Thursday, 3 April 2014


It has taken me a lifetime, working with some extraordinary colleagues and organisations, to fully understand that the key to success for any of us lies in the culture we establish.

Interestingly, I find that people confuse culture with cultural but for me it is clear that the culture in our home, our classroom, our school, our company or our country, is simply how we do things around here. Culture then is about values, attitudes and beliefs and shapes our interactions and our relationships. The challenge, as always, is how we do it and how we create passionate and compassionate learning places. Those of us who have seen it happen, and know how to do it, need to work together to share ideas and strategies and to continue to think team and to build co-operative, collaborative approaches that inspire people to really understand what they are capable of, to dispel the nonsense about genius and to help them reach their extraordinary potential. No one can doubt that companies, organisations and schools across the country have transformed themselves through the powerful use of collaborative approaches and through using brilliant programmes like Investment in Excellence, STEPS, Every Child a Reader, Every Child Counts, Musical Futures and Learning Futures. But most importantly what brilliant organisations create is a culture of excellence built on passion, persistence, self-belief and determined, focused and deliberate practice and hard work balanced by a focus on compassion, equity and a belief that every one of us can achieve and can be successful! Throughout my life people have told me that things are impossible and I simply don't accept this. I believe that we can create great teams doing the extraordinary with the current people. Success doesn't come in can'ts, it comes in cans. We simply need to change the culture to focus on passion and compassion and get people to believe; to believe in themselves and to believe in their colleagues.

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