This paper considers the findings of a staff development programme to develop prospective researchers at a teaching university in the North of England. The Research and Collaborative Enterprise for Staff (RaCES) programme used a facilitated approach to develop a community of practice centred on collaborative learning, creativity, and enterprise to guide participants to their first research paper in a ‘safe’ learning environment. The approach and the effects on the lecturers were investigated using narrative analysis underpinned by phenomenography and follows their learning journey as they prepare their research for peer review. The investigation used an open learning cycle based on an adaptation of Scharmer’s Theory U (2009) to create data collection stages which helped identify critical aspects in the development of participants and is presented as a case study investigation. The findings showed the creativity and collaborative learning approaches were instrumental in overcoming ‘inhibitors’ which caused an initial reluctance to begin researching due to a lack of confidence, confusion over-work prioritisation, limited self-esteem concerning research, and uncertainty of outcome. The study found facilitators for research included a specific ‘instigation event,’ seeing their research as an impersonal object to be objectively considered, peer support which improved self-esteem and group objectivity.