Celebrating co-production week

Celebrating co-production week
28/06/2024 Nikki Dudley

For Co-production Week, we wanted to share some thoughts and reflections on the development of our new strategy, which is very nearly finalised and will be launched later this summer. Sharon, our Learning & Development Manager, and member of the Strategy Review Group, has shared her reflections on being involved in the process.


Well, it all started out with a couple of conversations at a Team Catch-Up and completing a survey about the new strategy last year, then the next thing I know, I’ve somehow allowed myself to walk straight into full on review mode! This has involved hours and hours of hashing out the finer detail, poring over documents and dredging my mind for synonyms. Myself and the other team members have been asked to input throughout the entire process, through regular meetings. It’s been a fantastic experience in truth.


I’ve been asked my opinion on strategies previously, asked to complete a survey or two and then sat back and allowed the thing to just happen around me, I can’t think of a time when I have been involved in it’s creation to this level.


Now, that’s all well and fine as I trust the people I work for and with to make sound decisions and to create something awesome. I don’t feel I’m entirely necessary for a thing to be great, but I have learnt that if you allow things to be created around you, with little input or interest, then it doesn’t feel like yours, it can feel like just another contract, rather than an agreement, like I am working for you, not with.


The other thing I noted here is that I was slightly reluctant to be involved to this level. I had previously been quite happy to have others make these decisions on my behalf, not because I’m lazy, (I can be mind) but because I wasn’t sure I was bright enough to achieve this level of work, to make these decisions and sure, wasn’t I going to look foolish!! Working as a part of a wider group, co-producing in this way allows us to bring our strengths to the table and leave Imposter Syndrome at the door.


I felt heard and valued and importantly, I learnt more about my colleagues, their values and how they view the organisation and the work we do.


Co-producing work does more than create the work being created, it brings people together, breaks down barriers, creates a true sense of belonging, teaches us new things about the work, our team and ourselves, whilst also showing people that we value them, which in itself helps people to value themselves.


I feel we have a fantastic strategy going forward, and feel very proud of it, not an emotion I remember feeling at times when I was more disconnected from the process.


So I recommend: co-produce where you can, participate when the opportunity arises!