A good idea needs the right people – connecting for positive change

I see my Whose Shoes?® concept and ‘in my shoes’ guest blog series as a giant jigsaw puzzle for positive, values-driven change. I do not know how many pieces there are but I keep discovering new bits. I am excited that each piece is making its own small contribution…

In this context, I was fascinated to see this video, shared by Helen Bevan on Twitter, as it made sense of some of my not-quite-articulated thoughts…

It got me thinking about how the connectivity the video talks about has worked for me – generally, but here just focusing on a few current examples.

IMG_7279I had had the great pleasure of attending Tommy Whitelaw’s amazing ‘Concert for Carers’ in Glasgow. When I first received the invitation, I was very honoured but my head told me not to go. My head told me about the long journey, the uncertainty of a trip to Glasgow in January, the expense, my ‘too busy basket’, cooked up with Kate Swaffer to help us stay on track for our agreed priorities…

But my heart told me to go. A concert hall filled with people passionate about caring and care services was a bigger pull than sitting at my desk making progress with ‘stuff’, however important. (Sorry, Mr Tax Man, who delights in adding extra gloom to January…).

I was able to meet up with the wonderful people of Glasgow, some old friends and many new people. I was able to sow seeds for change. Seeds that have to be sown when they are fresh and vital, not stored on a shelf somewhere.

Kate and I have also just heard that we have been accepted for two sessions together at the World Alzheimer’s conference in Puerto Rico in May. You may have heard our large #woopdedoodle (strange Australian term) as we are pretty chuffed about this.

I hope to write a separate blog about this but a big part of the story is our aim to connect people living with dementia across the world and to make the ‘Nothing about us without us’ mantra a reality. A survey and global petition have been launched – you can find out more and sign up here – click on the link in Kate’s tweet.

Img_7367aOur ‘Commissioning for Dementia – Getting It Right’ workshop last week was a great example of people connecting initially through social media and then, in many cases, meeting for the first time in person. I remember how this felt the first time this happened for me and I wrote about e-people becoming real people. It is still just as exciting. But I particularly like looking round the room and seeing how people react who are less used to this type of connectivity – so very different from the traditional conference where people line up in silence at the coffee. The non-tweeters are frequently tweeters by the end of the day 😉

And as my wise mother , a.k.a Gills_Mum, often says, things (good and bad it seems) come in threes. As a child I used to point out that in practice it was not always obvious where one three started and another one ended, but now I am less contrary.

Three exciting new developments – but you will have to wait to hear any more about them. Suffice to say they are all stories of finding like-minded values-driven people. They (we) are out there in abundance ready to share ideas and grow together.

And last but not least (how could it be?) I am really enjoying the learning from the School for Health and Care Radicals, The theory seems to be making a lot of sense of the work that our gang of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (for example #dementiachallengers) are in many cases doing intuitively, generally freed from the shackles of hierarchical organisations. Module 2 this week talked about how to connect and build alliances for positive change. The ‘School’ is a wonderful initiative and offers a real lifeline to good people who might be working in organisations who are not yet ready for them. An uncomfortable position. I know. 😉

Predictably, I threw in my two-pennyworth:

You can see the slides here – or better still, sign up for the School for Radicals and get involved yourself!

The video at the start of the blog explores where good ideas come from and how they are more effective when we all work together.
I agree – and it is far more fun when we do!

Is your mind racing? Mine is!


About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives. http://nutshellcomms.co.uk
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3 Responses to A good idea needs the right people – connecting for positive change

  1. 1cheerfulman says:

    Your post about the catalyst effect of the Whose Shoes experience expresses the true value of people listening to each other. I am convinced of the value of how you facilitate this process with Whose Shoes. You might be interested to hear about what is happening here because we got listened to: we started community lunches where I live; we have had meetings with Green Square about improving our environment and facilities; we were sponsored to participate in a Think Tank run by the LSE and have drafted a report for government; we have bid for funding to run our own user led Memory Cafe; and, most importantly, we have built a new sense of neighbourliness that breaks through isolation and despair. All this in just one year. We simply said “take a walk in my shoes.”

    Larry Gardiner. Sent from my iPhone



    • Thank you Larry for all your support, as always. I am always thrilled when experts by experience like Whose Shoes? and value the work I am doing. Hope to work together again soon!

      Meanwhile brilliant to hear of the progress you are all making – this is indeed what can happen when people are listening! Our Whose Shoes? session last week was directly aimed at those with the purse strings and others who can help make it happen in some way. A lot of listening, hopefully and attention to what really makes a difference to people in terms of quality of life. 😉

      There is a wonderful urgency and vibrancy to everything you are involved in and I wish you every success. Let’s talk soon and hopefully you can give me some extra insights for our new dementia friendly communities project in Kent. xox


  2. Pingback: Let’s harness the power of “invisible hordes” – together we can build a better future! | Whose Shoes?

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