Creative Coffee Morning -Blog Task 4

Tweets blog task 4      facebook Capture

My Creative Coffee morning yesterday was a great opportunity to bring together a variety of people I know in different areas of my life who do think creatively; some didn’t realise just how much they do this. I had three teaching colleagues (each from a different subject area), a midwife (who works in health management), a director of a company who provides administration services for non-for –profit organisations and  a colleague’s sister (who I hadn’t met before) who manages a post office. This seemed to be a good mix of teachers and non-teachers, people that work in service industries and also people who make management decisions and those that don’t as much. As well as getting to know each other we had a lengthy and interesting conversation about creative cultures.

I had some noted some points to keep the discussion going:

▪Benefit s of a creative culture.

▪Features of creative workspaces.

▪Successful creative and innovative work spaces.

▪Do our environments allow for creativity?

▪How does learning happen in social interactions?

Throughout the meeting I introduced them to mind mapping and we shared our thoughts by creating mind maps as we talked. I did do this to collect their ideas but also just to do something creative together. This activity did attract a bit of attention in the café.

IMAG0567    IMAG0568

We ended up discussing

▪User-needed designing processes compared to just discussing types of buildings.

▪The effect of technology use on people’s creativity and learning – can be a positive and negative influence.

▪How policies and management can stifle intuition and creativity.

▪ The positive aspect of multidisciplinary teams; respect, support, trust, ability to take risks

▪What creative workspaces feel like and look like; colourful, welcoming, efficient, ’homely’, enjoyable, confidence biding, opinions are valued, sense of ownership.

▪What is creativity; not just artwork- it is problem solving, coming up with new ideas, adaptability.

The feedback received from the group following the coffee morning was very positive; great coffee and conversation, learning while socialising was enjoyable, enjoyed meeting new people and we knew more about creativity than we thought.

I have made a comment on these other Blog  #4 posts




Blog Task 2 – another experience

blog task 2 coffeeI am including this observation because it was a spontaneous decision that turned out to be a very pleasant customer experience,because the people running this coffee shop did things a bit differently.At the end of the short experience I left happier. I also saw  the whole scenario with different eyes now that I am participating in this course – I did notice that the space in the coffee shop was being used in a slightly unusual way.

I was on the way to pick up my child from school after  a PD course in a different area of Brisbane than I am usually in. I chose to stop in a busy little shopping strip where I could see multiple coffee shops. I chose this coffee shop because it was closest to my car and a nice friendly lady met me at the doorway. I asked if they were making  take-away coffee, she replied yes, asked me what I would like, wrote the order and my name down and requested another staff member make it. I still had not entered the shop and was standing at the doorway on the path because the cash register was just at the doorway. Whilst waiting for the coffee I was given a free bottle of water and asked if I wanted a loyalty card. One other customer came and too was met at the door. They wanted to sit down, so was shown personally to a table.  I was also given a free little biscuit with my coffee too – all this for $4.00. Some people who were walking by the shop looked at me , maybe wondering  what I was doing loitering in the door way – it did feel different but I was amongst the outdoor air and took the opportunity to have a look around at the unknown streetscape.

As I left the shop though I felt as a customer that I had received very good value for money and the service staff had interacted in a very positive and friendly manner. It was a bit fun too not going through the same more common process of working my way through a coffee shop and waiting in a line.

PS. About a week later, whilst sitting in a meeting at my Principal’s office, I noticed she had a few water bottles with this shop’s labels on her desk. Interesting!



Blog task 2

blog task 2 sketch 2The area of my daily routine is my morning walk from the school car park through to the Library. It takes place at 8am as the school community is beginning to arrive at school. The Administration and Library are both up for redevelopment in the next 18 months. It is the main entry area to the school. I think how students and staff cross paths, greet each other and congregate in the mornings can have a big impact on the day.

Staff wave to each other whilst driving in the car park. They say hi to each other, some choose to have a conversation whilst walking through the car park. I don’t go into the staff room; I walk straight towards the Library .Most students don’t acknowledge staff whilst in their cars or saying goodbye to parents, in the bus bay area. A few students wait for their friends out the front. Once inside the school grounds most students say “morning” or “morning sir/miss” as they pass on the pathway. Some students congregate under the classroom verandas – they are not allowed to do this (they are meant to be in the common areas) and are roused on by the teachers to move away from this area.

The students who sit in the undercover area (most are there regularly) engage in a longer conversation with me. They have longer conversations with a group of friends, asking how each other is, they say ‘Have a good day”. I will walk through the middle of the undercover seating area. It is cold in this concrete area; it seems to bother some students.

As I approach the main entrance of the Library and its undercover area where the bag racks are there are students who regularly come to the Library early to work or read. They interact with me in more complex conversations; they may even wait and open the door for me.  The temperature in the Library is warmer (it is air-conditioned), the people are warmer to each other too. A couple of students are usually printing quietly and concentrating on getting their assignments sorted for the day.  There is already a quiet hum of some students helping each other with homework, talking to the other Library staff or catching up with a friend.

The students want a place to meet friends in the morning. Some of them don’t want to be right where the teachers are. At this time of year people want to be out of the cold in the morning.

The extended leadership team have begun discussions about this area as the connection between home and school (in the morning and afternoons). We are asking the questions “Is this main entry area giving a good first impression or setting up the right sort of interactions?” and “Would it be better to have a common learning/social area like a Library plus undercover area right next to the car park?”

Comments shared on other Blogs

Jame’s (Jim’s)