How we work

Our shape is constantly changing.

We come together regularly at Network Meetings throughout the year. Activity groups carry out specific work decided by the Network and get together more regularly.


- Network activity

- How we learn

- Participatory leadership

- 8 breaths model

Network Activity


Visualising the Network...




York MCN Network

Joint Commissioning

Creative Action

Cultural Values

Connections to people and groups with direct and personal experience of multiple complex needs

How we learn and progress together is cyclical.

We take these 5 steps to evolve together.

This is widely referred to as 'experiential learning'

and narrowly defined as 'learning through reflection on doing'.

Together we - observe the current system in the moment, question why things are as they are, plan to make change, take action and then reflect.







Our processes...

Sometimes, hearing everyone's views and working things out as a group can take a long time.

This is why we use collaborative processes proven to work over long periods of time in order to allow for all voices and opinions to be heard.


One method we use is the '8 Breaths of Process' Model from The Art of Hosting.

This model shows how a group of people can come together in a space where each individual's views and opinions are valued equally. The results of working in this way are wise, more informed action and increased connection.


The 9 steps of the '8 Breath Model':

  1. Begin by recognising a Disturbance, Possibility or Question

  2. The Call  - a core team is asked to come together

  3. Clarify the core team's own role within the process

  4. Invite stakeholders to participate

  5. Meet to discuss the issue at hand

  6. Harvest information provided through discussion

  7. Act - practice what's been learnt through sense-making

  8. Reflect on change that has occurred

  9. Results

In between each step participants are encouraged to create space for thought and 'breath'.

This slows the process down and ensures commitment from everyone involved.

8 breaths image.jpg

The diagram above shows where divergence (disagreement and difference) and convergence (coming together) take place.

There is space held between the two to allow for the emergence of new ideas to occur. 

It's often tough to stay in this place as there is often a rush to make decisions. This is why it's marked 'the groan zone'.