We’re busy compiling the 2017 Fellowship Impact Report. As silly as it might sound, we’re bursting at the seams to share some of the high level results and learnings. We’d like to give a big mihi to Angelique Praat from the Ripple Collective for their evaluation genius and evaluative leadership. Angelique has drafted the Impact Report, and we’ve been so lucky to have some external eyes to neutrally evaluate the Fellowship’s impact.
As a teaser to the full 2017 Fellowship Impact Report, here are some key things we invite you to consider if you’re going to host a Fellowship-styled programme.
1. Preparing participants fully ahead of time
Our data suggest everyone gained something from the 2017 Fellowship. However, the experience could have been enhanced by more fully preparing Fellows ahead of time for optimum participation at the hui.
The deeply personal nature of the Fellowship was confronting for some Fellows, and caught some of them off guard. We could have done more to prepare them beforehand – perhaps with some prep videos, or by providing more information during the interviews.
2. Ako: When shared learning meets inner dialogue
We found the Fellows were more positive about the contribution of their peers than they were about their own contributions. That’s a perfect example of people’s inner dialogue in action.
This shifted somewhat as the hui progressed. Over time, relationships developed, confidence grew and we were able to build a culture of valuing unique contributions.
Perhaps we could have better prepared Fellows about the philosophy of ako (shared learning). Ako is about recognising that every single person has unique gifts, insights and knowledge to share – even if they don’t know that themselves.
What if we had emphasised more strongly how people genuinely appreciate each other’s knowledge? Would this have eased the discomfort of new Fellows in feeling like they needed to have some ‘special’ knowledge or skills to share?
3. Te Ao Māori as a framework for participation
We found the Fellows were positive about the kawa (processes) and tikanga (culture) developed through the hui. However, at least one person felt self-conscious about their lack of Māori knowledge.
Providing more information about Te Ao Māori and its role in the programme might have helped the Fellows participate more confidently. The purpose of incorporating Te Ao Māori principles is not just to allow people who identify as Māori to participate fully. A strong tikanga and kawa can allow everybody to contribute.
4. Building the group as a whānau
Some people hinted that they were a bit overwhelmed by the relational expectations of the hui, though again this eased over time. People need to know about the expectations for sharing and having a high level of trust with other Fellows.
Again, more information, or fuller conversations, at the time of application might have identified Fellows who thrive in this environment or helped prepare introverts for the experience.
Through both formal evaluation and anecdotal evidence from the Fellows, we heard that they had a positive experience with the programme. Although personally challenging for some, we found good to strong support of the Fellowship meeting its aspirations.
Keep an ear out for our final 2017 Fellowship Impact Report!
Very soon we will be publishing the 2017 Fellowship Impact Report. Keep an eye out for the Fellowship highlights video too. We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek!