The Lead Artists led a series of activities looking at change on a personal, relational and systemic level in preparation for writing a brief for an outcome-based artistic activity in their care setting. Here are three tools we used to look at change.


What did we do?

We all stood in a circle and threw a teddy in an order across the circle: always throwing to the same person. We then introduced more and more teddies until there was a system of ‘teddy-throwing’ in sequence across the circle.

What did Care Managers learn?

For some it was harder with only one teddy as you lost focus, but with multiple teddies you were being occupied all the time with your task. For some it reflected when a shift worked well (or not well) in their setting, others noted that the system could easily ‘break’: if one person dropped a teddy it would affect all the others.

“It was uplifting, I trusted by colleagues to keep the system going”

“I was just doing the same thing over and over: I didn’t care about anyone else”   


What did we do?

Leading on from the teddy bear exercise, we split into two smaller groups and stood in a circle. This time we introduced three different sequences, in one sequence you receive and throw a teddy, to another person say their name, and to another you tap them on the shoulder.

What did Care Managers learn?

The two groups had very different experiences. One group relaxed and made time for all the different interactions, slowed their pace and enjoyed the flow. The other group concentrated so hard on getting it ‘right’ and taking responsibility for making it work, that they found it frustrating and overwhelming. Some Managers related this to person-centred care, and leadership style reflecting how they have to change their approach with different residents and staff.

“We all made time for each other – we were much better than I thought we’d be”

“I found that overwhelmingly confusing. I couldn’t get it right, so I gave up”

“Tried not to focus on everyone else – but it made me nuts”

“Hated it at first, but then I got into it”


What did we do?

On Away-Day 3 Hugh got the group to play music together in a ‘gamelan’ orchestra. We had been discussing how we look at ourselves as an individual, in different relationships and within whole systems and how these relate to each other.

The gamelan exercise was an attempt to get the group to look at themselves individually first off – ‘what do I have to play’ and then to relate that to one other person ‘how do we relate our patterns together’ and then finally to the whole ‘can we all play together and listen to one another?’ We also all had very different levels of complexity in our parts, some people just playing once every sixteen beats, whereas others played clearly more demanding melodic parts.

What did Care Managers learn?

“I felt a tension of wanting to help others, but being aware of my own capacity”

“I am aware of the whole and of my bit, but feel a frustration”

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