Growing Impact - Learning and Leadership Cohort Launched

Sep. 16, 2016 in Articles

How do communities innovate to increase their impact on complex issues in their communities?”

Four communities from distinct health authorities are working to grow their impact through the inaugural healthy communities learning and leadership cohort called ‘Growing Impact’. The process is facilitated by BC Healthy Communities (BCHC) on behalf of the PlanH program.

The City of Kelowna, City of Surrey, the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the District of Squamish are participating in the cohort offered through PlanH Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund’s, Growing Impact Stream. Together they are leading the way in creating the conditions that enable healthy people and healthy places.

Growing Impact Curriculum

BCHC staff and associates have developed a unique Growing Impact curriculum tailored to the cohort and delivered to each community. Each community has participated in the first two-day learning session. The sessions are in addition to coaching and an online community of learning and practice. 

"It was a great introduction with complex problems navigation…it broadened my perspective on all the things we need to pay attention to.'" - Participant

While participating communities are working on community aspirations that range from food security to active transportation and early childhood development, the curriculum is designed to dive into the foundational capacities for those that seek to influence change. 

During the two-day sessions leaders from different sectors including local government and health authorities engaged in rich dialogue and meaningful group exercises facilitated by BCHC.  The learning sessions supported participants to develop the mindsets and skills needed to address root causes of healthy communities issues. Topics include:

  • influencing systems change,
  • accelerating learning,
  • developing transformative leadership
  • collaborating more effectively across sectors; and
  • innovating upstream for greater impact.

During the sessions participants were challenged to explore personal capacities for change as well as how to develop shared ownership and leadership to create lasting change. One participant reflected on the curriculum:

“It was a great introduction with complex problems navigation…it broadened my perspective on all the things we need to pay attention to. Which leads nicely to the critical importance of inclusive engagement and collaboration.” – Participant in Growing Impact Learning event

Integrated Support

BCHC Associates have learned through decades of community development that taking an integrated, holistic approach to influencing change is the only way we will make progress on tough social issues.

 “We can’t keep doing the same as we are doing and expecting different results. We need to evolve our ideas, we need to do things differently together and be innovative – the Growing Impact Learning and Leadership cohort is an opportunity to do things differently.” Stacy Barter – Learning Specialist and Facilitator

This approach is fundamental to the way BCHC works with communities. Learn more about how we work by reading our Theory of Change located here: http://bchealthycommunities.ca/toc

Communities in the leadership cohort will spend the next six months benefiting from coaching from BCHC. They will also have an opportunity to connect with other Growing Impact communities through a facilitated community of learning and practice. Coaching and community support are in addition to a grant of up to $15,000 provided through the Healthy Communities Capacity Building fund.

About the PlanH program

PlanH, implemented by BC Healthy Communities Society, facilitates local government learning, partnership development and planning for healthier communities where we live, learn, work and play.  Working together with health authorities, UBCM and the Ministry of Health, PlanH supports Healthy Families BC, the Province’s health promotion strategy. www.planh.ca