Rules of Mindset Part 1

When ‘Brian’s’, our local chippy, served its last cod, chips and mushy peas, the community (well, our house) went into deep shock.  Friday nights queuing out into the street with the rest of the neighbourhood wouldn’t be the same.  The experience of lifting the kids up to admire the photos on the walls of Brian holding huge Carp caught on …

What’s your story?

Last Saturday I challenged my youngest son to accompany me on a 78 mile bike ride through the English Peak District. A clue to the topography is in the name given to the area.  This was to be a long ride up many steep hills, 2,500meters of climb to be precise.  I had initially planned a 60 mile ride but …

Great inspiration from ‘Bad Birdwatching’

When Simon Barnes wrote ‘How to be a Bad Birdwatcher’ he produced an excellent introduction to bird watching.  It has also become one of my all time inspirational books.  No, no, bear with me here, let me explain. As usual I was an hour early for a meeting and was therefore killing time in a bookshop. As I perused the …

In search of the truth

It was on a visit to a large organisation that I discovered there are three versions of the same history.  While this didn’t come as a surprise, it was a revelation.  My ‘Road to Damascus’ moment came as I was waiting between meetings in a communal area which served two call-centres.  The only opportunity employees had to make personal calls …

Follow the Leader (Make that change)

In the days when Health and Safety allowed kids to race about unsupervised, climb and jump, we played a game called ’follow the leader’.  One person was selected as the leader, the rest follow and copied their actions.  Some were brilliant leaders; they challenged us to push our limits, encouraging us to try something new, different and daring. I was …

Custodians of the Rules

The rule makers If you’ve ever observed kids at play, before too long they start to make up rules. It’s in our nature to control our cultural environment to make it more manageable.  When you use your adult experience to judge these ‘play’ rules they often seem arbitrary, unnecessary and limiting.  To the children they are real, important and they …

Mindset

Mindset is a peculiar phenomenon that is only now being recognised as a key component in the success or failure of any department, organisation or industry.  To be successful a majority of people must have a success mindset.  If we hear words like ‘we’ve always do it like this round here’ or ‘we need a period of stability’ or ‘it’ll …

Don’t look at the tree!

A very wise paragliding instructor once gave me some very sound advice.  He quite simply said ‘Don’t look at the tree’.  The tree in question is on the edge of the landing field right in the centre of Interlaken, Switzerland.  As tourists sit in the surrounding cafes and bars sipping tea or having a beer, soaking in the spectacular surrounding …

Recruiting followers: a lesson from the class room

Any change programme needs followers, those people that will get behind what is happening and give it critical mass.  What makes followers follow?  Do we nurture them or just expect people to leap on our passing band wagon? Many years ago as a fledgling teacher I was taken under the wing of a very wise experienced colleague, John,  who gave …

Why change the rules?

My Grandfather was a highly skilled cabinet maker.  He worked out of a small workshop from where he produced fine furniture.  His apprenticeship had been long and exacting such that his skills were of the very highest standard. I was with my father sorting through a trunk which contained some of his tools. As we unwrapped oil soaked cloths to …