So it was fitting that I recently enjoyed a two-day training ‘bootcamp’ in Glasgow, the theme of the course was ‘Improvement’.
That’s Improvement with a capital ‘I’ by the way – the approach used in businesses, health services and governments around the world (including Scotland’s) to fix problems and deliver effective projects and services.
I spent two days in the expert care of the Improvement team from the government-backed Early Years Collaborative, who guide a network of organisations with a shared commitment to improve outcomes for all children and families in Scotland.
The course was valuable and will help the work of the Foundation considerably. But what stirred me most were my fellow delegates. It was truly inspirational – both professionally, and personally as a Dad of two little girls – to see the array of passionate people who want to give Scotland’s children and young people the best chance in life.
Every base was covered, from dental staff who want every child in Scotland to have a healthy smile, to teachers encouraging parents to read to their children at night, to fellow charity workers who encourage active and creative play for youngsters.
It was also heartening to know that all these people face the same day-to-day challenges as we do at the Foundation. How can we engage best with parents? How can we make our limited funds go as far as possible? How do we make sure our work is effective as it can be?
Thankfully I’m confident that, in just two days, we all felt empowered and enabled to go out and make an even bigger difference than we are already making – and help Scotland become the best place in the world to grow up.