Cut it to your core and concentrate on clarity

Rob Evans spoke of taking things off of our plates before adding more on. Gary Hamel introduced the notion of core competencies. And Greg McKeown gave us the clarity paradox.

“the clarity paradox,” … can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success. 
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities. 
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts. 
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.

– from “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” Harvard Business Review, August 8, 2012.

It’s a fundamental principal of design, too. Take away all that is non-essential. Reduce until you cannot reduce any more. Then, the best will remain. When I think of this principal, I think of a sculptor reducing a block of marble to the essential remains – I see something like Michelangelo’s David. In fact, now that I think of it, the content of the statue points strongly to the lesson, as well – a small boy with only a sling defeating an enormous giant.

One way in which a school can achieve systemic unity and cohesive pedagogical architecture – don’t add so much to your plate…know your core competency…maintain your clarity of purpose…strip away the stone to reveal the statue…master the sling and know your creator instead of carrying too many weapons and weighing yourself down with too much proudly worn armor.

CHANGEd: What if instead of filling their heads, we grabbed their hearts? 60-60-60 #17

Enhanced information technology and advanced understanding of human learning make it strange that schools retain many methodologies geared for “filling heads.” Additionally, society faces challenges demanding “grabbed hearts.”

At yesterday’s MVPS Design Thinking Summit (#dtsummit12), we immersed ourselves in “Design = Utility + Significance.” At design’s core beats EMPATHY. Through design, doing-learners engage human experience to improve that experience. Insight into others’ needs grabs hearts. Grabbed hearts inspire active hands and feet…and wise minds. Isn’t that what we want need?

First 1/2 Highlights: [View the story “#DTSummit 2012 10:15 Storify” on Storify]

Second 1/2 Highlights: [View the story “#dtsummit12 Design Challenge (pm) Highlights” on Storify]

CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60 Project Explained

Bringing into Focus: Work at Unboundary

This week, through some email exchange and a face-to-face meeting, I was able to adjust the focus ring and sharpen my view on my sabbatical work at Unboundary. By splicing together a few of the email threads, I explain here a bit more about my intentions and excitements regarding this amazing sabbatical opportunity I am afforded.
Thank you. And thanks to all of the team that is helping this happen. The re:purposed plan sounds ideal! Here is my bullet summary/restatement to make sure I am on same page…
* my primary “internship” will be around Unboundary’s evolution work. [Tod: The modification would be that, as appropriate and possible, I’d like to involve you in the work going on around the evolution of Unboundary itself. I think engaging with that work, combined with what you’ll observe of our work with clients, you’ll get a sense of how Unboundary is harnessing design thinking to help companies and organizations rethink their purpose and pursue higher trajectories.]
* my secondary work will be around TEDxAtlanta – Creativity. [Tod: Jenn Graham will know to pull you in on TEDxAtlanta, as will Dawn Gahan. I think you know Jenn well from your time on the TEDx stage; Dawn is our central nervous system — Traffic Director — and knows everything that is happening in the office at all times.  Three people will share the lead on “immersing” you: those people are David Cannon, who is  executive director of creative intelligence; Chuck Reece, who is creative director of content; and Jamey Aiken, who is creative director of design.]
* the one other variable in the mix is Logan Smalley’s work on TED ED.
In three short weeks (my other sabbatical time will be spent researching and visiting other schools), I think this is a great portion size on my plate. Further, I think the learning in these two domains may prove perfect for what I hope to exchange among Unboundary, education and Westminster.
[Screenshot of Unboundary website:]