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Using feedback to shape Better by Design – learning partner blog

By Cathy Sharp and Jo Kennedy

The learning partners have now completed the first round of visits to the Better by Design organisations. The main themes from these visits were discussed last week at a planning and reflection workshop attended by the learning partner, The Young Foundation, Taylor Haig and Big Lottery Scotland.

It is clear that all the organisations are fully engaged with the programme, often despite some very real operational and funding challenges. And on the whole, they are still very glad to be part of it.

Our learning from the visits was that there have been some early successes. Almost all had really enjoyed the design workshops and several of the other interventions supported by the Better by Design team have provided new insights and led to new approaches. ‘Change Teams’ are up and running in all organisations and sustaining the momentum.

At the same time, there have been some challenges, predominantly focused around the scale and pace of the programme. The uncertainty in the environment overall, is reflected for some in an uncertainty about how the process will unfold, and whether it will really help them to achieve the outcomes they desire.

The workshop gave the delivery team an opportunity to reflect on and discuss all these issues and to develop how we shape the next phase of the programme in response. Challenges include how best to integrate the different elements of Better by Design research, organisational health work, 1-1 support and events in programme delivery and how to work alongside each organisation in ways that build on what’s gone before and at the same time provide challenge and stimulation to think and work differently. In our planning we have been particularly mindful of the need for pace and full integration of work. 

The learning partners also used the visits to introduce the organisations to the Learning on the Run framework which enables us to pay regular attention to learning as a conscious and deliberate process. Let us know how this is going. We will also be producing a couple of case studies to help us understand what design-led processes are and how they work in practice. More to follow soon.

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