Being an ecl Catalyst
Probably the most key role in the ecl initiative is that of ‘catalyst. It is the role that make things happen on the ground with leaders, parents and practitioners. It involves aspects of consultancy, coaching, advising, researching, mentoring but asks people to take a particular stance in relation to the work being done as well as the people being worked for – let’s call them clients.
In essence it is a relationship that enables co-creation to occur. There is a level of expertise required on the part of a catalyst but more importantly the function is about creating sparks and space for others to enquire, learn and create. That demands certain attributes from the catalyst that are shown diagrammatically below.
Holding space is about facilitating groups and individuals in a way that draws the best out of people
giving them room to think and be themselves.
Designing is being creative with insights and ideas. Enquiring into situations in a way that stimulates
sparks of insights and ideas, using dialogue, visual representation, movement, sound…
Training and development often involves ‘up-skilling’ clients so they themselves have the skills and
understanding to play an active role in the co-creative process.
The competence of restoring balance is probably unique to ecl in that it accepts that people need
to be in a good in themselves and in their systems in order to be effective, productive and creative.
In many respects all four competences are in service of catalysing breakthrough.
Whatever the task at hand – creating a new service, researching for new insight, improving a child’s engagement with learning – we are looking to breakthrough from a current and often ‘stuck’ situation through to something new, which improves on what is. Fundamentally ecl is about outcomes which
break with conventional norms.