Do you ever feel like something is holding you back? Resilient organisations start with resilient people.

By Katy Murray
Katy is a coach, organisational development consultant and facilitator with 20 years experience in the NGO and commercial sectors. Together with Fiona Smith, she has recently founded Catalyst Collective to create and share inspirational resources for change-making women.

I’m a long-time supporter and advocate of all things related to the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), having convened and facilitated three previous HHR conferences, and attended the events as a participant for many years before that.

I’m delighted to see the depth of recent learning conversations around enabling localisation with HHR Europe, and building resilient organisations coming up for HHR Asia. What great opportunities to share and receive new ideas, and then apply what you learn, to shift the systems that you operate in!

I’d like to share some brief thoughts about these topics and share an offer with you.The localisation agenda is of course about power (amongst other things!). Who has access, who is making decisions, whose voices are heard, whose wisdom are we amplifying. Who is showing up and who feels able to bring their best selves into the mix. Resilient organisations start with resilient people.

People are resilient when they feel safe, when their ideas are heard and valued, when they feel powerful in their own lives and in their spheres of influence. Who is heard in your agency? Whose wisdom dominates? Do people feel safe to share their best ideas and perspectives inside your organisation? Or are they holding back in some way? There are tangible things we can do to shape an inclusive culture in our agencies, where everyone feels able to bring their best.

Some examples include staff and managers being aware of the power dynamics in the system they’re operating in, being aware of how their own biases can play out and calling these out in others, being more attentive to who gets air time, using inclusive language and so on…There are also things we can each do to shift from holding back to stepping up, and being able to bring our best selves to our work.

We urgently need new forms of leadership to rise up. We need to hear voices that haven’t been heard, and give space to wisdom that hasn’t yet been embraced. This doesn’t happen overnight as we all know. It needs deliberate, intentional and sustained awareness of those who hold power, and resourcing of those who have not held as much power, so that they can step up and share power. It’s about rebuilding and recreating power structures that enable women and men from all different backgrounds to contribute authentically and equally.

I’ve created Catalyst Collective, with a colleague Fiona Smith, as a response to this need that we see in the world. Between us we’ve worked in 35 countries, with 100s of women, in the INGO sector, and with local community contexts, as well as global commercial and corporate clients.

We’re passionate about equipping women to step up and bring their best, and resourcing women to navigate and even shift the system(s) we’re operating in. We’re also creating resources for men and for allies. If you’d like to connect and be the first to access these resources you can do that here

Our first product is focused on self-compassionate confidence, and equips women to close the gap between who they want to be in the world, and who their confidence is allowing them to be, so that they can contribute even more authentically and even more equally. We are offering a free mini-course which is open to anyone who wants to explore and close their confidence gap. It’s completely free and packed with great content. The first videos in the mini-course are available to watch here.

The mini-course is only available till 24 November and you can sign up to receive the full mini course via the link www.catalyst-collective.com. We look forward to connecting with you.The full confidence programme is open for registration from 27 November to 01 December 2017. This is a five-week modular online training programme at a mid-price point, so it’s really accessible. Individuals can join this or we can bespoke or scale to complement agencies’ in-house programmes. The link to sign up is www.catalyst-collective.com or contact team@catalyst-collective.com for more details.

Have a great HHR Asia conference!