Diploma Support Day design – Full

Read the Design Summary first.


As a result of my Action Learning Pathway Design and sharing my first diploma tutorial with Deborah I am part of an active Guild, which meets once a month. We have a shared dinner, each go through the Action Learning Questions and generally chat and support each other. There are now four of us in the Guild, having started with just two.

We all find the Guild gatherings very supportive and inspiring, but we found that we didn’t really get time to properly see each others designs, so we decided to have an extended Action Learning Guild (aka Support day) to have more time to share our designs. So in October 2013 the three current Guild members had a wonderful day together. We definitely wanted to have another one and realised, as we were reflecting together at the end of the day, that we were essentially designing the next one anyway, so why not get the additional yield of a design for our diplomas?

By the time we got round to it we had a fourth member of the Guild. With Deborah and my IPA’s looming we decided to have a full day of designing together in the hope that that would be the majority of the work.

The Design

Explore the design presentation.

I have presented this design using ‘prezi’. If you follow the link above you will be able to explore it, using the arrow keys to move through the presentation and clicking on the screen to zoom into any areas you want to see closer up. There is audio on the presentation so make sure you’ve got your sound on!

Overall Evaluation

Design Framework Evaluation: Design Web

I think the Design Web worked well in this design. It is impressive really how well we managed to introduce and then use it in a short time period. I think the anchor points are relatively self explanatory and easy to use until you get to Integrate which is where we faltered. It is also the anchor point I am less confident with using myself, which didn’t help. I am pleased that we visited all of the anchor points several times, I don’t feel that we skimmed over any of them either, apart from possibly momentum.

I was really pleased with our successful use of Pause to really nourish us during the Support Day as it is an Anchor point that I wanted to work on and explore.

The designing that happened after the design day, after reframing each of the anchor points, was much less structured and more intuitive. I have retrospectively fitted it into the anchor points, but I did not consciously use them at the time.

I would definitely use the Design Web for this type of design again, but I definitely want to focus on, research and gain more clarity on the Integrate anchor point and how it leads into the Action anchor point.  I would also build in more time if I was introducing others to it as well as designing.

Tools used Evaluation

Design tools evaluation

Design Process Evaluation

What went well?

  • I was really pleased with how we took challenges and good things that we encountered in the design process and used them to feed into ideas for the design
  • We successfully completed an entire design cycle in a month!
  • We achieved all of our functions and have a great model and resources to tweak and use again
  • Our flexibility with the designing process, accommodating the fact we didn’t quite finish in the day and each taking responsibility for designing an aspect of the day

What was challenging?

  • Trying to do a whole design in one day with people new to the design web – too much pressure – not good for peoplecare
  • Keeping the design succinct whilst doing enough to make it effective and not superficial
  • The lack of clarity on what we were designing at the beginning
  • Getting the design on to Prezi, very time-consuming
  • Ensuring everyone got equal input into the designing, as two of us were both familiar with the design web and had the motivation of getting the design ready for IPAs

What would I do differently next time?

  • Prioritise time to reflect and write up the design shortly after the day
  • Leave more time for introducing others to a new design framework
  • Prepare more for the design day
  • Give ample time to exploring the purpose and scope of the design without jumping to conclusions


Write up day in February

Write up day in February

This design has had many further yields and uses since the initial support day. Deborah and I wrote an article for Permaculture Magazine sharing some of our favourite people care techniques. We also adapted the design for a ‘skill share day’, with the same format, but rather than sharing our designs we each shared a skill with each other. It was another wonderful day, with lots of unexpected yields and people care. And then Deborah and I have taken many of the learnings from this design, including silent pauses and having the drinks out for everyone to help themselves, and incorporated them into the three ‘writing up’ days that we have had. Where we each get on with computer writing up of our diplomas, but we have company, can talk to each other about it in the breaks and have a delicious shared lunch. Making the process much more enjoyable and keeping us to short, efficient sessions.

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