As practitioners and drivers of co-production keeping the momentum going can be tough, especially when we may feel that we are alone.
In today’s “conversation on Co-production” we looked through the lenses of both organisations and of lived experience and asked ourselves “how do we keep up then momentum?”.
Connecting with the experience.
Spending time to connect with the community right now is probably the one most important thing that we can do as practitioners. Asking people what connection looks like right now and what does community look like are great places to start important conversations. People probably want to focus on themselves and their own recovery right now, and who could blame them? Having wellbeing check-in’s with a cuppa and a natter that goes off topic is good for the soul, it’s good for an individual’s self-worth and shows them that we value them as another human being and not just about our projects.
There is real value in building up relationships with people right now, getting to know them getting to understand what really drives or motivates them and listening to their ideas, which might not be as wacky as you think.
So tip number one tip in keeping the momentum going is to connect, ask and listen. So pick up the phone, have a Zoom or face-time, send an email or text, grab-a-cuppa and talk.
Relationships, unsurprisingly, are again top of the list for keeping the momentum going with internal and external partners or co-producers. As with any relationship these take time to nurture but are the cornerstone to developing and maintaining co-production.
Building in co-production processes into organisational work-flows are really helpful, especially as staff come and go. Videos and story boards are useful, along with getting lived experience involved in the recruitment and hand-over when staff change.
If you are supporting a lived experience group you can increase their participation and involvement by making them irresistible to other parts of the organisation. Who wouldn’t want the wisdom and insight of lived experience if they thought that their own project would benefit? By doing this the benefits to the group and to co-production are enormous.
So how do we keep ourselves going during these challenging times?
Holding a belief that co-production will be the new normal and along the way celebrate the small wins whilst we wait for the big win will help. So will connecting and supporting one another as a group of change makers.
Or as was so succinctly put in the meeting “coffee”. So grab a cuppa and I’ll see you next time for a Conversation on Co-production.