Over the last year I have had the opportunity to do something different in my training. I was asked by NCVO to deliver one day of their five day charity management awareness course. The course is run for military personnel in the final two years of their time in the military.
The day that I lead on covers campaigns and communications, and how the charity sector in the UK views campaigning and communicating as a key part of how we do our work. This course is designed to help military personnel who are thinking about a possible career in the charity sector.
For my first session earlier this year, I was somewhat wary as to whether this audience would be entirely receptive to my message.
Yet my wariness was soon swept away by the initial icebreaker exercise. I asked them, in addition to the normal introduction, to suggest one time in their life when they had sought to change something. I opted for this exercise because basically this training day would all be about how to seek change through campaigns and communications.
I was fascinated how the group, and indeed subsequent groups, responded to this challenge. They all had an example to share.
Some of them focused on how they sought to change things within the military by possibly seeking to influence their senior officer, while others focused on how they had worked within their local community to achieve change.
What was fascinating for me, and encouraged me, was that people who had spent so long in the military services were not only open to the need for promoting change, but had already been doing so for many years.
I do love it when I do something different, and I work in a different sector. And invariably my key takeaway is that irrespective of our sector, there are some things that connect all of us as humans, and one of those things is a real desire not just to accept things for how they are but to seek to influence change for the better!