About 6 months ago a friends daughter was saying that she was trying to organise some work experience for a week in the Autumn term. I mentioned that if she didn't manage to find something she really wanted to do she was more than welcome to work with Frank!. Her other options gradually disappeared and I was delighted that she was able to take up my offer. Well delighted and a bit worried to be fair. What on earth would she do for the week. As it happened - a lot. I decided that the best thing to do would be to find a project - something she could get her teeth into, could learn from and ideally something that would result in some positive results.
So - the project was to review and then make recommendations on improving her school website. We interviewed staff, developed a questionnaire, interviewed parents and pupils, collated the responses, put together a powerpoint presentation and today.. we presented her findings to the Head and the team responsible for the schools' communications. The findings were really interesting - having a year 11 pupil in the office for a week was absolutely charming. The input from other pupils was insightful and amazingly perceptive.
But the thing that really got me thinking was how much everyone we spoke to wanted the school to be, and to be seen as, something they could be proud of. And, they wanted the school to be proud of them. They wanted the school to say - look at our students, look at what they can achieve, look at how we work together to give them the best opportunities we can.
I think that one of our challenges every day is to help create companies and organisations that people can like. So the thing I will take away from this process is 'give people an opportunity to like you' and you know what? Often they will.