Pearls of wisdom from Q1 2024…

As Future of Greater Manchester enters its fifth year of cross-sector place leadership and its second year of independence from [lovely] sister Future of London, we’re testing a few pearls of wisdom and finding they fit pretty well…

  • It definitely ‘takes a village’ to raise up strong place leaders. Check out our stellar line-up of volunteer mentors for Future Leaders Round 1, launched 8th Feb, and Leaders Plus Round 5, launching 7th March. Yes, it includes lots of cross-sector movers and shakers we’re grateful to have, but it’s even more valuable because the mix includes our own Leaders alumni plus a blend of experienced and novice mentors. This should be the most dynamic year for mentor development and networking yet – watch this space!
  • Tactical urbanism approaches do more than make streets pretty. As a start-up, we’re using this mindset across much of what we do: listen, identify a challenge, experiment, succeed or fail fast, learn, and keep evolving. We want Future of GM to lead on innovation and share ideas and practices with London and other cities. We’d love for our networks and partners to do the same in the wider world – get in touch if you’re up for a little healthy intercity competition!
  • Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – Our board, steering group, alumni and network have helped our team of three (part-timers!) navigate an insane first quarter including Leaders Plus 4 Proposals for GM with GMCA’s Eamonn Boylan OBE and Mayor Andy Burnham (pictured, between the fire alarms); Future Leaders and Leaders Plus launching a month apart; planning our April Diverse Voices launch; and the inevitable hassle here and there. The clustering is tough but we’re building resilience and passing the learning on to our course candidates and networks.
  • Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime‘. Obviously this should be ‘person’, and probably ‘kale’ rather than ‘fish’ BUT the parallel is that we and our talented Leaders facilitators Miffa Salter, Aidan Kearney and Laurence Knott – plus the sector leaders who speak at Expert Insights – don’t hand out management texts and send people on their way. Over 6-9 months, we share tools, explore motivations and dynamics, go backstage at emerging places, take strategy off the shelf, and make space for candidates to learn from each other. Watch how they rise and how much they do for their constituents – they’re ‘feeding’ whole cities.
  • Look up! My favourite bit of mini-advice: carve out some time to really explore the places you live and work, listen actively, or read something from outside your world. We met Jane Hall of the inspiring Contact Theatre that way, and the collaboration potential is unlimited.

We’re learning loads more all the time, meeting fantastic people and helping wherever we can be useful. Come join the Future of GM family and grab your own pearls of wisdom!