Reflections on the year (part two). To boldly go….

a photo of a wing mirror looking backwardsThe winter is a time when we traditionally stock up and cosy in, retreating to the safety of what we know to get us through the long, cold nights. Not last year.

Fired up with my new Clore-bolstered confidence I found myself thinking huge thoughts about possibilities and then trying them out in the real world just to see what would happen.

To be more specific, Arts Council England launched the call for The Space – offering commissions to arts organisations that wanted to create something new and different that might work in this new, undefined digital environment they were crafting. I wanted to pitch for something linking to Unlimited but am not an organisation.

So what do you do? Give up, sit down and let it go? Or email the head of Watershed going ‘well, you don’t know me, but I’ve got an idea…’  Of course in my new-found zone, it was the latter.

And it led to PUSH ME, financially one of the biggest commissions for The Space. Our first set of films should go live soon and I can honestly say they are fantastic – the whole project is something I am extraordinarily proud to have been involved in – a real sense of team work and stretch for everyone involved.

And working on that also lead to a mini placement at Watershed for me too, where I learnt about playing hard with tech I didn’t even know existed.

And so further into 2012 – my main placement negotiations began and I gained my opportunity at Comic Relief to look at diversity and values within the organisation. Again, a result of daring to dream big and having the confidence to follow it up hard. And of learning lessons about scale, about different models of operation, about managing rapid growth and remaining true to your vision.

And just as things were getting bigger and bigger and further and further out there, we have our 360 degree feedback as part of Clore. A fascinating process where people who work with you, alongside of you, under you and over you all get a chance to put you under the microscope, in your own best interests, of course.

Still however well packaged it is, it can be a harsh and necessary reminder that you’re not all that and you still have much to learn. Like many things, you may have 40 positive comments, praising your skills and natural abilities but it’s the 3 or 4 ones that mention something you need to work on that really stick in – needling you into action.

Could there possibly be more? Oh yes. Next time, the summer term…

Photo thanks to MSVG and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.

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