I was reminded this week of  the power of having an open mind. To be honest I wasn’t just reminded.  I was whacked on the side of my thick skull with a baseball bat of a reminder.  My head still hurts, and my heart is still thumping with it.

As an end of year post exam activity, a  group of 16 year olds at Wellington College worked with the team from musikscool to create a 5 track music CD from scratch, and use it to raise money for the wonderful EB skin condition support charity, DebRA.

Now, we folks at Musikcool have run these events many times before, and we of course know what is doable in a day with 68 teenagers.

We know that if we set an appropriate target for fund raising, ie acheivable but stretching, it raises their performance.  I wonder what you think would be achievable in donations ON THE DAY through Just Giving?

When we went in there I had a figure of £5,000 in mind.  The last school we worked with raised £4,200 on the day, so £5,000 seemed about right.

On the day I told the group this was the number I had in mind.  Thank goodness the Head of Year, the emminently wise Murray Fowler, had suggested beforehand that we might want to aim higher.  So I thought I’d ask the pupils what they thought.  “£10,000”, came back the answer.

To cut a long story short (subject of some other Blogs, possibly), we ended the day with an amazing £11,200, on Just Giving.  Click the link to see for yourself (or add to the number if you feel so inspired).

Here’s a video which gives the flavour of the day.

So how come they did so well? Apart from their obvious “go getting” attitude, their great teamwork and mutual support, energy and sheer hard work, they had something else, which is rare in the business world.  They had open minds.  For them this was a first time insight into setting up a business, marketing, cold calling, making a recording.  They hadn’t been there before, so they didn’t know what to expect.  So they didn’t know what to fear, and they had no frame of reference for what was possible.  Or not possible.  No mental limits, therefore higher achievement.

Sad, isn’t it, that what we call experience will, by definition, make them less wise, less capable, less open minded?

It has reopened my mind, for a while at least, and rest assured that the next Musikscool will be aiming for at least £10,000 in the day.  Second thoughts, better make that £20,000.