A major part of what we do here at Oddsocks, is provide learning tools for organisations who want to invest a bit of time, energy and resource in a specific area of their development. These opportunities excite us because of the creativity involved in the process, from meeting the client, discussing their requirements, getting together as a team here at Oddsocks and coming up with a solution and presenting back to the client. If only all our working life was focussed upon being creative, coming up with ideas, thinking around a problem… alas, an huge amount of our daily work is paperwork, processing and book keeping… the same with any business. We have had lots of exciting opportunities over the years, creating development training for, H.M. Prison Service, various P.C.T’s, many housing associations, Specsavers, Derbyshire Constabulary, Nottingham City Council, Renaissance East Midlands to name but a few, and each project has been very different. Quite often, we are called in to assist with development in an area such as: Customer care and celebrating diversity and what the issue really ‘boils down to’ is communication. One area where communication is a key factor and sadly often overlooked is in health care. To quote Robert Winston: “…we have produced generations of doctors who can’t (because of time constraints or bureaucracy) or won’t (because of the way they’ve been taught) actually communicate very well with their patients, and communication is a fantastic healer.”
Oddsocks is now offering an Advanced Communications Skills course opportunity to G.P’s, Psychiatrists and those in business who would like to improve their negotiating skills. We have already run a successful day with a group of Doctors who were about to take their final exams in psychiatry, have a look at the page dedicated to it and see if it is something you or a colleague might find useful. The day is fun, gently challenging and very, very useful. We love running the day too, so that’s a bonus.
In August 2008 we were approached by Renaissance East Midlands to produce a training package that would encourage museum staff across the region to assess their processes and improve their communication skills, internally and externally. This Monday saw Elli deliver the first training session which is the culmination of a very long and progressive journey over the past two years.
We started off by going into various museums and heritage sites and delivering the training ourselves to the staff which invloved Andy, Elli and myself sharing various communication techniques and skills and dressing in various silly wigs and costumes.
Renaissance were so pleased with this part of the process that they then asked us to develop the workshops into a DVD package that could be used to train higher level staff to deliver the training to their colleagues. The DVD includes scenes that we used in the live workshops that were adapted for film and include Andy Barrow dressed as the tooth fairy and a French waiter and Elli Mackenzie as a Health and Safety conscious administrator in a rather fetching wig.
This labour of love has been a hugely worthwhile project for us and Renaissance and is ongoing with more sessions planned for later in the year. To view some of the films used on the DVD please visit our portfolio page and look at “Plague Museum” and “Personality Typing”.
This month we completed a project with the examination board AQA that saw us creating a DVD of Shakespeare scenes for use in classrooms all over the country to help make the Bard more accessible to students.
The DVD includes scenes from “Much Ado About Nothing”, “Julius Caesar”, “Twelfth Night”, “Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet” and we utilsed some of our archive theatre shows in the package. So, scenes from our 2003 tour of “Romeo and Juliet” and 2006’s “Twelfth Night” were used.
The aim of the DVD was to show students the varying interpretations that can be applied to Shakespeare’s writing and we therefore had a gritty “Eastenders” style take on “Much Ado” and had Marc Antony from “Julius Caesar” as a sleezy, corrupt politician performing his funeral oration at a press conference.
The project had to be put together fairly quickly so it was fortunate that we knew all of the scenes and plays very well in order to be able to quickly create several different interpretations.
It was huge amounts of fun to combine our expertese in Shakespeare and film making and the project continues to be a huge success with over 4,000 of the DVDs being used in schools today. To view some of the scenes please visit our portfolio page.