Q Learning – NHS


“The workshops run by Chivaree Circus have had consistently the best feedback of any course / training day / learning event we've ever had. What we've seen is not just that people have enjoyed the days but that they have really found them useful and effective, and incredibly valuable right now when we're undergoing so many changes.”

Sue Marsh
Director Birmingham NHS

Spinning plates – using circus for corporate training

The NHS as a whole is the largest employer in the world and Birmingham is the second largest city in the country. After several years of budget cuts, and difficulties adjusting a staff survey showed morale was at an all time low. Half of employees had been off work or sick with work related stress, this was putting additional strain on the organisation, the majority thought managers were not listening to them and the mood when talking to staff was of people who were upset, fed up or even angry. This trend was getting worse.

  • We designed a day course for all managers (10 sessions, approx 65/group) in partnership with management consultancy Q Learning.
  • We worked on models of appreciative enquiry, and taking ownership of jobs.
  • During the day we mixed performance with teaching new skills (such as juggling, spinning plates, hula hoop and diabolos).
  • We also used our work as a metaphor for theirs.
  • The environment was fun and a chance for people to relax while still taking home an important message.

Following the course, Birmingham NHS won an award at the end of the year for staff engagement.