Peer Networks – bringing together local business leaders
We’re working with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership to help local business leaders overcome their challenges and take new opportunities
Action Hampshire is pleased to be working with the Solent LEP on the England-wide Peer Networks programme. This is a combination of peer support – based on the Action Learning framework that we use in our training programmes with the School for Social Entrepreneurs – and one-to-one coaching, mentoring, and advice. All free of charge!
Partnering with us to deliver the one-to-one support are local businesses Living Your Learning and Peas in a Pod. We are delighted to be working with them to run 5 cohorts of participants, with a total of over 40 managers and directors of local small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
Interested in taking part?
We are recruiting participants for our four cohorts which are starting in the autumn, so please get in touch! Your main work location has to be in the Solent LEP area and there are a few other criteria to take part in the programme (with some flexibility – see below):
- Your business / organisation must have been operating for at least a year
- It must have at least 5 employees
(in total, not full-time equivalent; and they must be on PAYE with you, not contractors)
- Annual turnover of at least £100,000
Please note your interest using this online form.
We have some flexibility with the criteria so contact us if you’re interested but don’t quite hit all these points. This applies particularly if your business has been affected by the pandemic and would otherwise have qualified; also we can be more flexible with businesses in the creative sector.
You can find more information about the programme on the Solent LEP website.
Resources for participants
Action Learning is based on insightful questioning – the idea is that we learn how to achieve our goals when people ask us thoughtful, challenging questions. This clip from the School for Social Entrepreneurs gives a flavour:
What makes a good Action Learning issue?
A good issue or challenge to bring to an Action Learning session is:
- Happening now – not in the past or the future
- Not something with a clear answer
- Fairly complicated or in-depth
- Important to you and directly affecting you
- Something you have influence over – you can take action
Essentially, it needs to be an issue or situation that you can do something about, and for which you can’t simply look up the answer.
Asking insightful questions
The best, most helpful questions in an Action Learning session are:
- Thought-provoking rather than simply giving advice or making suggestions
- Open, rather than closed – meaning there isn’t a quick, simple answer
- Challenging, but without criticism or judgement
Questions like this:
- What can you apply from other situations you’ve been in?
- Who else could help you, who are your allies?
- How do you want things to be?
- What could you do differently next time?
- What options do you have?
- What might stop you taking the next step?
The introductory presentation on Action Learning can be downloaded from the link below:
The strength of Peer Networks derives from the breadth and depth of experience of its participants and their collective commitment to support each other. Participants commit to a set of ground rules, which include respect for other participants and the group facilitator, and maintaining confidentiality regarding the issues raised in the sessions. Download the Participant Charter below: