Sunday, 29 January 2017

Creating order through chaos...

We are now into the beginning of week three of our module for innovation and entrepreneurialism, and I am finding the exercise (option two of the module) very stimulating. Working with a group is always interesting to me, as I enjoy watching the interactions, and psychology of individuals coming through.

The group to which I am attached has been tasked to set up a website, in response to an existing exhibition that is about to launch the Huddersfield Gallery, Huddersfield in early February. This does not leave us much time to set up and develop what I assume to be a public facing website.

Thankfully we had the opportunity to speak with the curator of the exhibition, Dr Liam Devlin, who is one of the tutors, I believe the course leader, for the photographic department of the School of Art, Design and Architecture. We were therefore able to ask a number of questions appertaining to the exhibition and to seek clarification.

I found it interesting that prior to the meeting with Dr Devlin, I had already prepared 10 separate questions to ask him about his view of success, academic scenarios, sequences of events, the closing event, how we might expand the show, who would we be asking to generate debate, funding and approval, marketing and promotion, a list of stakeholders, and how do we engage with additional agencies, et cetera. I was therefore surprised to say the least, that my peers in a team of around 12 other students had not prepared much, if anything, in the way of questions!

Nevertheless, I appreciate that I have had many examples of similar commercial engagements in my personal past, and so I felt it's appropriate for me to help to steer the group in how it is beginning to form into a collective team.

Now that we have had our initial contact meeting with Dr Devlin, I have started to make sure that the various meetings that we have already engaged with our properly minuted. I have also transcribed the interview with Dr Devlin in its entirety, and created a Microsoft office 365 SharePoint for all the students, both in group A, those who are building the website: and group B, who are responsible for creating the final event, and archiving the outcomes. The SharePoint facilities that the University is able to provide are a really useful tool that I am able to use for complete collaboration.

Whilst I am conscious that the group is still not in a cohesive state, I am always mindful that it takes time for the individuals to establish some sort of rapport with one another, together with the mature working relationship. This always takes time, and patience, thankfully I have in bucketfuls!

As a democratic way for each of the students to take their own responsibility for certain actions, I have started to develop a list of roles and responsibilities which I will present to the group at our next meeting on Wednesday, 1 February.

Following that meeting, together perhaps with input from the lecture that we have that day with the BBC, we can start to develop a stronger team structure and organise ourselves more proactively?

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