As the Equality Manager at the London Fire Brigade, Abby Crawford has strategic responsibility for delivering diversity, inclusion and cultural change initiatives. Abby used her experience of the Collective Impact Programme to develop a new ‘Togetherness Strategy’ for diversity and inclusion at the Fire Brigade.
“She Leads Change helped me to explore how my own identity as a ‘leader’ impacted my ability to effect culture change … and introduced me to some effective concepts and practical approaches to leading change in an open and collaborative way“
Why She Leads Change?
I was encouraged to join the She Leads Change Collective Impact programme by a colleague who knew a couple of people who had completed previous programmes and seen some great personal and professional growth. Having never taken part in a leadership or change programme before, I joined with no expectations other than to hopefully meet some interesting people, and I certainly achieved that and so much more.
What did you gain from your experience of the Collective Impact programme?
I joined the programme in January assuming it was very much a ‘work course’, and my assumptions couldn’t have been more wrong. After a few interactions I quickly gathered that this was a very different kind of professional development, that was so intrinsically linked to the ‘personal’ that I was there to grow as a person as well as a leader. I gained confidence, learned new approaches to complex and ‘scary’ situations, and met a wonderful, diverse group of women who are passionately leading change in areas from global health to philanthropy, and everything in between.
My current role is as the Equality Manager at the London Fire Brigade, and I have strategic responsibility for delivering diversity, inclusion and cultural change initiatives. It’s a workplace which is steeped in history, and is very traditional in a number of senses.
What is emerging for yourself as a leader?
She Leads Change helped me to explore how my own identity as a ‘leader’ impacted my ability to effect culture change in this environment, and introduced me to some effective concepts and practical approaches to leading change in an open and collaborative way.
It helped me to not be afraid to propose ideas and to really dig down into how I feel, and understand fully how that impacts on my daily life and ability to be good at leading culture change.
I have used the models learnt in my day-to-day work, most recently in the development of a new ‘Togetherness Strategy’ for diversity and inclusion at the Fire Brigade. The biggest learning for me was in the collaborative, open space it created for us to try new things, and the provision of 1:1 sessions with a great coach for each participant was invaluable.
Our next Leading Collective Impact programme begins on 23 September and will be themed on “diversity, inclusion and equity”
If you want to learn how to enable a more systemic, multi-stakeholder response to challenges related to this theme, grow in confidence, purpose and authenticity as a leader leading collective change – this programme might be for you.
Contact Jacqueline to find out more about our Collective Impact programme or meet her at one of our virtual taster sessions to discover how we can further support your leadership journey. Register here to join the next conversation. All welcome!