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Take a look at this week’s G&T.
A note to self
Friday 30 November
What have you done this week that made you proud?
It’s important to remember the big (and little) things that make each week one to be proud of.
Metaphors. How useful are they?
Friday 23 November
In May 2018 we worked alongside colleagues in the School of Health in Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh to create a narrative for their School.
Part of this process was to explore how they saw and understood their School by unlocking a new way to talk about it. Together, they created a list of metaphors: these are just a few of those they wrote.
Your best is yet to come.
Friday 16 November
A stunning video from a LSBU student that will leave an imprint on your mind and your heart.
What’s so different about interdisciplinarity?
Friday 9 November
Sally Shuttleworth, Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, makes the case for why we need to stop disciplines being pitted in competition against each other in an article published by WonkHE.
Every person matters.
Friday 2 November
Without the opportunity to realise peoples potential, no one can know what could be, or what might’ve been. A quote from Albert Einstein.
Stay true to your voice. A word from Barbara Kingsolver
Friday 26 October
It’s easy to get submerged by others’ expectations of you. But what you have to offer is not something that anyone else can replicate. Stay true to your voice, your contribution, and what you have to offer.
Education makes a difference. A quote from Dame June Goodall DBE
Friday 19 October
From conceiving an idea, to hypothesising, discussing, publishing, teaching, communicating, championing, supporting and enabling this chain of events, every person matters.
Why a name goes to the heart
Friday 12 October
A name goes to the heart; it extends beyond barriers of language, culture and background. It creates a level playing field, and connects one person to another. A quote from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Perseverance: a short story
Friday 5 October
Last weekend, one of the Invisible Grail team ran a half marathon. It’s not a particularly exceptional distance, and nor was this one an especially challenging course.
Yet it called for something more than just commitment to get to the finishing line. It asked for perseverance. Perseverance at the tenth most challenging mile; perseverance at the fifth hill; perseverance in knowing that in training, only 11 miles had been completed. Sometimes sheer, gritty determination is just what it takes to get over the finishing line.
Distraction: Evil or Art?
Friday 28 September
When was the last time you embraced being distracted by others? What unforeseen creativity can be unleashed when you let go of your to-do list?
A new academic year brings new possibilities, a quote from Martha Beck
Friday 21 September
A new academic year isn’t just a time of transition for students, it can be for everyone in the University as we embark on a new term with new possibilities.
On the pace of change and the risk of inaction, a quote from Bill Gates’ The Road Ahead
Friday 14 September
Having the ability to look forward beyond what we can reasonably know is an art, but is an essential part of thriving in a rapidly changing world.
A poignant purpose
Friday 7 September
In creating and sharing knowledge with students, businesses and the wider world, this is a poignant purpose, taken from Carl Jung’s final work Memories, Dreams, Reflections and featured in The Atlantic.
Writing is a translation of yourself. A quote from E.B. White
Friday 31 August
Whether you’re writing proposals, strategies or meeting papers, we as authors will leave traces, however small, of ourselves. What are your hallmarks? How does what you say remind the reader that it came from you?
Never stop questioning. A quote from Albert Einstein
Friday 24 August
Education trades in curiosity. Never stop questioning, considering, enquiring or imagining.
What’s your story? A quote from researcher storyteller Dr Brené Brown
Friday 17 August
Understanding the roles that vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame play in shaping our connections with ourselves and others.
What will you do to discover a different way to see the world?
Friday 10 August
On the brink on a new academic year, how will you challenge your perspective? A quote from Hunter S. Thompson via Farhnam Street blog
A word on deadlines from Douglas Adams
Friday 3 August
A few lighthearted words to our fiendish friend, the deadline. (Taken from Douglas Adams’ The Salmon of Doubt)
How do you write for different audiences?
Friday 27 July
Answering one of our most frequently asked questions, Jamie Jauncey put pen to paper to provide a little guidance on this tricky issue: Writing for different audiences?
Who is your trusted reader?
Friday 20 July
A quote from Journeying Through words: Les Back reflects on writing with Thomas Yarrow, published in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Seventeen syllables for the beautiful game
Friday 13 July
Breaking down borders through the power of sport. A haiku for the football World Cup 2018.
On the art of simplicity, a quote from American clergyman and academic Douglas Horton
Friday 6 July
There’s no simplicity without layers of hard work and complexity.
How do you encourage people to embrace the best in themselves?
A quote from leadership expert Stephen Covey
Friday 29 June
Begin with words that illuminate their potential.
Failing better by Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett
Friday 22 June
Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and fearlessly try again.
A facilitation technique to encourage fearless feedback features
Friday 15 June
Give everyone in the room a post-it, and ask them to write three sentences on it. Tell people that you’re going to give them the first word of each sentence which you’d like them to complete. What they write will be advice to you on how you run the meeting or class. The words are:
Ask people to stick their responses on the wall or door as they leave the room – and do remember to report back and act on some of the feedback next time you get together!
A natural cycle: creation, learning, renewal
Friday 7 June
One year on from the launch of Invisible Grail, we reflect back on the seasons of our first year.
What do leaders need?
Friday 1 June
Whilst on a bespoke programme to build a senior leadership community, a colleague from the University of Chichester listed these:
Everything we believe in, from Nelson Mandela
Friday 25 May
A reminder of why we do what we do, as we reflect on all that’s happened one year on from our launch.
A word from Grace Suszek, Students Union President at the University of Derby
Friday 18 May
As President of the Students Union, Grace influences all senior leadership appointments through being a member of the interview panel; a strong example of good practice by the University which also leads to successful appointments being made.
A reminder from The Invisible Grail by John Simmons
Friday 11 May
What it means to empower people.
A quote from Mark Twain
Friday 4 May
Paying homage to the humble pause.
A facilitation technique by Paul Gentle, Academic Director
Friday 27 April
Shed new light on a project and overcome perceived blockers by using this facilitation technique (tried and tested by the Invisible Grail team)
Learning makes us stronger, a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night
Friday 20 April
Keep resilience close to mind and remember one mistake does not define you.
A rule not just for poets, a quote from Sappho
Friday 13 April 2018
Consider, contemplate and choose the right words to use. A rule not just for poets.
Stories, rather than mandates, count. A quote from Philip Pullman
Friday 6 April 2018
Getting to the heart of the matter. How stories move us more greatly than mere instructions.
How to get people to contribute constructively to meetings, from Paul Gentle
Friday 23 March
Invite people at your meeting to introduce themselves, and consider this question:
What inspires your students to come to university? An interview between architect Teddy Cruz and Rebecca Solnit
Friday 16 March
Putting aside metrics, measurements and analysis, how do we understand what attracts people to pursue their education at university?
Articulating the ambition of higher education, Baroness Valerie Amos on BBC 4’s Women’s Hour
Friday 9 March 2018
To celebrate International Women’s Day, this quote from the Director of SOAS, Baroness Valerie Amos, captures the spirit of higher education.
Imagining the future, a quote by Robert Holman
Friday 2 March
We can only shape the future if we start by imagining it. Try this starting point for your next project.
‘Particularize’ your language, a quote from Robert MacFarlane’s ‘Landmarks‘
Friday 23 February
Don’t settle for dry stock-phrases and repetitive messages. Find the cracks in the words you normally use and find a new way to ‘particularize’ your language.
Putting words down on paper, from E.M. Forster
Friday 16 February 2018
When you have a difficult message to tell, seeing what you need to say is a useful way to test the strength, resolution and approach of your words.
A question to nurture a culture of feedback and openness
Friday 9 February 2018
As Keith Grint and others have emphasised, questions which stimulate insight are key to a leader’s capability set. If you want to nurture a culture of feedback and openness, try starting with this question:
Reference: Grint. K. (2010) Leadership: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
A reminder from E.B. White, journalist and writer
Friday 26 January 2018
Our writing should not only report, but shape.
A quote from Rachel Carson, marine biologist and nature writer
Friday 19 January 2018
Blurring the lines between literature and science, Rachel Carson brings together the art of narrative with the intricacies of science.
Which road will you take in 2018? A poem by Robert Frost
Friday 12 January 2018
The first G&T of 2018 inspires is Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken‘. Which road will you take this New Year?
Finding the right narrative – a story about a conference
Friday 15 December
Taken from a blog featured on the Staff Development Forum, this G&T celebrated the role of narrative as an integral part of every persons leadership practice.
A witty remark from Evelyn Waugh
Friday 7 December
When asked how he wrote the novels that has made him one of the great literary figures, Evelyn responded with these words. A reminder that sometimes, we all just push words around a bit.
Words from Of grit and granite
Friday 1 December
These words remind us that so often our beginning has a part to play in anchoring us during times of change.
A quote from John Simmonds’ Dark Angels
Friday 24 November
Some comforting words from John, reminding us that words – written and spoken – connect us, person to person.
Words from Dorothe Brande, a writer and editor
Friday 17 November
Taken from ‘Becoming a writer‘, her words illuminate the dual nature of every writer.
A quote from Émile Zola, a French novelist, playwright and journalist
Friday 10 November
On the art of being precise.
A quote from Arthur Kudner, an American advertising executive
Friday 3 November
Don’t forget the little words. They say what they mean.
A witticism from Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, physicist, inventor and writer
Friday 27 October
When it’s all that you can do to make it halfway down your to-do list by Friday afternoon, isn’t this the most familiar feeling?
A word from a novelist
Friday 20 October
Sound advice from Jennifer Egan, author and Pulitzer prize winner, on the art of writing.
A quote from Robert Frost, an American poet
Friday 13 October
Words do not need to be limited by the restrictions of a report that presumes you must think, write and compose in a predetermined way. Extend your thinking, consider poetry.
A snippet from ‘H is for Hawk‘ by Helen Marshall, nominated by Corony Edwards
Friday 29 September
Our first guest G&T nominated by Corony Edwards.
“I was struck by how MacDonald uses words to conjure a rich sense of the essence, the experience, the impact of a goshawk, compared with the clinical description of the manual. In an age when dry factual statements and metrics seem to rule, and data and corporate rhetoric converge towards bland homogeneity, more than ever we need to harness the power of language to bring to life the unique flavour of the phenomena we are describing. We need our words to ‘stamp the image indelibly on your brain, and leave you hungry for more’.”
A quote from The Invisible Grail by John Simmons, programme facilitator and author of our namesake at Invisible Grail
Friday 22 September
At the start of the academic year we all need a little moment of solace. Taken from the book that is our namesake, John Simmons (author and programme facilitator), provides some reassuring advice.
A short poem by Christopher Logue CBE
Friday 15 September
Christopher Logue CBE, poet and self-confessed ‘rewrite man’ is the author of this weeks G&T. ‘Come to the edge’ one of Christopher Logue’s more popular poems, reminds us that we must not be afraid to try.
A quote from Dr Johnson, writer, critic and essayist
Friday 8 September
His words are as relevant then as they are now. Dr Johnson’s astute observation speaks in its own right for the ability to say so much with so few words. And to make this familiar idea, seem almost new.
A quote from Terrence Gargiulo, Organisational Development Specialist
Friday 1 September
Stories: a word at risk of being overused and misunderstood. Here, Terrence Gargiulo simplifies our understanding – stories are a means to reach one another.
Island Man by Grace Nichols
Friday 11 August 2017
Chosen by Louise Clifton, it speaks to our longing for other places, a feeling so apt for August. It was a also a timely piece when so much conversation was had around the misinformation of international student numbers. This is a reminder that the lines we draw are often not as clear as some may wish they were.
George Orwell’s six rules for writing from ‘Politics and the English Language’
Friday 4 August
A famous literary figure, his words need no introduction. So without further ado, here they are…
A letter by Robert Pirosh, Screenwriter and Director
Friday 28 July 2017
Applying for a new post? Here is one of the best letters ever in this genre. Worth reading, even if you’re blissfully wedded to your job, for the sheer joy of language. Nominated by Stuart Delves, Programme Director at Invisible Grail.
I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.
I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.
I have just returned and I still like words.
May I have a few with you?
385 Madison Avenue
A quote by Benjamin Whorf, an American linguist
Friday 21 July 2017
Renowned for his advocacy that language and it’s structure impacts upon a persons experience of the world, this quote captures the essence of his Benjamin Whorf’s work. Nominated by John Simmons, a Programme Director at Invisible Grail.
A haiku by Paul Gentle, Academic Director at Invisible Grail
Friday 14 July 2017
Our first G&T. A good reminder of the importance of stopping, once in a while.
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