After so much planning, determination and hard work we are finally able to fully launch Cortecs. Over the last six months we have transformed a standard, albeit lovely office environment into a unique learning environment. Whilst the installation of the technology, equipment and balls (literally) has taken a significant amount of time and investment for me the journey to this day has actually taken my lifetime. It feels as if I have poured every experience, every piece of knowledge and every ounce of determination into this venture. You know, if you’ve read my blog, that I sometimes wondered why I am doing this but today, sitting here in a ball pit, seeing the plans I sketched out brought to life I am more convinced than ever of the value of Cortecs’ mission of Serious Fun.
I have always absolutely believed that everyone, at any age, learns more effectively if they are enjoying learning. I knew, as you do, that when I was a kid I did far better in the classes that I enjoyed than I did in the classes in which I was bored senseless. I also knew that this was unrelated to the subject itself. In Rumney Infants Mrs Robson fostered an early love of writing, I wrote poems about fireworks complete with exuberant illustrations, I interviewed my Dad for one project and promptly decided that I wanted to be a journalist. Then Mrs Robson left. I don’t remember the name of the next teacher but I do remember the following years of trying and failing to master cursive writing, which I still can’t do and being berated for my dreadful handwriting. Thankfully my Mum stepped in, enraged at the reading and writing age I’d been labelled with and determined that I was far more capable than this teacher believed. After hours with home made flash cards particularly for b, p, d, q which I twirled around at will and 5 and S which looked the same facing either way to me, plus hours spent copying page after page from Janet and bloody John books my writing finally improved. Unfortunately it took years for my love of writing to return having had all of the joy thoroughly excised from the activity.
This link between enjoyment or play and learning has now become main stream fact, with reams of research and acres of news print sharing examples of effective learning through play. Why then if you want to improve your leadership and management skills or perk up you presentations are you forced into a room with often very little other than a PowerPoint and lack lustre buffet to inspire you? No more. Finally I am able to bring my vision of serious fun into the world of business. For many years playful office environments with ping pong tables, picnic tables and fake grass have been the domain of silicon valley behemoths or large corporations who have the budget to express their playful side. My aim was slightly different I didn’t simply want to bring play into the office although I absolutely agree with this concept, my aim was bring the fun specifically into business learning. However, no aspect of the Cortecs learning environment is frivolous, everything has been carefully designed in order to enable business learning that has lasting impact.
So here we are, we did it! We have a learning environment in Cardiff that is completely unique. I know that this is really the beginning of the hard work, as actually creating this has been a huge amount of fun and I am lucky to work with such a fantastic team. So the next phase begins, which means that I am ready to go out and about so you will probably see me around as I am now on a mission to tell everyone who’ll listen about Cortecs and Virtual Reality and the Ball Pit and ILM and Cognitive Stimulation. If you bump into me at a networking event or even the local supermarket bear with me as I know that I get hugely enthusiatic about what we’re doing, If you are too or would just like to know more, get in touch as I’d love to show you around because seriously, it’s fun!