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Farscape’s blog has moved

March 10, 2015

Thank you for following us on WordPress. Our blog has now moved and you can find it on our website here – http://farscapedevelopment.co.uk/blog/

Please do follow our blog in its new home.

Ruth Moody

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All leaders are scared really…and that’s a good thing.

September 11, 2013

Ruth's Costa Rica Blog photo

I’ve just got back from leading an expedition to Costa Rica with 17 – 24 year olds.  I decided it was time to challenge myself and step out from behind my desk to get back in touch with what it feels like to be out of my comfort zone.  The expedition itself was deep in the jungle, in a tiny Cabecar village called Duserinak – a 12 hour trek from any civilisation or help.  I loved being there – the views, the basic conditions, the pigs, the challenge of building a school, the young people I was working with – and I was also scared, almost all of the time.  Scared that they would get hurt, scared that they wouldn’t enjoy it, scared that they would be disappointed with their experience, scared that I would let them down in some way.  It sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it?  But actually it was great for me to be scared.

Being scared helped me to think about myself and my own behaviours.  I was able to check-in with how I was communicating and if I was transferring my fear to the young people.  It helped me to notice how they were feeling and offer support and guidance.  It ensured that I focused on empowering them and allowing them to take responsibility for the success of the project.  It meant that we invested time in exploring our own personal impact and how each of us could learn and grow.  Overall, being scared made me a better, more caring and open-minded leader.  And the team that I was leading got far more from the experience than they would have done if I had not been out of my comfort zone and conscious of my own reactions and behaviours.

Many leaders get complacent – about their ability, about their experience, about how they communicate and lead.  And when they are complacent, so are their teams.  So my new motto comes from an old quote “Do one thing every day that scares you” (Eleanor Roosevelt). I might not be able to go to the jungle every day, but I’m excited about the possibilities for stretching myself.  And the great thing is, I know I’ll be a better leader for it.

Ruth Moody

Great leadership is about not being afraid to challenge

August 30, 2013

Man on top of mountain.I love a challenge – I will often choose to take the more difficult route because I know I get bored if things are too easy. Take my degree for example – I found Maths much easier than English Literature at school because there are right and wrong answers, you just need to remember them. Literature is woolly, there are no right and wrong answers and would it cause me hours of brain-strain trying to piece together a coherent analysis – so, of course, enjoyed it much more!

Being able to challenge myself, to keep learning new skills and continue to improve on what I have done before is integral to my happiness. Lucky then, that everybody else at Farscape agrees that this vital part of who we all are and therefore what we teach.

The second of our company values reflects this…

Farscape Development Values - Challenging

Great leadership is about not being afraid to challenge – to challenge the process and to challenge yourself. Only then can you make great and innovative changes.

By Emma Webb

What does authentic leadership mean to you?

August 16, 2013

Self-awarenessFor me, authentic leadership is about being self-aware and true to who you are and what you believe in.

It’s easy for leaders to fall into the trap of wanting to lead exactly like their idols – but often this doesn’t fit with who they are and what their values are. And people quickly pick up on the inconsistencies in behaviour that this creates – which leads to mistrust.

Leaders must take to time to explore who they are, what their values are and how they want to lead.

In my previous post I discussed how everyone at Farscape agreed on our company values – and authenticity was high on the list. Here is what it means to all of us and what it therefore means for the people we work with:

Authentic LeadershipIn short, our authenticity is about practising what we preach – which we wouldn’t be able to do without being self-aware.

After all, how can we encourage authenticity in the leaders we support without being authentic ourselves?

By Emma Webb

The challenges of time & budget on L&D…

August 2, 2013

Time and budget L&DL&D Professionals will, more often than not, feel constrained by time and budgets…

However, if these challenges weren’t present,  if you had as much money as you wanted and you had all the time in the world to put programmes together, it would be a much easier world, right?

Well, to an extent yes, it would – but this doesn’t necessarily see the whole picture behind the ‘struggle’.

The challenge is not just about reaching the money and grabbing the time – it’s about being able to PROVE the value of your organisation’s well-earned time and money that you wish to spend. If the value of a cause is so important, so worthwhile, that you can prove that your team will actually lose out as a result of not investing, it’s your challenge, your time that you have to spend to get what you need.

We’re openly passionate in what we do and believe in here at Farscape. The essence of what we work towards – exploring potential through experiential learning – does need time, does need a bit of money – but the value of finding that potential and seeing people grow as a result of what we do, is worth the challenge.

Matt Elson

How engaged are your people with your company values?

July 26, 2013

Engagement, values and decision makingHow many times have you dealt with companies whose ‘Company Values’ are all about great customer service, only to receive poor customer service? Or whose values are around creating a great place to work, only to find that everyone in the company seems miserable and can’t wait to leave?!

At Farscape we all agree that there is no point in having company values if everybody in the company doesn’t whole-heartedly believe in them and can’t deliver what they stand for.  We know that they need to be everybody’s values, not just what’s important to those at the top!

So, the whole of Farscape spent many hours brainstorming, debating and perfecting until we had a list of values – all of which meant something to everyone.

And the values that we have agreed on are now the starting point for every decision that we make and filter through to all of our daily tasks and are evident in everything that we deliver for our clients.

I personally feel as proud of and engaged with them as Ruth, our Managing Director, does.

This may be easier in a small company like ours. How do you think the big companies could do something similar?

Emma Webb

To follow… a description of each of our values. Starting with ‘Authentic’.

Farscape Weekend takes us to new heights!

May 3, 2013

team photo for blog 3rd May

We’re all for experiential learning so when, as a team, we had the opportunity to get away from urban life for two days in the higher reaches of North Wales to Snowdonia – we gathered our gear and jumped at the prospect.

Location? A fantastic wooden cabin set in Trawsfynydd – a spacious living area from which to launch our trek. It’s always handy if one of your colleagues owns one of these! ( Thanks Neil!)  The property was roughly 30 minutes from our target for the weekend… the 900M Cadair Idris. 900M – ‘Seriously?!’ I hear you cry!  Well, this weekend had to have its challenges!

We arrived on Friday, to be greeted with a hearty meal and a glass or two of the red stuff, the first of many opportunities throughout the weekend to discover what makes each of us tick.

With Saturday upon us, we set off, our journey taking us through the vast mountainous area, the fresh, windy air in our faces. The stillness of the calm valleys was striking. With no traffic, the silence of the mountains was only occasionally broken by the sounds of sheep.

Taking in a three hour trek to the summit, we passed beautiful lakes, rocky terrains and even a snow field towards the top – the views were stunning and even though we weren’t the most experienced group of climbers, the sense of achievement when reaching the peak was fantastic. We had got there together, helping each other through difficult spots – the sights from the very edge serving as the reward for our endeavour.

We went up as a team and came down an even stronger team, although individually our knees and ankles took a battering as we descended! A two hour walk back to the starting point gave us time for reflection on our achievement and was firmly put into context when looking back up from the bottom to see what we had climbed – yet another stunning view.

With the weather so perfect on a late April Saturday, a BBQ was the order of the day on the decking outside back at base. The peak of our walk was in full view, glistening in the sunset. In the evening, we had another chance to bond with great food and wine whilst the clear night skies gave us an opportunity to pause, look up at the stars and take it all in.

A great location, a journey of discovery and the chance to pause and reflect had given us a fantastic weekend, the effects of which are already clear back in the office – renewed enthusiasm, a better understanding of each other and the memory of a brilliant weekend away together.

Matt Elson