The Mighty Box

Here The Elbow attempts to discuss creativity for the #dailywritingchallenge. Who knows where this will end which she guesses is part of the reason why writing daily helps. Gives a bit of focus to her day.

Creativity is one of the 7cs of governance but is one which we don’t talk about much. Perhaps we’re all too shy? Perhaps we are worried that if we think outside the box people will dismiss us or worse laugh at us. The Elbow is sure that people don’t mean to be a bit mean sometimes but groupthink is more common thank you may realise. So here in her own imitable style, even if she does say so herself, are The Elbow’s Initial (that is not too deep) Ideas for Breaking Out of the Box.

Step 1 – think of a board, any board.

Now ask yourself

Do they own their own mistakes both individually and collectively? Sorry is a lovely word if you mean it. The Elbow apologised yesterday for misinterpreting something. Easy to do in these difficult times but that’s no excuse. Knowing where you went wrong is easy, knowing why is harder; but don’t let that stop you trying.

Where these mistakes caused by a) a total oversight, lack of information, or lack of thought or b) someone trying/suggesting something new and it didn’t work? The first is unforgivable the second shows creative thinking. Some risks are worth taking. Be brave.

Are they aware of the 7cs of governance and where they may be found? They should be found everywhere but The Elbow wonders if you know the source document? It’s not a test…

Think about when was the last time you thought outside the box, or outside of the normal (horrible word) always done it this way of doing things? How did it make you feel? Happy? Bit scared? Gulpy, seat of the pants moment? Uncomfortable? Remember the skills round the board table must be diverse and this includes different perspectives and attitudes. We can all hold the same values and be different. This should be positively encouraged. Think creatively about recruitment. The known unknowns are a risk (as The Elbow can personally attest) and it doesn’t always work (again as The Elbow can attest) but surely it’s worth trying?

When was the last time your board asked specifically about the creative arts? If one of your school values is creativity are you really creative in all aspects of your work as governors? Do the pupils have opportunity and encouragement to find their creative selves. Often this is not obvious. Ask.

When was the last time you asked a totally random question? Don’t let yourself be held back by the mores or culture of your board. Keep the question relevant obviously (and strategic) but go off on a tangent if you feel able. It is in the wilderness of random questions that nuggets can be found.

Step 2

Do something creative. Take positive action. Ask a different question. Read around the question. Filter it through a different perspective. Use the time we have now to think freely. Let your mind wander. Take the time to contemplate the why. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t apologise for trying to change things. Be creative. Use the box you think inside of as a stepping stone not a cage.

Be mighty.

And with that The Elbow goes off to read a book. With all this time on her hands she thinks she ought to read more sensible books. No time like the present after all.

Till next time…