At the opening Junior High School faculty meeting, I shared that I would be referring to us (internally) as “JH 2.11.” Like version software, such as OS 10.6 or Windows 7, the Junior High School is adopting an internal nomenclature that will help us remember that we are striving to improve and grow. The “former version” was a strong product, but we can make it better. We can learn from our experience, we can enhance features and programs, we can grow and get better.
I first played with this “JH 2.11” idea during my spring 2011 sabbatical. While I served my sabbatical, I interned at Unboundary, a strategic design studio here in Atlanta, GA. At the company, they were deliberately working to move from Unboundary 6.0 to Unboundary 6.5. They talked about the business in this manner. Consequently, the culture was dynamic, not static. There was a fundamental understanding that the company would grow and improve to the next version of itself. Unboundary would learn from experience and get better. Simply being “Unboundary” was not good enough, and simply being the “Junior High School” is not good enough. A static name can unintentionally imply that the work of the company is static. A dynamic name generates a creative tension that can motivate a team to strive for closing a gap by walking a path of kaizen – continuous improvement.
What are the keys to embarking on such a walk of kaizen? In brief, the critical key is living in the growth mindset. More specifically, though, I recently read two blog posts from colleagues spread across the country – linked with me primarily through open social media. In these two posts, I think @L_Hilt and @jonathanemartin have hit upon some superb specifics about growing in our versions in an Education 2.0 world.
In our Westminster school motto, from Luke 2:52, we read, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” May we strive to grow similarly.