Community Managed Mental Health Leadership and Management Program - Reflections

10 July 2016 By Lisa Gort

Day 5 – 5/7/16 – Afternoon

Reflections! – The Connected World

During the afternoon we once again spent time in our Work place challenge groups. Wow – I experienced individuals really digging deep to work through and understand their challenges. There were some great learning experiences shared, including suggestions of where changes could be made to existing practices and internal thinking to help overcome challenging situations.

The group was further challenged with the guest speaker – Deborah Stewart from Monash Health. She shared the benefits and strengths of the networks we participate in and challenged us to explore networks outside our sector. It was very informative to hear about open (as opposed to closed) networks, where there is likely to be a more balanced view of world, rather than being amongst people with a shared and common purpose.

Deborah shared that it is demonstrated that performance will increase if individuals are in more open networks and have better career opportunities.

The other guest speaker was Graeme Kelly, CEO of E.W. Tipping. He challenged the group in doing things differently and allowing networks to assist. Graeme also shared with the group the value of being on boards and provided some ideas of how to explore this area.

Day 6 – 6/7/16

Driving Change

The group spent time reflecting on their 360 Degree feedback and what others had indicated that they could improve at. The room was very quiet as everyone pondered. It is difficult though refreshing to openly know areas of self-improvement.

We moved into further reflections at what we had learnt so far, and how our learnings were sitting with us, and how this will assist us in doing things differently in the future

Then the Bridge Challenge was upon us. Everyone immersed themselves into their roles to create a bridge from French Island to the mainland, with the specifications and material provided (cups, straws, skewers, tape...), and then the change came upon us. The budget was cut, material disappeared, then the specifications changed and lastly the timeframe was reduced. What did this exercise show us? We needed to be flexible when in a changing environment, that leadership styles can revert back to a default style and team work is at risk of being diminished. Everyone had great personal insight into their own personal journey.

The last workshop of our day was the Immunity to Change Model (Keegan and Lahey). The group members were very open in sharing and made themselves very vulnerable. This model was very thought-provoking and all admitted that trying to change ways of working and thought patterns was difficult. All were challenged with this exercise and members had to dig deep, and be willing to share of themselves. Everyone expressed that the session was very worthwhile.


Lisa Gort, participant, Community Managed Mental Health Leadership and Management Program