All too often, people work in silos. They are experts in their field but don’t always get the opportunity to step back, see the bigger picture (yes, it’s cliché) or, perhaps more importantly, how what they do contributes or is relevant to others.
Similarly, often people charged with making decisions have insufficient knowledge about what is possible, what others are doing and what could be done. As a result, they can fall back upon an adjustment to what has gone before; effectively ‘playing safe’. This is not because they fear change, but rather because the risk of getting it wrong is perceived as being so great, that they rely upon what is known and trusted (the old adage used to be ‘nobody gets fired for buying IBM’).
Leaders and teams seeking to make change often visit others in a similar environment to their own. We saw that it would be more effective were one to meet and investigate others in different fields to cross-fertilise. And because time is scarce, we create days where participants meet a variety of people in their own environments, structured in such a way as to create benchmarks and real learning. We call it Immersion. A group of 12 people sharing experiences.
During an Immersion Day participants from different schools Middle and Senior Leaders embark upon a journey during which they will expand their network, learn from each other, challenge ideas and reset their mindsets.
From the very beginning of the programme we encourage collaboration, open discussions, reflection and preparation to take their experiences back to their schools in order to have a positive influence on others.
A full day of learning through meetings with different practitioners and the opportunity to experience diverse approaches of doing things.
Immersion Days are not intended to showcase examples of best practice but are devised to stimulate thinking, broaden horizons and expose participants to ideas beyond their normal environment. Through this experience people start thinking more critically on their current ways of working.
The days are carefully planned to provide a constant juxtaposition of views and people.
Themes depend on participants’ needs. Previous Immersions have addressed themes such as ‘transforming the learning environment’, ‘models of leadership’, ‘technology in education’, ‘engaging disaffected students’ etc.
The aim of this session is to spark new ideas and develop those which emerged during the Immersion, such that tangible goals can be set and the route to achieving them plotted.
To capitalise on this session and the Immersion Day, we invite members of participants’ SLT along to see participants present their learning and debate the opportunities to implement change within their school.