I remember preparing an essay discussing whether management is just common sense or not as part of my final exams at Durham University. Research revealed the concept of ‘common sense’ was that it was a sixth and invisible sense which connected all the others with some intuitive wisdom.
I doubt there is actually a sixth sense in the way the Dictionary of Fable and Folklore described. But there is indeed a bank of experiences and abilities which we all build up through life. This wisdom is gained from the University of Life and informs how we use our gifts.
My early career combined an analytical approach in multi-national companies with a creative approach so often needed in problem solving. Sometimes this meant writing justifications for changes in production methods or investment in machinery. Other times it included writing training and maintenance manuals, and communicating internally.
The worst typo of my career was when a document entitled the Management of Change went out as the Management of Chance! That was in the days when I relied on a typist! However there is always a chance element in life. And it was by being in the right place at the right time I gained invaluable insight into the way departments all contribute to the organisation’s effectiveness when I implemented a company-wide resource planning system.
Motherhood triggered a sudden shift from the world of big business to that of small, even micro-businesses. There I supported my husband’s businesses preparing documents for grant applications, advertising, press-releases. I helped him build his business from a single piano teacher into a music school which employed a dozen teachers, regularly staged concerts and produced musicals with children in the summer holidays, as well as contributing to civic celebrations such as HULL700 and Humber Mouth.
I launched an online-tuition business in 2006 which is still thriving and again wrote website copy, advertising materials and designed exhibition stands. I also successfully defended myself against a malicious court case, learning the court protocols and writing an involved and cross referenced witness statement.
But tragedy struck in 2013 when my mother became ill and had to go into a care home. Emotionally this was so draining that someone suggested I take up creative writing for therapeutic reasons. It was some of the best advice I have received.
I discovered a flair and enjoyment of writing which I had not recognised when I had been focussing on the tasks in hand. Since then I have written poems short stories; articles and a book which explains Christian doctrine in plain English.
I won first prize in a short story competition and can truthfully say that now I am an international award winning author.
Writing now has become my ‘common sense’. It is where I express what experience and analytical skills portray with persuasive and skilful expression.