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Weekly Discussion: The information tug of war

Discussion in 'General Guiding' started by badgemad4, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Some of you might have heard the terms “push” and “pull” in reference of how information is obtained. Push is Guiding sending emails with updated, compulsory training and meetings. Pull is having to check the website or ask an advisor.

    The coming programme changes seem to have stirred up feelings about how information should be presented to us, especially in what order.

    Recently someone shared a document outlining the new award scheme on a Facebook group, and I’ve since seen it replicated in a few other places. It has had a mixed reception. But what’s stood out to me is that some people are quite out of the loop when it comes to the programme update and others seem to have detailed information.

    Now some of this might depend on the individuals role and ultimately their interest in getting new information (I’ve met a few leaders who have turned off all Guiding emails/delete upon receiving). It’s highly likely that the CC is going to hear about something before an occasional residential helper. But some things seem to be luck of the draw depending on which area you are from. I heard that TSS was being split in one area over a year before it was announced in another- and this was in the same region.

    Should all information be available at once to all members, or should it be allowed to “filter down” and prepare each level for the questions that the next will present?

    How do you think we should be given updates on information?
     
  2. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Personally I would prefer to have a more visibility open structure on how information is going to be disseminated. An example would be the loose overview “we’re going on a journey”. We can see what’s due to happen and when. For this type of structure to be used going forward would be great. Including who should have what information when, I don’t like hearing things first through informal routes that can’t be verified on accuracy/date/version (this is not referencing or critiquing anyone in particular). It seems to only cause confusion. Others I know though would say that all members have a right to the same information at the same time, regardless of “status”.

    I can understand why central Guiding doesn’t send us too much information, people stop paying attention and things get missed.
     
  3. Lynz

    Lynz Veteran (100+ posts)

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    A lot of the confusion seems to come from things that aren't yet "set in stone". HQ usually only officially announce things when they've been 100% confirmed as the final decision, whereas someone involved in the process will know what's likely to happen well in advance of that, and may start discussing it with other people at the point it's only 70% certain, so the news gets around through informal channels in advance of the official announcements.

    The "right" timing and amount of info to send out is really a personal preference, and almost impossible to achieve a compromise that keeps everyone happy across an organisation this big!
     
  4. Trinny

    Trinny Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I don't think the Our Journey page is updated that often, which is annoying because it should be the go-to place for new programme updates! Even if some months it just said "this month we've been continuing our work on x, or having discussions about y" - even no news can be disseminated well, and then give confidence that they are actually working on it! Also, the new interest badge design doesn't seem to be on the website yet, which is silly given it was in Guiding, and therefore probably in all the hairdressers/dentist waiting rooms by now!

    I would really appreciate a monthly update, with all the new programme stuff in. This could be tacked onto another email to avoid overload, but it would be nice if it could all be in one place, and also not have to come through an unverified someone from a FB group.
     
    mustbemad, AngliaGuider and badgemad4 like this.
  5. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I think a lot of it depends on the individual. I recently went to a County training session on the new programme. I belong to various Facebook groups, this forum , look on the Guiding website from time to time and usually read the magazine, so for me the session didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.

    However, there were leaders present ( and not just the older ones who possibly might not use social media) who had little to no idea about any of the programme changes and for who the training session provided a great deal of information.

    I think those who want to find out about the latest updates are the type of people who will go out and look for them , where as others are perfectly happy carrying on until they hear otherwise.

    On the whole,I don't think releasing information about things that might happen is helpful as it gives way for rumours and mis information to spread- especially on good old social media!
     
  6. AngliaGuider

    AngliaGuider Regular (50+ posts)

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    I've recently queried when we can expect news of the cost implications for the new programme materials. First the timeline page said autumn, then that was quietly dropped. HQ said on their Facebook page a week or two back that they were planning to get news out before Christmas so we can include it in our 2018 budgeting, but we're now pretty much at the end of term and still no news...

    They also promised to announce the decisions about the Baden-Powell Challenge Award and new digital recording device by the end of 2017, but there's no sign of any news about those either.
     
  7. Trinny

    Trinny Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Well, the Baden Powell Challenge is being axed according to a post from a County Commissioner on Facebook, but GG haven't themselves said anything, which I would imagine is part of the inspiration behind this thread!
    The budget implications are very annoying though, especially in a year where they've put through above inflation rises in national census - I think someone worked it out at 14%? So not giving much chance for budgeting, plus a high census (and I imagine there'll be at least inflationary increases next year) and I think some units will find it a very difficult 2018-2019, all because GG refuse to communicate in line with their own deadlines!
     
  8. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    I think we have to careful what we wish for but also try to understand how the processes are taking place.

    In many ways we've complained when the 'staff' at HQ influence what we as volunteers are doing. So with an event such as the programme renewal, there is a team of volunteers involved in the process with the staff team making it happen. Whenever you use volunteers the timescale will change as they cannot commit 24/7 to the task and we have to be realistic with their time committments.

    Some aspects are vague to allow for consultation and changes. It would be good for some ideas on budget concerns but again there is a process, they need to decide what resources we need, trading need to go and get them costed and then the information released...if there is a delay in any aspect of that then we will be delayed about the information. Realistically though, we all know we will need new resources, we know what handbooks, GFI's etc go for now and it's not hard to work out that new resources won't be cheaper...but also we know we will need to invest so fundraising or grants from Counties etc will help the process.

    As for awards, it is very much a need to know process at the moment. I think the general idea is not to drip feed information, not to give leaders who 'think' they know it all the chance to lord it over others or give the wrong impression. Leaders need to get the information, with the background information and why this particular decision has been made and how the new version will improve our Guiding.

    The information about the discontinuation of the BP Award was sent out as it will impact BP advisors. Their role is now finite but they have important work to do, ensuing all the girls currently doing the award or about to start will be able to complete it in time. It's not that they are any more important but they simply have a role in the transition and they need to pass the imformation down to Guide units and support them.

    Overall, I think if we look at how other changes in the past have been communicated, this one isn't too bad. Once upon a time it would be through our monthly Guiding magazine or at the District meeting when it had been filtered to the n'th degree. What we get now is the quarterly (?) magazine, fortnightly email updates direct from HQ. The information may not be as in depth as we would like soemtimes but I have no doubt that we will get to know everything we need to from the correct source ( not facebook gossip) in due course.

    Sent from my SGP712 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Tawnyowl51

    Tawnyowl51 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I agree that the " we are going on a journey" page could be updated far more frequently, evenif as suggested it is just an update on what is happening rather than any decisions

    I choose not to use facebook, so it is a little disappointing to learn that things are put on the official facebook page, but not on the actual official GG website. That seems to be a way of excluding people, rather than making it accessible to all who use the internet.
    The fortnightly email could include a link to an updated page so those who want to find out more can do so, while those happy to wait do not feel they have to wade through lots of info that might change before being set in stone.

    Rumours circulated by people who may have more knowledge that the rest of us, can be helpful at times, but at other times they stir up anxiety and disgruntlement

    As for those who also choose not to/ have no access to, the internet, it would not surprise me to learn that some leaders know very little about any change at all.

    Our census has gone up drastically this year, it is more than £30 for the first time, so if the new programme is going to impact heavily on finances it would be good to at least have some idea of what it is going to include. Will every girl need a new book, how much are all the resources going to cost, badges and other record keeping materials, they are all going to cost money, and units will be expected to pay for it.
     
  10. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    It’s been reposted to our county FB group, apparently it’s true but we are all getting an email about it next week.

    Yep, it’s part of the inspiration, but intended to be not a criticism of those who have been posting it. People are naturally curious and they want to prepare for the new programme. Being told in mid December to not start any Guides on BP after January might be too late notice for some units. I think people only want to help by sharing it.

    This piecemeal information has probably caused more confusion, even though the document covers things like when we should stop girls starting on BP. I do wonder if it was supposed to be an advance document to prepare commissioners and advisors for questions, rather than be for general viewing. Having coms and advisors pre-prepared is ideal but sometimes we might need to keep the information to ourselves...
     
  11. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    "the document covers things like when we should stop girls starting on BP. I do wonder if it was supposed to be an advance document to prepare commissioners and advisors for questions, rather than be for general viewing. Having coms and advisors pre-prepared is ideal but sometimes we might need to keep the information to ourselves..."

    That is precisely the purpose of the document sent to BP advisors and County Commissioners. The idea was to ensure that BP advisors knew what was happening and to pass the informaton on to Guide Units so they knew how it will effect girls starting or aiming to start. When information like this is sent out, it is relied on that those in receipt do act wisely and not use it to scaremonger, pass on half truths or information which may be regarded as confidential. I'm not suggesting that this has happens but if it does you can understand why the release of information is very carefully regulated.


    Sent from my SGP712 using Tapatalk
     
  12. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    There is no ideal communication system which suits everyone. And we do have to start by acknowledging that.

    Some information is being sent out to certain relevant people first, in order to help them (e.g. sending information on changes to awards to the BP Advisers so they can plan for the transition between award schemes, and schedule Adventures to try to ensure everyone who completes the rest of the BP challenges within timescale has the chance to complete the final 'Adventure' clause).

    So far a range of means have been used - articles in the magazine which is circulated to all Leaders, emails, social media - meaning that anyone who wants to be up to date with the latest announcements can be. And some Counties are holding training sessions based on the information available so far. But is it reasonable for someone whose magazines are never extracted from the wrapper, who deletes emails on receipts, and who doesn't go the local trainings, to complain about no-one telling them what is going on?
     
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  13. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    The latest email update covers new programme costs and the new awards which is pretty much word for word in the email to BP advisors ( the only additions was on timescales on how to get girls through the BP)
     

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