When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it—always.
— Mahatma Gandhi


     Sometimes I find myself getting a bit shouty – rolling my eyes or taking a deep breath.

     Sometimes I feel a rage that I know is irrational and unhelpful and (honestly) unnecessary.

     Sometimes I can be Queen of ALL the Drama – arms thrown in the air, a whirlwind of for fraks sake and what the fudge and motherfreaking idiots.


These times are not my finest minutes. And they are that – minutes.  They are flashes of emotion, anger and reaction.

And then they are gone – I’ve caused a bit of a commotion, nothing has changed, the action that caused the reaction is the same; no solution has been found if one is needed, no one has changed.  I’ve just had a potential hissy fit (minor or major) and the only person who feels a bit of an arse is me!

So I’m taking a breath, considering the impact of my action/reaction and seeing what the real issue is rather than the perceived slight.

So something has gone a bit askew (in my mind/view) or someone has made a decision or action that wasn’t in the plan – so what?  Stuff happens, people are people not widgets.  Take a breath, sometimes things are made a bit less easy…deal with it, move on.  Leave some of the emotion out of the office and do yourself and your colleagues a favour.

Less drama for drama’s sake.

The wrong sort of right experience

I attended a full governors meeting last night at the small school I’m a Local Authority Governor for. We’re back into the window for an Ofsted inspection after Easter so a chair from a similar school who went through inspection last term came to give us insight on what we can expect as governors and what Ofsted expect from us.

In all honesty it left me a little concerned. We have a very experienced and capable head who whilst not keeping us in the dark does, it seems, keep us at arms length. Often with such phrases as yes but it’s different in education (pay grades) or a yes but it’s different for teaching staff (recruitment). Last night I was told that whilst yes my work experience and skill set were one of the reasons I was asked to be a governor at this school it wasn’t the right sort if experience for teacher recruitment.


When she was reminded that yes the head leads the recruitment and selection process but any appointments are made by the governors there was a bristle. A power play.

The qualified accountant has similar challenges with the budget/finance conversations and the project manager from a construction firm with any health and safety or facilities matters.

So what do we do? Well it’s adequate situation. None of us want to upset the Head but we also don’t want to be there to tick the box – we volunteer to be governors because we want to contribute. So we’ll suggest, propose, offer and build trust. It’s not about challenging her authority or knowledge but about using the skills and experience if those with a vested interest to be best advantage for the school and ultimately the pupils.

I’m working with the chair to identify transferable skills – how do we get the best from our governors? What skills do they have that we can use and benefit from. What are their other areas of skills and expertise?

The role of governor is to be critical friend but also to support the school; the current DfE consultation talks about changing the constitution of governing bodies to the benefit of the school – to use the skills that governors from a variety of background can use.

So yes maybe the wrong sort of right experience but perhaps the right sort of skills to compliment those with the right experience.

We’ll call this one a work in progress……

Evolution not revolution?

We had an ‘innovation workshop’ last week – it’s in quotes as I didn’t name it.

The plan was bring a team of minds together to come up with ideas, initiatives and innovations for how we might employ, manage, develop and deploy our people better in the future.

I’d had quite clear instructions from my MD – we ‘re looking to shake it up, redefine how we ‘do people’ in our industry. Nothing is off limits, there are no sacred cows. Exciting right?

I set the scene, outlined both the premise and potential.

Introductions over a colleague, the HRD from one of the JV companies, launched into a we’re not looking to break anything this is about evolution not revolution. We’re inheriting a great team and a good function we want to grow this.

Whilst I screamed internally externally I was clear. I disagreed, this is about revolution. This is about changing the way we do things around here with a clear mandate from the government department responsible that they are looking for new ideas, innovation. And yes revolution.

It wasn’t a great start. We moved forward. I attempted to be respectfully disruptive and in the three hour session was only told three times ‘that’ll never work in this industry’.

I’ve written up my notes, there are sparks of ideas, some potential thoughts to follow up and see if we can make changes but the fundamentals, the things that could really affect a positive change? Well they may be a step too far.

I’m not done – not by a long way, but this revolution may have to take more time to build. Anyone with me?