclusive Leadership Training Programme”
Through conversation, provocation, and reflection we discovered that we shared a sense of purpose. And, from there we co created a vision of the type of impact we thought we could have on Plymouth in service of moving it forward as a city. We also explored ‘new’ language like “Relational Excellence”, “All human, all the time” and “Inclusive Leadership” and what it meant for us. Most importantly, we gave ourselves the mutual support and permission we needed to think big, step into new roles and collaborate in service of something bigger. Something that went beyond our individual organisational remits.
The ‘Inclusive Leadership Training Programme for Plymouth’ concept emerged from this place. We are grateful to the Unify Plymouth Partnership, and people from across the city for getting behind us and making it possible to bring this training programme to the city.
Thank you all very much, this is only the beginning of our contribution to Plymouth.
Click on the link to find out more about the “Inclusive Leadership Training Programme for Plymouth” and how you can register.
Stephane is a certified Executive and systemic Organisational coach and is accredited by the International Coach Federation. He takes clients to a place where they can take full ownership of their feelings, relationships, triumphs, and challenges.
He lives by the sea in Plymouth, Devon and over the last 10 years has worked in the voluntary, social enterprise, education, public, creative, and professional service sectors across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. He is currently the International Coach Federation Devon Chapter Group Leader and hosts regular meet-ups for coaches, and coaching curious professionals in the area.
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