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MA Creative Economy 2009

Fashion Futures 2012: Pattern Magic

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Fashion Futures 2012: Pattern Magic.

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Written by cyndyblogs

March 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm

LIVE PHOTO @ 9.18pm: love this dress by a London College of F… on Twitpic

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LIVE PHOTO @ 9.18pm: love this dress by a London College of F… on Twitpic.

My week so far!

MONDAY – I had to do a Business Presentation at Kingston University for MA course work. – you can see my work by pasting this link into your browser. ttp://prezi.com/l8jm-p3czscf/designer-bridalwear-company/

WEDNESDAY – 8pm Dinner at the ‘Pink Kitchen’ Hackney, organised by Course director of  Williams College fashion. Food was Fab! Dessert was heavenly!

THURSDAY – EVENTS AT LCF hosted a series of talk discussing the Role of ‘black design professionals’ within the UK industry organised by Gill Evans. Well attended by all with some really great debate surrounding issues that affect us all in one way or other.

FRIDAY – Dancers from the famous ‘English National Ballet’ wearing clothes designed by LCF students..

SATURDAY  – Secret Sale! starts 8am RCA, South Kensington Postcards designed by Famous artists and students costing £45 each; the identity of the artist is kept secret until purchased.

Written by cyndyblogs

November 20, 2010 at 7:37 am

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London Fashion Week

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It has been an amazing year!  especially with year one of my MA studies under my belt (putting things nicely)…
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LFW 2010

The dreaded circuit of London Fashion Week couldn’t have come and gone any sooner for me…   Shortly after the work begins in earnest (a four -six week period before) and all available skilled professionals reform, it becomes a race against time.  These days, I find myself  longing to be elsewhere (often at home reading or, better still, strolling to the ‘Cottage ‘ Laguna Beach for late breakfast /brunch)….  But, life is not so simple or half as glamourous in the real world, especially  when life is so closely linked with fashion.

Late last year I joined forces with a London based PR /Fashion Mangement Company, whose aims are  to select talented emerging designers and provide them with financial support over 3 – 6 collections. The support  includes key areas such as; PR, Marketing and Networking, forging the links so desperately needed for survival by new start ups.  I was apprehensive at the start of my engagement because, incredibly, this was not a straight forward role but one that would involve nuturing, numerous meetings, problem solving etc.  My role was to provide the creative pattern cutting skills, technical advice and support  to get the designers to the stage of producing viable collections, to be shown during one of the most prestigous events for which London is known.  Whilst challenging to most pattern cutters I started right almost immediately – on christmas day 2009 with the first of their clients – a talented french fashion designer.

The next sevn months whizzed by at speed and it was with great plesure that I finally took my coveted seat in the Freemason Hall venue in Holborn last Sunday afternoon.  It truly was a scramble just to get into the venue, complete with pushing and shoving from press, media, guests etc – everyone considering themselves more important than the next.. Whether or not that was down to the pre show champagne or the anticipation of being amongst the first to see the launch of …..!  There is absolutely no order unless you happen to be of value – meaning  a key buyer,  journalist or Anna Wintour herself!….Yep! just as in the ‘Devil wears Prada’…….,   I…. really shouldn’t complain. Getting an invite is like being invited to the palace for tea (now whats the likely-hood of that? ), it really  is a feat in itself, as not all designers chose to remember all who played a part in helping them get from studio to catwalk.

Despite the wealth of talent and knowledge that goes into producing a collection, there is still a common seperation between the designer and the producers.  Whilst I have come to understand that designers are trained to think of themselves as artists and secretly desire for their ‘works’ to be  accepted as such by the art world,  the lack of basic understanding of the production process  does however leave them at serious disadvantages. As many of skilled professionals would agree, the designs are often conceptual ideas and further creativity is required in bringing them to life – which consolidates the argument of  creativity not been the  sole domain of one but a collective enterprise involving the skills, knowledge and involvement of many.

Well, as you can see from my photo uploaded… I have also learned how to  get  into position  to obtain footage  for my portfolio…..before heading back to life as it was!  Well, almost! up until the next show of course!!!

Written by cyndyblogs

October 4, 2010 at 7:25 am

Putting it all together in the real world.

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I didn’t realise just how much ground we had covered on the MACE course until recently. Yes the course module handbook articulates and explains it all very nicely – but its in the doing that so much learning and understanding takes place.  Thinking things through now (albeit it at my own pace)  there was so much I didn’t really understand at all – well at least not enough to make an informed decision on.

If like me you have worked for the past 20 years and then returned to study, you will find life (or new life) at a pace you didn’t think possible! Eating, sleeping, (or lack of sleeping) walking, working, leisure etc; basically everything that is you, gets absorbed into study life.  The subject, or current module will be like a cloud of thought that goes everywhere with you, even waking you from sleep with suggestions and ideas for further thought. Your family life will never be the same….your partner will become widowed and the entire family  will learn to survive on whatever is in the fridge (on a good day – mainly saturday). 

Seriously though,  I still have not cleared my desk of books, papers and downloaded material…instead, I am trying to  read through as much stuff as possible, filling in the gaps that were formed as we raced through each unfamiliar  topic.  For me, the journey continues as I come upon new info, sources and ideas everyday. The experience has opened my eyes to a world of information and technology that I had never considered relevant to me – because I simply didn’t understand it!

Quite simply, if given the chance to re-do the first year, with all its experiences, I would do everything again! particularly this blog.  I have enjoyed using it as a tool to share my experience and encourage discussion whilstproviding a journal of my learning.  It hasn’t always been wholeheartedly embraced and  I have struggled to publish my thoughts in the public domain, but accepted that a degree of  creativity must be applied inorder to  acheive the goal.  

There is still along way to go on my journey of discovery of a world outside of work. The challenge is to bring to life, in  a practical way, the ideologies and theories that will become the framework for the way forward.

Written by cyndyblogs

June 23, 2010 at 8:40 am

The MACE Journey

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An individual report (c. 3,000 words) comprising two sections:

Section 1:  A critical evaluation of the extent to which the student’s creative and entrepreneurial management behaviours, skills and attributes were developed by the experience of setting-up, running and closing down the enterprise.  This will be based on evidence from individual blog entries throughout the Programme (50%) 

 Section 2:  An assessment, applying the GROW model, of how these behaviours, skills and attributes will help the student to achieve their longer-term career goals (50%)

The experience of setting up and running a business is not an entirely new experience for me. I have been self-employed running my own Bridal-wear Design company for over twenty years, with a fair degree of success. I also work freelance within the fashion industry producing creative patterns for designers.  Both roles offer me relative freedom and control in my work life, which is a privilege that I enjoy. Increasingly, over the past five years there has been a big shift in the way that the industry works, which has impacted my business and threatens to disrupt my established style of working. The demands of running a business, provides very little time to invest in product development or to find ways in which to exploit new emerging markets. As the challenges increased, I have struggled to find ways in which to continue.

The MACE course seemed to offer the opportunity to develop my understanding of running a business from a different perspective.  I do not claim to be skilled in all the areas of business and would describe myself as experienced with basic knowledge.  The business environment is very different today, requiring a new set of skills and understanding of the global environment in which we now operate.  In order that I might continue to have a business in the future I recognize that re-training and upgrading my skills is a necessary requirement to survival. The course appealed because of the hands on approach to learning.  I did not feel that I would benefit from a lecture based course, as learning by doing appeals more to my style of learning. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” (Confucius)[1]

Communicating.

Walking into a room full of strangers and sharing personal information, is an act that I would endure only if I were to gain something tangible from the process such as in a job interview.  Although I have done this before on numerous occasions, I couldn’t see the point of it, particularly as we had not being introduced prior to the event The haphazardness of the enrollment process meant that I and others joined the class late, a comment Cristina made in her blog. “Friday was about getting to know each other there are new macers joining every week” (Nualrt 2009)[2] This left me feeling disorganized unprepared and somewhat unsure of myself or even my choice of course.  I knew, from the course handbook, that we were going to form businesses as part of the learning process, however, having missed the enrollment day where people had begun bonding, I felt ill equipped and out of place.

I was totally unprepared for the next task of setting up twitter and wordpress accounts.  My lack of understanding surrounded the use of such tools and provoked a negative reaction and immediate dislike.  Yes, I emailed and used the internet to source products and services but, I had never investigated how I could use it as a tool for business. Reluctantly, I spent the weekend figuring things out and eventually managed to post my first blog after about three days.  Admittedly, I appreciate its use in marketing and networking as was experienced during the research and marketing of our business to reach a wider audience.

Introducing myself to the entire class by announcing ‘my uniqueness’, was a really challenging experience. Whilst I am accustomed to meeting new clients and forming relationships quickly; it is often on the basis that a client seeks information about my products or services. Whilst I accept that being unique is what defines one business from another, I had a very general approach to the statement.  In business, I would often adapt my services to meet the needs of the customer, describing the customisation as ‘unique’. However, this was not always practical and at times was more costly than the sale I had achieved. On reflection, I fully appreciated the purpose of the task. Not only to develop a mission statement but, the importance of delivering a short key statement within a given window of opportunity. 

Design Thinking

The deconstruction of the shoe box provided my first break through into divergent thinking as a tool to promote innovate thinking.  Admittedly, I felt like I was back in infant school but, as I was here to discover new ways of doing things, I realized, that sometimes it is better to go back to the beginning in order to discover new principles of thought, which form the basis of new thoughts and directions.  I was already beginning to see why I was feeling stuck.  My cognitive approach meant that every task began in the same way, relying on past experiences instead of generating new and totally abstract ideas. 

The teeth brushing exercise, albeit in the middle of the afternoon was totally out of my zone.  I am usually open to the unusual, but I realized just how reluctant or stubborn I can be particularly when I can’t establish what the purpose is.  There was clearly no set routine in this class, which on the contrary, is probably the best way to learn because you are forced to dispel with routine and abandon old practices allowing new ideas a chance to take hold.  I was asked to recall the process of decisions when choosing a toothbrush for a young child, which seemed insignificant at the time to me.  It had never occurred to me that my buying decisions would be of any value to another.  In fact I was still very confused by the IDEO cards that were handed out and, it was not until I had to repeat the process with Shriya, that the emerging value of the information became apparent.  From that single experience we were able to have a wider discussion on the possibilities and opportunities that lead to the creation of product based upon culture and needs. As Shriya writes on her blog, “there are multiple ways of doing a task… All one has to do is be receptive and open to ideas”.(Shriya 2009)[3]  The IDEO cards provided me with much insight into how creativity and design, can be applied to conduct research into customer needs.  The cards are really well designed, unlike older methods of research, which required much analysis of data before relevant information could be used to formulate the product or service.  The process of design led thinking was slowly beginning to take shape in my mind.(Rodriguez 2010)[4]  Even at this point, I cannot claim to have fully understood the concept and I was still struggling to fully digest all the new information to which I was becoming exposed.  The sessions that followed on problem analysis were very difficult at first, because I was still struggling with old ways of thinking. I realized that my natural default ‘the fear of failure’ was an issue that would continue to be my stumbling block to solving problems; but, even at this stage, without realizing the wider learning that was taking place, I was beginning to break down and identify the problems and patterns of my behaviour  that needed addressing.  I wrote in my blog, on the task of changing the constraints, “The excercise was invaluable as I was able to appreciate how fresh innovative ideas are birthed with each new challenge and, how the innovation helps to drive competitive advantage” (Porter 1998).[5] It seemed to me, even at that early stage, that without addressing my internal problems, I stood little chance of being able to move forward.

 ‘Fail early and Often’

I had great difficulty initially in allowing myself to make mistakes, to enable deeper understanding to take place.  Failure was not an option in my field of work where competition is high, by contrast, you need to demonstrate that you are able to meet the objectives quickly and effectively.  The theme continued with the importance of harnessing the creativity of everyone in the team.  By adopting this method it is really easy to try out all the possibilities early on in order to settle on the best option.  This became an important element in the functioning of our team as it was to provide the framework in which we would operate.

Teamwork

The next few weeks were even more difficult than the first day.  Selecting individuals (whom I still did not know) to form a business, appeared a little premature.  From the outset the process seemed very risky and did not appeal to me because I had no way of determining the work ethics of the individuals concerned.  My key strategy was to find things in common with others as the basis upon which to form a relationship, at least we could start from a point of agreeing on something.  Although, the method of selection may have been from a scientific viewpoint, It was not so clear cut in reality. There were obvious problems and difficulties that become magnified within a small group, for example the ratio of part-time students and foreign students put undue pressure on the remaining members, something that should have been addressed as part of the selection criteria. 

The application of the principle of ‘failing early and often’ did not appear to be working, as we focused too much on the original idea of creating ‘high viz’ clothing for cyclist.  This caused much contradictions and disagreements between us.  Because of my background in product design, I wanted to impress the importance of producing aesthetically pleasing products that would appeal to the target market.  Once I got used to the idea of prototyping and the benefits, I was happy to share my ideas with the team and subsequently the class. It was a great tool which allowed us to get our ideas out into the open and communicate them effectively to others. I quickly discovered that other team members often had valid ideas, but couldn’t describe them, however through prototyping we were able to ideate and develop much quicker.  By applying my new skills in prototyping at work, my levels of efficiency and creativity  have improved along with my approach to solving problems.

On reflection, my background was the catalyst for our choice of product.  Because I understood the depth of the task and the time constraints, the object of my focus was on how we spent our time, which at times bordered on impatience.  We couldn’t meet for lengthy hours each week as three members were part-time and working which made it hard to keep up momentum, energy and focus.  Whilst we all had a team role and responsibilities, there were times when we carried out each others tasks.  Whilst it seemed ok, in the short term, poor communication led to confusion over the demarcation of roles and lack of clarity in structure,  proving stressful at times. (Hackman 1990)[6] 

Leadership Skills

The group work was not always a joyous experience as I had grown accustomed to my own way of working and lacked the patient to allow others to find their own way in tasks. I was too autocratic and realized this very early on.  The team leader had a very democratic style, which was perfect in allowing the creativity of others to emerge.  Our contrasting styles made for many a miserable group meeting.  I would often listen to others briefly and then choose an answer before quickly moving on to the next subject.  Equally, I would weary very quickly when I felt that others were not contributing, far from having the patience to find ways to encourage participation, I was frustrated by the lengthy meetings and at times withdrew. I realized that I just wanted to get on with tasks and often did more (out of choice and desire to complete) than I should have. I didn’t leverage the resources within the team, although time and geography played a major part in the decision. As a team we struggled to make decisions, especially ones that might lead to conflict, our collective behavior began to inhibit our ability to make key decisions. (Goleman 2002).[7]  I also discovered that I was not the best communicator within the team as I often got frustrated by the process and found it difficult to suspend my emotion.

Initially, I did not have a healthy attitude toward our very different working styles.  I like to plan ahead and schedule my work to meet deadlines.  My fear of teams was confounded as I was unable to control the output of others.  I have learned much from the process, in that collaboration requires us to work together much more closely, factoring into the equation the working styles of others.  The lack of understanding of the principles of teamwork was evident in our unfocused approach to deadlines. Teams need to be founded on a structure of trust to enable participation and willingness to grow.  There also needs to be clarity and vision so that key objectives are met.

When eventually, we had the opportunity to work with different teams on the apprentice challenge, I immediately recognised the benefits of equality and trust because I had become the recipient.  Almost immediately we were organized and got on with the task of solving the problem in stages. As mentioned on my blog, I was much more relaxed and unassuming than I normally would have been.  I wasn’t fearful of presenting my ideas because I felt confident that where I failed my colleagues would be able to back me up.  As a matter of fact, every idea presented was backed up and added to.  I didn’t feel as though I was being judged on my weaknesses, quite the opposite, I was encouraged to share my ideas, no matter how stupid.  This was a clear demonstration of the suspension of hierarchy in order to build trust and encourage creativity.(Ibbotson 2008)[8]

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New skills acquired

Looking back, the MACE programme was, without doubt, a thoroughly enjoyable experience, as it challenged everything I knew about myself.  The sessions on creative leadership with Piers and Miguel were very constructive in shaping my understanding.  Although I had studied business previously, I had not fully appreciated much of the in depth material on the subject.  However, at this point in life, I felt fully engaged and wanting to learn much more than I had time for. I read as many books as I could, making many valid discoveries along the way.  One of most notable discoveries was on emotional intelligence in teams.  It was perfectly timed following the departure of the team leader and the dysfunctional behavior that was becoming the norm.   I tried everything to unite us as a team; the reality of which, was that I was limited by time and resources but, given my limited knowledge at the time, there was no magic formula that would restore the energy and enthusiasm overnight.(Waldock and Rawat 2004)[9] The essential qualities of leadership, are not learned overnight, but established through time, discipline and hard work. 

During a session with Catherine Morel, it was suggested that we take the ‘Belbin’ test to discover our individual roles within a team. This concreted much of what I had read and led me to take a new stance and attitude towards working with others who are motivated differently. I have learned the importance of team self awareness and making an active effort to listen to the views of others.  I have also learned the importance of suspending my judgments until I have thought things through and, to provide feedback on my decision. Alternatively, I have learned the importance of framing, as a way of encouraging ideas – using terms such as what if, and, how about?  I am also making more of an effort to offer solutions instead of focusing on the problem.

Most importantly, I take away the outstanding achievements that are produced as a result of collaboration, and the value that it adds to any enterprise.  Our collective knowledge and skills and expertise were the driving force behind our success as a team, quite simply because we were able to combine the elements in a positive way to gain a competitive edge.  In today’s business environment, businesses regularly partner with individuals or causes to help raise company profile and increase awareness.(IBM 2008)[10]

Section 2

Applying the Grow Model (Landsberg)[11]

The goal of any business is to achieve a profit for its efforts and investment.  To date, we have not yet achieved the goal.  In real world terms, we would not have made a loss either, simply because the costs involved to date were all attributed to the development of the product, which is an unavoidable cost and is funded by the original investment. That considered, overall all our costs were very low because we were extremely resourceful. In looking back at the goals I set for myself, I can honestly say that I have met them. I have learned a huge amount about the functions of a business and the capabilities of technology as a tool for communicating and driving business forward. I have broadened my skills and increased my understanding of the processes and application of design, all of which have empowered me to move forward. 

In terms of what we do next, that has yet to be decided, due in part to the level of investment that is needed to fully develop our product. The one thing that kept us forging ahead, despite the difficulties, was our study on the MACE course; whether, we can reasonably keep it going is something that we must all discuss during the summer together.

We found the business hard from time to time because of other commitments.  Each member is currently studying for another year which makes the reality of starting a business impractical.  However, it is not impossible, so I do not wish to rule that out. 

We do need to establish ground rules if we are to continue, so that we have framework that allows for progression.  We still don’t really know each other sufficiently and so trust needs to be established; trust is fundamental to any partnership, as it underpins the functioning of the business, and allows creativity to grow. We also need to set in place strategies that provide continuous appraisal, so that we are able to make adjustments as we progress.

The major obstacle was time and funding.  It was always going to be a race against time to achieve what we did in so short a space of time.  The added pressure of trying to sell an under-developed product only made the task more difficult.  In the competitive world of fashion, particularly sporting products, products must perform. We were not willing to risk our credibility at such an early stage. 

Our collective shyness hindered us, we needed a good sales person on the team, one who is willing to stand on street corners if necessary. It is likely that we will seek further collaborative partners to promote our business further, be it from fashion, charity or a government sponsored programme.   

So what next?  My personal goal is to complete my training in teaching and obtain the PGCE in year 2013. This will enable me to teach in Further & Higher education establishments. The use of technology will improve the way in which I communicate with students, for example using blogging as a way of reflecting and carrying out formative assessments. I have already begun to use the internet as a way of teaching and developing other in much the same way as I have learned.  I will continue to develop my business to focus on providing network support to emerging designers. The new skills that I have gained will help me to improve my communication, collaborations and marketing efforts, together with, a  better understanding of the conceptual nature of the work produced by new emerging designers.

Bibliography.

Confucious.  About Knowledge and Learning. (Internet). Available at: http://www.1000advices.com/guru/learning_confucius.html. (Accessed. 14th May 2010).

Goleman, D. (2002). The New Leaders: Transforming The Art of Leadership into the Science of Results. London. Time warner. pp.241-245

Hackman, J,R. Cited in Northhouse, P,G. (1997). Leaderhip: Theory and Practice. New York: Sage Publications. p.165

Ibbotson, P. (2008). The Illusion of Leadership: Directing Creativity in Business and The Arts. (Internet) Available at: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5PstxE8xrxEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=piers+ibbotson&source=bl&ots=hiYHk7y2M_&sig=iPziteav5G1bDTZoIANzR72QCX8&hl=en&ei=qMvuS6eOM4qI0wTbu_XjBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDUQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false

IBM. (2008).The new collaboration: enabling innovation, changing the workplace. (Internet) Available at: http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/cio/pdf/new-collaboration-white-paper.pdf. (Accessed 15th May 2010)

Nualart, C. (2009) Unique Clones. (Internet) Available at: http://cnualart.wordpress.com/2009/09/. (Accessed 15th May 2010)

Rodriguez, D. (2010). Why Design Matters. (Internet). Feb 1st 2010. Available:  http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/jan2010/id20100127_150531.htm. (Accessed) 14th May 2010.

Porter, M,E. (1998). Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance. (Internet) Available at: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=H9ReAijCK8cC&pg=PA7&dq=michael+porter+five+forces&hl=en&ei=BYHuS-3mNYmiOKzm8aEI&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw. (Accessed. 10th May 2010).

Landsberg, M. (2003). The Tao of Coaching: Boost Your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those Around You. (Internet) Available at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/186197650X?ie=UTF8&tag=ten3busiecoac-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=186197650X#reader_186197650X. (Accessed) 14th May 2010)

Shriya 2009. My First Brush with Mace. (Internet). Available at: http://shriyakariappa.wordpress.com/2009/10/

Waldock, T., Rawat, K,S. (2004). The 18 Challenges of Leadership. Harlow. UK. Pearson education Limited. pp.220-221


[1] Confucious. About Knowledge and Learning. (Internet) Available at: http://www.1000advices.com/guru/learning_confucius.html. (Accessed. 14th May 2010).

[2] Nualart, C. (2009) Unique Clones. (Internet) Available at: http://cnualart.wordpress.com/2009/09/. (Accessed 15th May 2010)

[3] Shriya 2009. My First Brush with Mace. (Internet). Available at: http://shriyakariappa.wordpress.com/2009/10/

[4] Rodriguez, D. (2010). Why Design Matters. (Internet) Bloomberg Business Week. Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/jan2010/id20100127_150531.htm. (Accessed. 15th May 2010).

[5] Porter, M,E. (1998). Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance. (Internet) Available at: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=H9ReAijCK8cC&pg=PA7&dq=michael+porter+five+forces&hl=en&ei=BYHuS-3mNYmiOKzm8aEI&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw. (Accessed. 10th May 2010).

[6] Hackman, J,R. Cited in Northhouse, P,G. (1997). Leaderhip: Theory and Practice. New York: Sage Publications. p.165

[7] Goleman, D. (2002). The New Leaders: Transforming The Art of Leadership into the Science of Results. London. Time warner. pp.241-245

[8] Ibbotson, P. (2008). The Illusion of Leadership: Directing Creativity in Business and The Arts. (Internet) Available at: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5PstxE8xrxEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=piers+ibbotson&source=bl&ots=hiYHk7y2M_&sig=iPziteav5G1bDTZoIANzR72QCX8&hl=en&ei=qMvuS6eOM4qI0wTbu_XjBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDUQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false. (Accessed 15th May 2010)

[9] Waldock, T., Rawat, K,S. (2004). The 18 Challenges of Leadership. Harlow. UK. Pearson education Limited. pp.220-221

[10] IBM. (2008).The new collaboration: enabling innovation, changing the workplace. (Internet) Available at: http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/cio/pdf/new-collaboration-white-paper.pdf. (Accessed 15th May 2010)

[11] Landsberg, M. (2003). The Tao of Coaching: Boost Your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those Around You. (Internet) Available at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/186197650X?ie=UTF8&tag=ten3busiecoac-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=186197650X#reader_186197650X. (Accessed) 14th May 2010)

Written by cyndyblogs

May 15, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Posted in MACE Journey, Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Hope and Charity

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/video/2010/mar/06/lord-of-the-rings-born-of-hope

When Catherine asked us to consider the ‘ Lord of The Rings’ prequel  entrepreneurial or Innovative? My intial thoughts were both! 

  Kate Madison acheivements displayed her entrepreneurial ability to overcome the biggest obstacle to her dream – lack of funding.  The fact that she only had £8k and completed the project for just under £25k showed a hig level of ingenuity and innovative thinking. Getting corporate aid (as Kate puts it) involves much knocking on doors and lots of rejection, but pays dividends if you are persistant.  Much of the skills and resources came as a result of realising the power of collaboration. Many of those who volunteered to work on the project did so for the duration, and in doing so helped to  provide  support and skills in other area supporting the production. This in itself is not unacheivable, if you are able to connect with other individuals who are equally motivated and have a shared interest or, a need that ccan be fulfilled during the process. 

 Lack of resources doesn’t have to mean failure, by contrast it can lead to diversity in thinking and finding new ways of solving problems –  as highlighted when she ran out of funds – everyone involved joined forces, brainstorming the idea of launching a viral advertising campaign using the internet.

I love the title  ‘Hope and Charity’.    For Kate, the two forces  combined became tools of her success; proving that you don’t get anything unless you are prepared to put yourslf out by asking, begging, or borrowing to produce results. Most successful enterprising individuals are networked visionaries, who are able to see opportunities and/or, find new ways of marketing a product or service. This doesn’t neccessarily happen because they have all the required knowledge, but often because they can draw on the resources and networks they have built up to help make things happen. 

The key is to start with what you have,  namely writing the plan or vision…Making it clear so that others can buy into the idea.

Written by cyndyblogs

May 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Writing Dissertations….

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Fridays lesson was provided by John Kitching and  focused on the issues and problems that lie ahead as we approach the season of dissertations. He was able to share with us  some of the basic problems that we may face due to lack of understanding of the process and the importance of preliminary work.

Research involves making a series of choices right at the begining, which determine the choice of methods that will be most effective. Deciding on a topic will require answering key questions such as: What is the question you are seeking to answer?  and,  What have other people said about  the subject?   Speaking to relevant people about the subject will help! Just remmeber that you cannot speak with everyone, so try to remain subjective. 

Analysing Data – The process may not be straightforward from start to finish, there will certainly be times when a rethink of the literature is necesary  or, perhaps a rethink of the question, provides fresh  angles and deepens the scope of examination.  Choosing the research topic – requires l ots of preliminary thinking BEFORE  the research proposal stage.  John suggesstd that we choose topics that engage us, and where there is genuine passionate about a subject; because….we will devote our lives (over the next five months) to knowing everything there is to know about the subject. Questions: The How and Why? The question, will determine what kind of evidence is needed, for example, what sources  will provide the most effective answers. Eg; How have fashion companies responded to the recession? Answers to this type of question  would best be accessed via a survey of a sample number of companies. 

The Linear process – A good place to start is by reading what others have already said about the topic, without this very basic step you may simply be redoing what has already been done!  Check out the library, don’t just rely on the internet as there is bound to be loads of material availble that is not accessible  online. When reading, try to find gaps and areas that have not been addressed or expounded on. 

What To Do With All The Information

Remember who you are writing for! Make the story as clear as possible for the reader – after all the person reading will be th one who marks the piece of work. Be clear about the key points you are tryin to make. If you have not thought clearly about the topic, the confusion will show in your work!!  Try to be clear about the key points you are trying to make. Persuade the reader with the argument – if you can, use  imaginaton and novelty. Present and support  the argument with the data presented. Think of ways in which the data might be used in another way, this will provide you with alternative viewpoints on the subject.

Method.    When setting out the method, consider why?     Tailor the methods to the research question and the resources. Be flexible and adptable ! Accept  that it is a non-linear process, some things may overlap and you may need to revisit them.

Writing takes foreverrrrr ….. don’t let one task dominate, leave yorself with plenty of time.

Don’t  forget to use your supervisor well. Plan ahead and give them plenty of time, together with  keeping them informed and updated.

One last tip.      Use the proposal period to do your homework. – it avoids wasting yor ow time later on. Tweeking question is a better way to go than ditching all previous work to  find new questions.

For further more detailed step by step approach visit the following webpage. http://www.learnerassociates.net/dissthes/#17

Useful books on writing up research

Written by cyndyblogs

May 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

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