When a deadline becomes a lifeline.

For the past three years I’ve been talking about ‘my book’ The Enterprise Alphabet, I had a cover made up and some cover card promotions sent out.

I’ve laboured away on some text, started the first chapter and got into the content. A bit.

Then the idea morphed into some cards to use with teams of people and took shape a bit more and then Your Enterprise Alphabet (YEA!) came into my head but progress was slow, slow, slow.

When we updated and completely rewrote the website in 6 weeks with amazing technical help from Kendal College’s Digital Apprentice team, I realized that things get done when we apply focus and get help.

So in February the announcement was made for #TMHullEY – Teach Meet Hull and East Yorkshire – at Malet Lambert School in Hull on 14th April so I applied for a speaking slot and entitled my talk ‘How Your Enterprise Alphabet cards support the development of enterprise in schools’. My slot was accepted.

I had a DEADLINE…a line at which I wouldn’t die, but at which I would look a right fool in front of 100+ respected educationalists and Hywel Roberts – the father of Accidental Learning!

AArrgghhhhhhhh! But the cards aren’t ready! I had developed about 1/3 of them on a simple template we’d devised and I was using regular train journeys to write more cards each trip…but that wasn’t fast enough progress – they needed to be designed, laid out, colour matched, printed and packed before 14th April.

This deadline date provided the galvanizing force I needed to get the cards written, edited and then sent to the design team – even though some of this was whilst I was on holiday – the hotel’s free wifi was put to good use anyway!

In short, the YEA Cards are now complete – having been worked on by my partners at Kendal College and Absolute Digital Printers in my absence, with me sunning myself and enjoying a break in Nerja with my wife.

They arrived with me a full, luxurious week before the deadline and they are now being used to great effect on Twitter and other Social Media to play word games and spread positive enterprise messages.

As I reflected on this the irony struck me that, ironically the DEADline date I set gave these cards their LIFEline and with that the motivation and pressure to do all the things necessary to create this great and fun new resource set.

What could you take from this? Sometimes we need the pressure of a deadline to bring out our most inspired and creative work. After all, as the saying goes, it takes time and pressure to turn coal into a diamond.



Twitter: @EnterpriseSBox

PS: If you’d like to be one of the first people to own some of the cards, they are available in the shop with free P&P. https://innovativeenterprise.co.uk/product/your-enterprise-alphabet-yea-cards/