From chaotic ripples to complicated waves

This is turning out to be a fine example of cynefin dynamics and of ‘safe to fail’ experiments.

I initially facilitated the foundation workshop looking at ways to reduce the pressure on the accident and emergency dept at Coventry Hospital. Using Participatory Narrative Inquiry methods I held open a space with no constraints. Many ideas emerged, some were more enthusiastically owned, story-boarded and supported than others.

A while later, one idea, named RIPPLE started to deliver, a self organised local community group, informal, educational as well as entertaining but most importantly social. Demonstrating a prime principle of complex adaptive systems it started to deliver more than the sum of its parts in ways that had not been predicted but could now be explained in hindsight.

One such hindsight insight was that they were reducing isolation (in TRIZ terms a known harm in every social system) and if you watch this video you will see it highlighted as one of the programmes initial aims.

Personal happiness seems to be the biggest benefit to be observed and amplified. I love the (much later) insight that the staff are getting a boost from this approach as well.

As the months passed the patterns began to form. Beneficial patterns were amplified, harmful patterns dampened. Slowly the system could be  moved from complex to complicated where it could be exploited as it now had governing constraints that would encourage and allow the NHS to run six more franchisee experiments, copying the patterns but not the blueprint of RIPPLE.

Each different local area encountered different problems, different people and adapted accordingly to meet local context.

What I like most is that the structure, ethos and lessons learned (shared regularly, face to face and in a knowledge base) grew into enabling constraints, just enough structure to work within but creating the conditions for local quirks and genuine innovation.

I have mentioned this quote before but Jules Pretty in his book Agri-Culture in a much more ecological environment, said:

When people are organised in groups, and their knowledge is sought, incorporated and built upon during planning and implementation, then they are more likely to sustain activities after project completion

…long term sustainability was only guaranteed when local institutions were strong…

…projects failed when there had been no focus on institutional development and local participation”

In the initial and subsequent idea generating workshops we made the invite as wide ranging as possible to include patients, third sector, specialists, local GPs, chaplain, NHS staff, University etc. If you watch for the ownership in the eyes of everyone participating in this video you get an idea of just what might be possible.

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Happy Breathers

Another pilot that emerged from our original RIPPLE COPD Group in Coventry.

This is the Happy breathers COPD community clinic takes place at Ivo Day Centre, Albion Street, Spalding, 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Thursdays.

We definitely want to see more stories like this…

Complexity, citizen engagement – Dave Snowden at Tedx

Happy New Year. It is 2018, 20 years since Dave Snowden first introduced me to the wonders of narrative, 15 years since I attended my first cynefin training and 10 years since I did some of the early probe citizen engagement (Children of the world) experiments using Sensemaker.

In this video recorded at the recent Tedx event, Dave reveals how all three of the above have come together into a coherent approach to ethnography, complexity and most interestingly, change.

Watch carefully and make copious notes notes in your journal, then re-read and add your own perspectives on what it means to you.

We need more stories like this

Emerging from the original RIPPLE – COPD Project in Coventry, this is one of the seven further ‘safe to fail’ experiments in surrounding districts.

The Wolverhampton CCG TWIRL Project

Less than six minutes long, please watch and consider the implications if we were able to deliver more medical services in this way

Beginning, as an idea, at a workshop I facilitated in February 2016 at the Football Stadium in Wolverhampton:

wolves

These were the Benefits identified by the Group:wolves1

The outcome, a weekly meeting summarised in this video, packed full of personal anecdotes says it all.

I want to stay forever

The sandwiches are good too

If ever there was an example that we need more stories like this…

RIPPLE Video – patient experiences

Hot off the press, here is a twenty minute video of the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust RIPPLE Project, introduced by Colin Gelder (who specialises in Asthma, COPD and other Airway Diseases. He also runs the new Community COPD Team.) and nurse Charlotte.

I was lucky enough to be invited to facilitate the early workshops from which emerged the ideas for this project.

The RIPPLE Project is a study we have put together looking at the effects of using Asset based Community Development to address anxiety and social isolation in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). – Dr Colin Gelder – Consultant

RIPPLE is an acronym meaning

Respiratory

Innovation

Promoting a

Positive

Life

Experience for COPD patients

After the first five minutes of the video you will hear, first-hand, the personal experiences of some of the community members.

While you watch these amazing accounts of just what the project has done for them, imagine each short story as a narrative fragment, signified (indexed against an appropriate set of parameters) by the teller and plotted on a sensemaker narrative landscape so that you could see the patterns across the community/county/society and drop in on any aspect that attracts your interest.