The introduction of Self-directed Support (SDS) has led to the creation of new roles in organisations. These new roles require workers to take responsibility for leading change to make SDS happen in their organisations and to influence the system.

‘Leading change’ is a broad (and sometimes daunting) term for a wide range of development activities such as marketing; income diversification; services (re)design and re-design of processes and systems.

During 2014, a group of Business Development managers from seven organisations took part in an action learning process. Their aim was to explore how they could lead their organisations through the SDS change. They did this by focusing on a specific business development project or challenge and reflecting on it in a formal Action Learning Set process.

This process recognises that although managers are often expected to have the answers, there is no ‘right’ or simple way to respond to complex challenges (like SDS). In this context, questions that help to shed new light on a topic, or reframe a challenge, are more valuable than advice, answers or ‘how to’ guides.

This section of the guidance contains a series of reflective questions that emerged from the process. The questions are grouped under a number of keywords each of which represents a particular Business Development challenge within SDS and beyond. As you read them, some questions will stand out more than others, and these are worth exploring in more detail. The questions can and should be asked more than once – they are worth revisiting as your understanding and implementation of SDS changes.