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Katie’s blog, Corra’s Away Day

By 8th July 2019 Blogs

I joined Corra Foundation at the start of April and honestly? I love working here. It’s welcoming, the staff are kind and compassionate.

However, I am naturally a cynical person, so when I was asked to attend the ‘All Staff Strategy Away Day’ I assumed the worst. It sounded corporate and I thought the day wouldn’t be relevant to me. I was wrong.  As someone who works in Corra’s office everyday it was brilliant to hear about other parts of the organisation and put faces to names I had only seen in emails before. I even got to revisit the Falkirk Wheel (much better than I remembered it).

The point of the day wasn’t to share current organisational policy, but to think about the future.  Discussions came from across Corra, they offered a lot, they were clear, concise, and had enough participation to keep everyone engaged. There wasn’t always agreement, but as I have seen this is ok in Corra.  I hadn’t expected that, but this was me being cynical, again!

It was striking. In an organisation like Corra, I’d assumed that most people would think the same way and therefore that any conversation would be a token effort. Instead we were able to challenge each other’s thinking because we knew everyone cared about the themes, about Corra and the difference the organisation makes.

That’s where the strategy part of the Away Day’s name comes in. It’s not a buzzword: the day was about bringing together Corra’s staff, about getting us to know each other and finally, about us having a say in Corra’s future.

I’m aware that I’ve run the gauntlet from cynic to sycophant here so to balance it out, yes, the day was exhausting. Talking and listening to people requires a lot of energy, and even more comfort with eye contact. Neither are things I’m great at. But I can deal with being uncomfortable for a few hours if it’s for a good cause, and this was a good cause.

I’m really glad I was there. Not even just to see the wheel again.

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