Edition 160 – September 2022

We are often so focused on detail, structures & being thorough in our reviews, & we may not remember to zoom out & ask the bigger questions.

How do your reviews FEEL for those who participate in, contribute to or read them?


How do the participants feel, for instance, when the theme that is arising has been under review before? My observation is  that this can contribute to a jaded workforce.

When we focus on new learning, & generate actions directed towards creating the conditions for improvement it feels completely different.  More like forward momentum than judgement & repetition.

The terms of reference make a huge impact as do the sharpness of the themes we generate. There is an art to doing this properly & we can consider it step by step together.

My invitation is for you to join Jonathan Dickens* & I on 19th September from 1.00-2.30pm in a FREE live workshop called ‘5 Misconceptions about Recurring Themes in Reviews’ Click here to check the details & reserve your seat.

And finally, reviews with an appreciative focus do far more than asking what works well. They use a range of questioning techniques which reframe the deficit focus we have become so accustomed to in reviews. For example, asking about a piece of practice that was effective and successful, with follow up questions about how it was done, what was done and what the multi agency team did well can bring forward far more analysis than a closed question.

However, in reviews we are somewhat conditioned to imagine that our analysis will be far more robust if we consider shortcomings. That’s why our appreciative inquiry accreditation requires reviewers to have plenty of practice practicing appreciative learning conversations.

In our free live workshop, Robust Reviews Using Appreciative Inquiry Techniques on 15th September 2022, 1-2.30pm Karen Wright Senior Manager, Safeguarding Adults, Northumberland Strategic Safeguarding Partnership and I will cover in some depth the nature of an appreciative inquiry review undertaken in Northumberland. Reserve your seat here.