As I write this I am sitting in the new sun drenched Acting Up HQ, the idea for which started as a seed in my mind, expanding my passion, growing my business, establishing a strong team and going out there and making a difference with a renewed energy and strength.
I am motivated by things like this: did you know that throughout 2014/15 there was a rising number of workplace deaths in the UK? And as I write this there have been a further 8 in the last five days alone. There is some talk in safety circles of this reflecting a complacency. We would never know the extent to which we’d have been able to prevent these accidents from happening but if Acting Up had been working with these companies where the accidents happened would these numbers look any different? Can we eliminate serious injuries and fatalities [SIFs] before they happen by inviting new clients to try our methods, and if we do, then how do you measure a non-event? How do you make a statistic of something that doesn’t happen and prove our worth in the corporate community. How can we address cynicism towards the behavioural side of safety training or scepticism towards our methods?
More seeds are being planted as we start to measure scientifically what it is we do here. Emmanuelle, our AU academic intern is making this the subject of her dissertation and we are also going to be working with Heriot-Watt University to see if they can capture some evidence. Our initial research based evidence makes compelling reading.
It could take some months before we get concrete results, but the truth is we already know the answer. Even if the most unreceptive of audiences think the most sceptical thoughts about watching a piece of theatre, telling us their stories, contributing to a film, talking about who they are and what their culture is, we know that we have planted a seed.
We know that we have shifted the culture and contributed to a change. We know this because we are different, because they respond, because we feel the shift and anecdotally our feedback is that it seemed to work well, it seemed to make a difference, and that’s enough for us, and for me to keep moving forward.
So, every time one of the Acting Up team is getting into the white sheet and red heels in some broom cupboard, getting ready to play Gail, or running a session where the burly guys seem less than comfortable, or working with a client way out of their comfort zone to create a film, or returning that film to them with learning themes added as questions, we know that we are making a difference. Why do we know this? Because every company is made up of one key element: human beings, and as we know all great creations start with a seed and human beings are no different.
The difference is, with Acting Up you get the human element.
CEO, Acting Up Ltd.