Getting started

There are many ways of using the GULL system and so we have designed an easy to use ‘Getting started’ package that enables you to link the expected outcomes of your training and other kinds of development activity to GULL’s professional certification system. This approach ensures that you are able to build on what is already familiar to you and your organization.

Our objective is to enable your organization to recognize the individual and collective efforts of those who are causing change and progressive transformation in communities or in the workplace. A change process usually requires sustained effort – sometimes over a period of many years and to secure lasting progress, it is often necessary to build momentum by harnessing the creativity and energy of large numbers of people. Here, work and community-based action learning has a significant role to play, especially if it is coupled with externally recognized professional certification. We know that self-directed action learning can be operationalized on a large scale and that by engaging entire organizations and communities in the process, significant outcomes will arise. These include growth in individual self-esteem and confidence and wider impacts as groups of action learners learn together, pass on their action learning expertise to others and in turn, help to sustain the cascading process so that all who wish to participate will have the opportunity to do so.

GULL’s starting point provides a means of 'cascading' the GULL system from those in leadership roles (who serve as cascade leaders) to every community or organizational level. The objective is to enable cascade leaders to begin their own professional Master or Doctor degree journey and at the same time, cascade the GULL system to others. In so doing, cascade leaders assume a key role and make a strategic contribution by ensuring the widest possible participation. As leaders can only establish the parameters for change, the involvement of many others (via GULL’s cascade process) is mandatory – it is not possible to undertake GULL’s Master or Doctoral pathways solely for personal development.

The getting started steps are:

  1. Establish a Professional Master (M) and/or Doctor (D) cascade leadership group. This group will lead by undertaking their own M or D level pathway in order to progress their own personal and professional development and, at the same time, cascade the GULL system to others (step 2). When you have recruited your cascade leadership team, establish a timetable of face-to-face meetings (ideally weekly but at very least monthly) and ensure that this group has read and understood the briefing resources.
  2. Prepare and implement a GULL cascade plan by integrating GULL’s Professional Bachelor degree pathway with your own training, short courses and other activity (all these are ‘inputs’) and the intended applications and evidence of learning provided by each and every participant (termed ‘outputs’). This linkage is referred to as an ‘outcomes map’.

The ‘Affiliate’ section of the website provides all the generic resources needed to cascade the GULL system, starting with the review activities in the ‘Affiliate’ section (a self-directed background briefing and tour of the GULL website) followed by the ‘Getting started’ and ‘Impact tracking’ sections which host the latest links and downloadable versions of briefing resources. It is important that cascade leaders familiarize themselves with these resources prior to drafting your cascade plan.

 

Using the ‘Getting started’ resources

(1) Establish a Professional Master (M) and/or Doctor (D) cascade leadership group
Brief: This group will lead by undertaking their own M or D level pathway in order to progress their own personal and professional development and, at the same time, cascade the GULL system to others via the creation and implementation of an outcomes map.

By getting started with a Professional Master and/or Doctor cascade leadership pathway, community or workplace leaders can sustain their own personal and professional development and at the same time, cascade the GULL system to others via the creation and implementation of a Professional Bachelor pathway outcomes map. The Professional Master and Doctor cascade leadership pathways use exactly the same GULL narrative format elements so that participants can integrate the process of reflection, action learning and collaborative working with existing roles, responsibilities and the opportunity to cascade GULL and action learning to others. Entry to the appropriate pathway is determined by the profile of the participants, as follows:

Professional Master – 26-35 years of age holding senior work or community roles. Additionally, participants must have the authority to create and implement at least one Professional Bachelor pathway outcomes map on behalf of their organization.

Professional Doctor – At least 30 years of age but normally in the 40 to mid-50s age range. Participants must hold community or workplace leadership roles and additionally, they must have the authority to create and implement at least one Professional Bachelor pathway outcomes map on behalf of their organization.

The cascade leadership pathway is self-directed and facilitated and participants are expected to organize their own resourcing (learning coaches, specialist advisers, external reviewer (level 5 only)) and support each other by peer review and by providing feedback for each other. A cascade leadership group consists of at least 3 members and ideally 5-10 members with either a mix of Master and Doctor level candidates (in one group) or if there are sufficient participants, working as two separate but inter-dependent small groups (e.g. one Master and one Doctor pathway group). Additionally, participants should lead, guide and coach their Professional Bachelor pathway participants and ensure that those who are progressing on the Professional Bachelor pathway (e.g. progressing from Level 1 to Level 2) support new Level 1 participants.

The duration of the M and/or D cascade leadership group pathway is a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 18 months.

Prior to getting started with Professional Master and/or Doctor cascade leadership, please review the following resources:

Resource: Purpose:
GULL overview Outlines GULL’s mission, mandate and role in the community and the workplace.
The concept of action learning Explains the process of action learning.
GULL cascade leadership pathway Outlines the objective of the GULL Professional Master and/or Doctor cascade leadership pathway and the steps involved in self-direction and facilitation.

(2) Prepare and implement a GULL cascade plan
Brief: Prepare and implement a GULL cascade plan by integrating GULL’s Professional Bachelor degree pathway with your own training, short courses and other activity (all these are ‘inputs’) and the intended applications and evidence of learning provided by each and every participant (termed ‘outputs’).

Prior to drafting your cascade plan, please review the following resources:

Resource: Purpose:
Outcomes mapping – An overview The objective of outcomes mapping is to enable participants to convert inputs (from training, short courses and other activities) into outputs (evidence of application, change and learning). There are many ways in which participants can gather their evidence of learning and to assist with this, GULL recommends the use of its diary-based narrative format. The narrative format can be used to augment any existing methods that are used by participants to gather evidence of progress and attainment. This resource outlines the principles of outcomes mapping and introduces the various diary-based forms that can be used for this purpose.
CCMP-GULL – An outcomes mapping example In order to recognize and certify the evidence of learning from inputs (e.g. training) practice (or ‘ownership’) and the attainment of outcomes (e.g. learning and change) it is necessary to gauge progress against indicative outcome indicators or criteria. The church and community mobilization process (CCMP) with GULL outcomes map example illustrates these points in relation to a professional Bachelor pathway with three certification points for CCMP facilitators and a cascade with two certification points for CCMP co-facilitators and one certification point for CCMP church & community resource persons.
CCMP-GULL cascade plan example The CCMP-GULL cascade plan example illustrates how to compile the professional Bachelor pathway outcomes map component of your GULL cascade plan. Please refer to this example when drafting your plan.

Reflect on the cascading options by considering the range of on-going training and development activities in your organization. Consider:

  • Have we established indicators or outcomes criteria for our training and development?
  • What should participants be able to do and demonstrate at the end of each session?
  • What is working well? What could be better?
  • How might we further encourage participants to use and apply the training and capture the evidence of learning?
  • If you have existing mechanisms for capturing the evidence of learning, how might these be augmented by the activities and forms outlined in the GULL cascade leadership pathway document?

Now download the GULL cascade plan form from the link below, complete the form and email it to us together with any questions you have about how to implement your plan.

GULL cascade plan form

Briefing resources and narrative format forms

1. Narrative format briefing & overview

Resource: Purpose:
Foundation levels 1 & 2 briefing Explains the GULL narrative format process for foundation levels 1 & 2.
Foundation levels 1 & 2 overview Provides an accompanying explanation with diagrams to illustrate the GULL narrative format process at foundation levels 1 & 2.
Progression levels 3, 4 & 5 briefing Explains the GULL narrative format process at progression levels 3, 4 & 5. [Cascade leadership project work includes the creation and implementation of at least one Professional Bachelor pathway outcomes map.]
Progression levels 3, 4 & 5 overview Provides an accompanying explanation with diagrams to illustrate the GULL narrative format process at progression levels 3, 4 & 5. [Cascade leadership project work includes the creation and implementation of at least one Professional Bachelor pathway outcomes map.]

2. Foundation levels 1 & 2 resources

Resource: Purpose:
A profile of Reg Revans The career of Reg Revans, a pioneer of action learning.
Briefing for facilitators Guide notes on how to facilitate/self-facilitate small groups.
Briefing for learning coaches Explains the role of the learning coach.
Briefing for specialist advisers Explains the role of specialist advisers in providing learning support and technical expertise.
Introducing action learning An introductory resource.

3. Progression levels 3, 4 & 5 resources

Resource: Purpose:
Introducing the learning log Introduces learning to learn and outlines how to start a learning log.
Planning and writing guide Guidelines on how to plan and write-up projects.

4. Narrative format forms

Resource: Purpose:
Personal learning statement (PLS) form [Levels 1, 2 & 3] Use the PLS to frame a personal agenda for learning (level 1) and to review progress and update as appropriate (levels 2 & 3).
Daily summary form
[Levels 1, 2 & 3]
Use for daily notes and to assist with the weekly summary form.
Weekly summary form
[Levels 1, 2 & 3]
Use to summarize daily summary form entries and key points for discussion with a personal learning coach. Plan for a 10 minute face-to-face discussion with a coach each week and then add discussion outcomes to the weekly form prior to peer review (with colleagues) and sign-off by a facilitator (as appropriate).
Monthly summary form
[Levels 1, 2 & 3]
Use in week five to review and summarize progress over the full cycle. Complete by obtaining a written comment from a personal learning coach and submit for written comments, feedback and sign-off by a facilitator.
Return on outputs form
[Levels 1 & 2]
Use to summarize personal and organizational learning outcomes after completing four weekly summaries and one monthly summary.
Project review form
[Levels 3, 4 & 5]
Use to reflect on one or more strands of project work, the process and approach deployed, its relative effectiveness, alternative courses of action and the steps required to sustain the project.
Learning summary form
[Level 5]
Use to review the learning journey from the outset (at level 1) to the conclusion (at level 5).
Outcomes review form
[Level 5]
Use to summarize and to quantify the outcomes, impact and benefits of your action learning journey.
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