PROCESS POST: Starting to put the pieces together…

How might a school (and education, at large) become more agile, more adaptable on a larger scale and shorter time frame?

What if we explored recipes that combined ingredients of Collins’ Good to Great (the flywheel effect, “who” before “what,” and the hedgehog concept), Design Thinking and the Japanese concept of “kaizen” (continuous improvement through…Discovery, Interpretation, Ideation, Experimentation, Evolution), and Manuel Lima’s power of networks, which is closely related to Friedman’s flattened world?

Could we re-imagine and re-purpose so that school becomes more of a quickly evolving ecosystem that better integrates learners with real-time, real-life, contextual learning and a developing citizen skill-content set that readies learners for the present and future more than for a past that is rapidly fading?

To move from the industrial age to the information age to the creativity age, must we synergize processes that can better develop creational momentum?

[“A piece of ‘why,'” A piece of ‘what,'” and A piece of ‘how'” are strands of a series on why school needs to change, what about school needs to change, and how schools might navigate the change.]

A piece of “how”: flatten schools?

Thomas Friedman pointed out to us that The World Is Flat. Do you think that the acceleration of change in the world is related to the progressive flattening of the world?

Many think that schools are one of the slowest changing institutions. Some know the story of Rip Van Winkle waking from his hundred-years nap and only recognizing schools…except that the boards are white instead of green or black. Do you think that the slow rate-of-change in schools is related to their traditionally intense hierarchy?

Would schools be more adaptable and accelerated in their change if they were flatter organizations?

Recently, during one of my morning walks, I listened to Daniel Pink’s “Office Hours” podcast – particularly the interview with Gary Hamel. While listening, my mind made a Venn of a number of resources from which I have recently learned:

  1. First, Let’s Fire All the Managers,” Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review, December 2011.
  2. The Power of Networks: Shifting our Metaphors for Learning and Knowledge,” a blog post from Jonathan Martin on 21k12 – particularly the RSA video of Manuel Lima.
  3. Nobody’s as Smart as Everybody—Unleashing Individual Brilliance and Aligning Collective Genius” by Jim Lavoie at Rite-Solutions, discovered as I explained on this recent blog post.
  4. What If Bill Gore Founded a School?” a great blog post from Craig Lambert.

What if schools were flatter in nature…like our flat world? Would school adaptability be amplified and accelerated?

[“A piece of ‘why,'” A piece of ‘what,'” and A piece of ‘how'” are strands of a series on why school needs to change, what about school needs to change, and how schools might navigate the change.]

A piece of “how”: Know what we do; communicate, communicate, communicate; build a tribe

Do we really know what we do in schools? Does each school know what it does? Not at a cursory level, but at a deep and meaningful level.

Do we communicate tirelessly and effectively with our internal folks and with all of our external constituencies? Does every stakeholder or group member genuinely understand and believe in what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we are doing it?

Are we nurturing relationships – people – to turn groups into unified tribes?

[“A piece of ‘why,'” A piece of ‘what,'” and A piece of ‘how'” are strands of a series on why school needs to change, what about school needs to change, and how schools might navigate the change.]