Enquiry map: January 2021

This is a continuation of the previous iteration of the map which you can see here.  The enquiry map is an action research process to help me work through the early stages of working out what the actual questions are that need experimenting with.  I’m also going to use it to form a bit of a writing plan as I seem to currently have about a dozen pieces in various states of readiness and I need to think through what I want to get finished first.  Here you go:

And the key:

  • Data  and research questions:  These are questions where can identify a question to a good enough extent that we can move on to gather data and do the analysis work 
  • Democracy and participation questions:  These are questions I’m mulling with respect to the relationship between democracy and participation as I think the big scaling question of coproduction is how you connect it to other forms of decision making and ultimately to the ballot box in some way
  • System questions:  These are questions which I think are about the creation of a shared enquiry with the rest of the system we are working in
  • Communities questions:  These are the most internally focused questions as they are about the role of the communities directorate in the system – which of course makes them the most externally focused questions as well
  • Leadership questions:  This is a bit of a catch all for the questions around how we need to be as a team in order to be effective

Generally I see this as all connected but I am often trying to make sense of the connections.  The map really reflects this Venn diagram which sums up where my head is:

Venn diagram showing the different areas covered by this blog
Venn diagram showing the different areas covered by this blog

Reflecting on the shift in the map I am encouraged by the fact that more has moved in the the getting stuff done and actual experimentation phase.  An action research cycle that does actually get the action is really just admiring the problem.

Its fair to say that this map currently represents my inner monologue this year.  I plan to run this enquiry map process with the Thrive team to develop the wider set of questions that live in that work as what I have here are just placeholders – that should also be a good foundation for working with our communities as it will give us a basis for creating a shared enquiry map.

The map still feels a bit messy – but I think my best approach is to move systematically through each of the 5 areas and see where it leaves me in a couple of months

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