It is very important to state upfront that the Health check is not a test that you pass or fail. In fact, one of the best things about the health check is that it brings your group together to reflect on what you have achieved over the last year. This can be a really empowering experience because it is something we rarely do, as we have a tendency to focus on the next new exciting Transition thing we want to do.
This health-check has been designed to help your Transition Group:
- Reflect on where your group is at, and spark conversations about what’s working well, what could be strengthened, as well as what isn’t working and needs to change
- Celebrate your strengths, successes and your failures as they are also great learning experiences
- Identify areas which might need more work, skills, or resources
- Clarify appropriate next steps – which might include focusing on less things.
Our experience of Transition in many different contexts, cultures and countries has shown that there are 7 essential ingredients that help a group be successful. Inner transition is also crucial to a successful group and it is the constant that runs through all of the ingredients. This health check is structured around these essential ingredients as really help create thriving, effective and enjoyable Transition Groups.
Of course, every Transition Group is unique:
- They have different mixes of people
- The length of time they have been running varies
- The opportunities and challenges differ
- The ability to run external events to grow the group or raise awareness
Many groups have found that using the Health check raises lots of questions, and sometimes supplies the answers. Don’t worry if you come across things you aren’t doing at the moment and definitely don’t feel like you are failing because of this. This is a development tool, rather than an achievement tool, and we absolutely do not expect you to be doing everything in it. We would recommend discussing areas where you score lower than you would like as as you may find that addressing them improves the effectiveness of your group and can help avoid problems in the future. To complement the Health check, we have developed a range of resources and tools based on the 7 ingredients and Inner Transition that you can use with your group.
Don’t forget, this is not a test and we hope that doing the Health check enables you to celebrate what you have achieved, rather than feeling overwhelmed with what hasn’t happened. No initiative that we know of could achieve a perfect score – and we’d be worried if it did!
Frequently asked questions about the healthcheck.
The healthcheck is a check on the health of you Transition group. Our experience of many different Transition groups is that the essential ingredients on the health check are the most important ones to get right to give your group a very good chance of working well and thriving. This proposition has been tried out in many different groups and in many different countries and has been modified to reflect what other group have said contributes to a successful group.
You can do it either way, but you will get the most out of it by doing it as a group as it means that you compare results and have conversations about things that matter. These conversations are more important than the scores, because they encourage you to reflect and evaluate how you work, and can help you to work together better. The health check gets you to reflect, and focus your attention on those things that are most important for running a high functioning Transition group. Doing this together can help you build a common story and understanding on what’s important, and to help to unpack projects or events that might have gone wrong in the past so you can do things better in the future. This should help build your group’s cohesion and resilience.
It is all just information. Some people we know are harder ‘markers’ than others. What is important is that you come to a common understanding of how to go forward by learning from and celebrating mistakes or things that didn’t go so well in the past. The scores are just crude indications. The understanding behind the scores is what is really important.
We took a very severe look at the Transition model and process and stripped down it down to these fundamental ingredients. The analogy we used in The Transition Companion was in baking a cake you need some basic ingredients, like some kind of flour, something to sweeten, and to give it flavour. But that cake would be very basic, and of course you would want to put some other flavourings, decorate it, etc. So yes the other ingredients are still useful and for some vital, but generally our experience so far is the ones in the Health check are the critical ones.
This was the first attempt we made to explain what the Transition model and process was and how to do it. Although we liked the very simple approach of 12 steps, we soon realised that this was not a step by step, linear process, and that not all of the steps were actually steps. Some steps were tools, some things to be aware of. So, as in all good experiments, we changed how we talked about Transition based on the real world experience of thousands of Transition groups around the world to come to this way. It is based on our understanding of the non linear and systematic way in which Transition works.