Saturday, 7 January 2012

Managing Together

I've mentioned on here before that I volunteer with The Scout Association.  I am Assistant District Commissioner (Adult Training) for Clackmannanshire in Scotland.  So I thought I'd post about a training initiative that's up and running at the moment.
Boy's BrigadeGirl's Brigade
It's called Managing Together, and is a collaboration between Scouts Scotland, Girlguiding Scotland, Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade Scotland.  It's a different way of delivering training for those in Management roles within the Scout Association, such as Group Scout Leaders and District Commissioners.

The first part is on-line, and involves learning about the different policies which a manager might need to be aware of, including delivering events, increasing diversity and recruiting new Leaders.  After that there is a one-day course with other Leaders taking part in the training, about building communication and relationships within the volunteer team.


  • it's on-line, so that you can do it at a time and pace that suits you (which in some cases is a disadvantage, because it can take forever to get around to it);
  • you get to compare the way we do things within our organisation with the way that it's done in other organisations, and sharing good practice can only be a good thing.

  • while giving an overview of policies and procedures in the different organisations, you need to go and look up the specifics for your own organisation - you may as well go on the course that's part of The Scout Association training, and learn about the specifics there;
  • the content doesn't quite match up to the contents of The Scout Association modules.  For example, the one about recruiting adults doesn't include anything about recruiting young people, which is half of the content of the "Growing the Movement" module in The Scout Association which it is supposed to match up with.  This means that while it makes sense to use the self-assessment answers from Managing Together as a way of validating your Module in The Scout Association training, it isn't a validation method in itself.  Completing the Managing Together Training should not validate you for your Manager Training with The Scout Association.
I have been guinea-pigging the Managing Together Training, which is still in early stages with relatively few Leaders signed up to it.  It's really got me thinking.  After all, the usefulness of any training should be in whether it helps a Leader to fulfill their role.  I'm stepping out of line a bit here, as my own role involves me promoting Managing Together as a method of delivering training to Managers within my area... but if I'm honest, I'm unsure how effective it is at improving on the training that The Scout Association already has in place.

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