Saturday 9 October 2022

Harry Fricker MA


Reflections on Session 2  of the Creative & Cultural Leadership Development Programme (CCLDP).

This was an enjoyable and inspirational session, encapsulating the zeitgeist. The points made and ensuing discussions were relevant and apply directly to my practice. The dialogue with peers was enriching, varied and a great way of forging links.

This is exactly what I want from the Leadership Programme. A forum with a wealth and breadth of ideas. An inspirational well, from which I can draw focus, reflect upon and adjust my perspective sufficiently to have practical and meaningful impact in my business approach.

Gaining perspective shift is everything!

The session kicked off with Personal Wellbeing. Deeply resonating with me, since the subject plays a central role, spanning my personal and professional lives. Mindfulness is a key area I am currently developing through my practice.

The content that followed is so relevant to our time. Nurturing networks. Staying true to values. Recognising Chaos. Distinguishing the Complex from the Complicated. Principles of organisational learning. Compassion & Kindness.

The latter being methodically swept to one side since the 1980’s with the introduction of ‘Greed is Good’ school of thought. Inaugurating the hegemonic monoliths of unbridled market forces, hyper-consumerism, profits generated on inbuilt obsolescence. Whilst societies navel gaze at the mesmerising obscenity of waste, material and human, culminating in the Anthropocene.

Yes, there is the need for sincere compassion and kindness in business and every level of interaction. Equally, rekindling a profound sense of community, creativity and belonging are at the core.

All the above are highly relevant to my personal and business practices and by extension in my relationships with associates and networks.

Since the early nineties, I have been aware of the term Karoshi ‘death by overwork’, at the time this seemed like a Japanese phenomena, however the condition is prevalent in various forms in our very midst. Health & Wellbeing are at the core of maintaining a balance between personal and professional lives.

When I cut my teeth in education in Tower Hamlets, in East London, the Photography Department I joined used ‘ongoing development’ as a method of evaluating success and effectiveness. The evaluations we ran centred on continuous improvement. Identifying success and addressing areas for future development.

The Photography Department ran successful and innovative programmes, because we nurtured creativity, together with an approach that cared for our community at large. This allowed me to run programmes resulting with above the national average rates for student retention, achievement and progression. Removing barriers was our maxim.

Years later I heard of the principle of Kaizen ‘change for better’, a mindset based on reaching potential whilst challenging the status quo through processes of self-reflection. This principle is embedded within the Toyota works since the 1930’s, their own take for ongoing development. To this day I continue to apply this principle to my practice.

When Diane Arbus was asked ‘What it your best photograph?’ Without hesitation She replied ‘The next one!’ At its core her answer contains the principle of Kaizen. Without any doubt, Arbus is amongst the greatest photographers in the history of the medium.

I am an advocate Lifelong Learning. Failure is part of a learning process, spurring us on to take a long look at our own reflection in the mirror… then go back to the drawing board.

Being failure averse leaves us in a state of paralysis and unbearable frustration. Innovation is about learning from failure and being at ease with uncertainty, shifting landscapes, as well as embracing calculated risks.

The experience of the pandemic, and its aftermath, demonstrated to me how insubstantial some of our social structures and business models are in the light of sudden and creeping change.

Managing rapid transformation and navigating uncertainty becomes the new modus operandi, where resilience and agility are key.

Like an oak tree in a storm, firmly grounded yet able to flex under force of the winds.

Thank you for an inspirational and thought provoking session!

Cultivator – Creative & Cultural Leadership Development Programme (CCLDP)
Workshop 2
Leading in uncertain times
Mandy Berry & Hazel Province

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Thank you for taking time to read my blog, I hope you enjoyed it.

Please leave a comment, question or suggestion and I’ll follow up.

Have a great day!

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I am thrilled to be a part of the Creative & Cultural Leadership Development Programme – commissioned by Cultivator Cornwall and the University of Plymouth Knowledge Exchange.

You can read more about CCLDP – Announcing the third cohort

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Kaizen Continuous Improvement: Definition, Origins, and Methodology
An introduction to the Kaizen its origins and methods.
From the Professional Leadership Institute.

The Anthropocene is a newly proposed geological time unit: the age of humans …
An overview of a new phenomena, where human impact shapes our world.
From the British Geological Survey.


Like an oak tree in a storm, firmly grounded yet able to flex under force of the winds.


Going Where I’ve Never Been: The Photography of Diane Arbus

Documentary shot posthumously in 1972.  Introduced by Doon Arbus, daughter of Diane Arbus.
Features audio narration of Diane Arbus providing candid insights to her practice.
Includes a rare interview with the inspirational Lisette Model, photographer and mentor to Arbus.

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