Rosalyn’s story

Rosalyn Springer / 8 min read

The priceless benefits of collaboration and building deep networks.

Years after she attended the programme, Rosalyn reflects on how she has incorporated the concepts of Leading Beyond Authority, collaboration and partnerships in her leadership role and the positive outcomes that resulted.

It's interesting how over the years little bits and pieces of insight from the programme come back to me. I'm reminded how I've taken to heart the learning from the programme on the importance of the right kind of networks, and the collaboration and partnership that happens as a result of that. It has become a big part of the way that I like to work and I see benefit in it.

One of the things that keeps coming back to me from the Common Purpose programme I attended almost eight years ago is the importance of broadening your horizon, of not being afraid to go into a completely different area. Admittedly, this was not something I utilized in the beginning when I took part in the programme. Later on I realized that the programme planted the seed that would give me the confidence to make a move into the housing sector, without fear.

I definitely think that the programme was the first opportunity I had to be exposed to different leadership ideas – ideas on broadening horizons, networking, collaboration and partnership. It was eye-opening in that way.

Providing homes for lower income households

At Notting Hill Genesis, I work in the social and economic regeneration team, where we work with local communities to help them reach their aims and goals in life. Our team is responsible for carrying out a 30-year regeneration scheme that is deeply embedded in the community. We have a lot of competing priorities, opposing pressures and a very diverse group of stakeholders, each of them having different priorities they’re trying to achieve.

In my role, I have to be very mindful in making decisions and considering how those decisions affect the different stakeholders and their goals.

Building deep networks in the community

For the community I work with, I can’t just go to a community and offer solutions and projects straight away. In order to help and empower residents, I have to look deeper into the residents’ lives to gain a deep understanding of their needs. Once I do this, I realize that they're not just concerned about keeping their job or what they’re going to eat that day – they're also concerned about the leaking roof or the fact that they may not be able to pay their bills this month. It’s a multitude of issues that each resident faces.

If I have a better understanding of residents’ lives and their challenges, it enables me to offer effective solutions to help them achieve their goals. In the end, this creates a more meaningful partnership between the community and our organization.

Seeing how it all fits together

Within the organization, I recognize that I’m not an expert in all fields. I’ve only been in the housing sector for three years. However in those years, I’ve been part of three different teams and worked closely with others with different specialisms.

I find that working across teams allows me to see how each piece of the puzzle fits together. It enriches my knowledge, gives me more confidence in speaking about things I may not be an expert in and enables me to collaborate and communicate with colleagues better.

Becoming a subscriber of change

When presented with challenges, I try to have an open way of thinking and become a subscriber of change. This encourages me to look at the positive and look for opportunities instead of focusing on the negative. I think that having this approach leaves you a little bit more open, a little bit more resilient.

The Common Purpose programme instilled in me the importance of broadening your network, although admittedly it has taken some years to truly understand this. Even now I continue to still work on that. It’s all a learning process!

Essentially, collaborating and networking with different people expands your horizons and enriches your learning. This improves your ability to lead beyond your authority. That’s priceless and I was first exposed to that through Common Purpose.

Rosalyn Springer is Resident Involvement Programme Manager for Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) .
She took part in the Navigator Programme, in 2010.

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