Archives For Change
We crave explanations for most everything, but innovation and progress happen when we allow ourselves to embrace uncertainty.
Sinek’s latest note is particular salient because for the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about the statement, “people don’t move enough” my wife made after we attended an orientation session for an organization that we are considering supporting. She was commenting on the lack of openness toward change that was being expressed explicitly and subtly by a few people in the group we had just met.
The details of the situation aren’t nearly important as the fact that staying in the same community, job, situation etc. for long periods of time can result in a attitude of, “not in my back yard” or “that is not the way we do things around here” or worse “we really don’t want more people coming to our area”. In contrast, moving puts you in a position of uncertainty and exposes you to different cultures and circumstances. Moving also helps you to realize what your priorities should be and to focus on what is really important because you become one of those people who is infringing on someone else’s back yard and you have to learn how to deal with those dynamics.
While a physical move forces you into adapting to different circumstances you don’t have to physically move to adopt an attitude that will help you embrace change and uncertainty. The choice is ours. The choice is also ours to model this type of adaptive attitude and lifestyle to our children.
In his talk Assessing Digital Innovations in Education at the Apple Leadership Institute in Vancouver BC this past week, Dr. Michael Fullan challenged the room full of Teachers, Technology Directors, Principal, Superintendents, and other educational leaders to start making some significant changes to our education system because “Kids Can’t Wait.”
I have been working as a change agent in education for the past two decades so his talk was reassuring and inspiring. Reassuring in the sense that those of use who have been working toward improving education need to keep on working because we are finally starting to see some progress. Inspiring in the sense that many younger leaders are picking up the challenge and are motivated to keep on pressing toward change.
While these aspects of his talk were excellent the most impactful part of his talk was the reminder that there is a tendency toward paralysis by analysis and we (academics and educators) do a really good job of generating huge reports which become shelfware.
Fullan challenged the audience with the following statement [paraphrased]:
If you can’t say it in 3 pages you don’t know what you are talking about. If you write more than 3 pages people won’t read it anyway…