Find your flock

And then fly...πŸ‹ #MatExp

#FindYourFlock There's a new hashtag on Twitter Part of fab SHCR To help you find like-minded folk Whether they're near or far.

It got me thinking about my 'flocks' and how they have changed over the years.

School friends University friends Various teams at work Friends united by a wacky interest

But in the past they were all people pretty much in the same vicinity – and it took quite a bit of effort to keep up with those who were not.

Having children redefined the flock. A ready-made group of mums waiting at the school gate.

Having a baby exactly the same age.

Several months older or younger, in those very early days, can seem light years apart.

And then a sub-set of those whose babies don't SLEEP...

Doing semaphore with the woman across the road in the middle of the night in the days before Twitter.

And as the children grew up, the shared interest groups, enabling the young ones to pursue whatever obscure interests they took up along the way. The never-ending taxi service. The flock standing in the driving rain, just like sheep, watching sport. Supporting the kids. Supporting each other. Sharing proud moments.

#ProudMum

The cricket flock even wear white!

But even then there were different flocks. In little groups at the school gates. The cagoule gang. The childminders and grannies. The cooler-than-thou gang: the pre-cursors of the yummy mummies.

The introverts without, in those days, even a phone to hide behind – how did we all cope? Endless scope for people watching… But I digress.

Social media has given us a unique chance to reach out much wider. With a nifty hashtag or by tagging people in photos, it is easy to keep up with old friends, build connections and constantly bring in new people. Locally, regionally... internationally. This is what I love doing.

It has given me an amazing platform to build my Whose Shoes approach, which sets out to cut through all the artificial blocks and barriers

An unprecedented opportunity to break down silos and work together

Very inclusive

So who is in my flock these days? I like to think that I draw in people who are kind, fun to be with and action-focused. Wanting to make a difference, Quickly and without limits. I can't believe how many such people I know and am privileged to call my friends.

I πŸ’œ the School for Healthcare Radicals. And all who sail in her. 🚣🏼

They must like me too and the work I do as they recently named me as the 'No I Radical'. You can read my 'Oscars speech' here. πŸ˜‰

My Steller story is here

#Findyourflock at first seemed potentially negative. Too many like-minded people together can be very limiting in terms of diverse thinking. Who wants to follow like sheep? 🐏🐏 🐏 πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€

But then Sally Pezaro re-framed it a bit and suggested a flock of birds. I like this analogy a lot.

My network that is making the biggest impact at the moment is #MatExp - our fantastic group working together to improve maternity care. Here we are with Baroness Cumberlege, using discussions from Whose Shoes scenarios to feed directly into the national maternity review.

We have had a lot of metaphors for #MatExp. #FlamingJune - unstoppable action! Well done #FabObs Flo, Florence Wilcock!

#MatExpOnTour. An old VW van - travelling about and spreading the word, fuelled by passion rather than a big budget. Or indeed any budget! πŸ‹πŸ˜‚πŸ‹

#MatExpAdvent - A daily Steller story featuring lots of the best #MatExp actions, linked to Christmassy themes. πŸŽ…πŸ»

Wild ponies - because we all go off in different directions and you couldn't possibly catch all of us. Or arguably any of us! 🐎🐎🐎

Lemons - just for fun

🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰

A short JFDI message. Extract from the fantastic recent opportunity I got to speak to Helen Bevan, Head of Transformation in the NHS about #MatExp, live on the #NHSTForm 24 hour global NHS Transformathon.

But I love the idea of #MatExp as a flock of birds. Joining together and taking off as one. No hierarchy. The leaders constantly changing to allow others to drop back and re-charge.

#FindYourFlock πŸ˜€

That is what we are doing in #MatExp. It is an incredibly supportive community. #Findyourflock. Even better, join ours! πŸ˜‰ #MatExp (Thanks Deirdre Munro for the great picture!)

#MatExp. Join us!

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