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.]