Archives For Change

In the TEDx talk Change your Mindset, Change the Game, Dr. Alia Crum reveals how changes in mindset can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms.

Every time I think about creating urgency at the start of a change process I immediately think about this old Fram commercial. You can be proactive and create a sense of urgency to start a change process or if you ignore the reality that change is the new constant and that all organizations are going to be forced to change then you will have to deal with the sense of urgency that will be forced upon you and your organization as you attempt to stay relevant.

The choice to be proactive and create a sense of urgency is ours but we often first have to get out of the reactionary rut. In the post Paradox of being proactive I point to the unfortunate fact that the busyness that reactivity spawns is rewarded because it appears that people are working hard to deal with the situation.

We need to stop reinforcing the incorrect reactive behaviors and start reinforcing the proactive activities that will enable an organization to really move forward. This requires the conviction of looking into the horizon and peparing for the technological and cultural issues that will be impacting your organization.

Pay me now or pay me later…Create the sense of urgency now or react to the tyranny of urgency later. The choice is yours.

Don’t take my word for this. John Kotter one of the world’s foremost authorities on change argues ignoring to create a sense of urgency is the biggest mistakes being made in leading change.

Are you tolerating a problem in the world around you and not doing something about it? I see so many opportunities to improve learning environments and get quite frustrated when I miss the chance to make a difference. But I also see, read and hear about situations where opportunities to make a difference are missed.

I recall a blog post from a renowned educator who is a considered a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education. This educator was driving his 14-year-old son to school when the son remembers a homework assignment he forgot to do for biology class. The following is their exchange:

“Something big?” I ask, fearing the worst.
“Nah,” he says with a shrug. “Just a handout and some questions. It doesn’t matter.”

This educator reflected on the fact that he could not remember any work that his son and daughter had done the past year that actually did matter in the world; work that had a purpose outside the classroom.

For the remainder of the post he reflected on his experience in traveling the world and viewing “work that matters” that has significance beyond the classroom walls. He effectively argued that when learners create authentic solutions to real world problems it not only benefited those who’s problems were being solved the work benefited the learner.

While I was excited and agree that authentic learning or “work that matters” is important I was also concerned that he didn’t provide any suggestions on how he would attempt to address the problem his children were having with hand outs with questions that didn’t matter. Perhaps he has, but the post left me wondering.

We each have our own spheres of influence. If we see a situation that needs improvement the first thing we need to ask is…

So…What am I going to doing about it?

If you really want to bring about change in people then you need to appeal their hearts and not to their heads. The sharing of more information or engaging in more rational discourse on its own doesn’t appear to help people to make significant change but an appeal to values, attitudes, and feelings first can motivate people toward making changes.

The two short videos below will clearly demonstrate this point but society still struggles with this notion and as you will see from the next few paragraphs I too will ironically address this first from the cognitive perspective. Why? Well…Isn’t that what good educators do?

Educational psychologist, learning theorists, instructional designers, educators and many more learning professionals refer to Blooms Taxonomy of Learning which looks at learning from three domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.

Blooms Taxonomy domains

These domains are also commonly presented in the following relationship:
domains of learning

Cognitive = Head/Knowing
Affective = Heart/Feeling
Psychomotor = Hands/Heard

Bloom intended the taxonomy to be holistic and assumed that all three domains would be included when we develop learning environments. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case in our educational systems and most other sectors of our society.

The head, is often over emphasized and rational thinkers are held in high esteem, the heart is relegated to artists, musicians or the irrational and those who work with their hands are necessary but are limited to building and keeping our infrastructure running. It only seems rational that if you want to bring about effective change then you just need to appeal to the head–or at least this is what those oriented toward the rational would argue.

But experience doesn’t always confirm this notion. The science community is beginning to recognize the importance of the affective domain. For example the scientists within the Geoscience program at Carlton University recognize that including the affective domain in their teaching can significantly enhance learning or if ignored can hinder or prevent learning. To promote the use of the affective domain they have developed a useful site called The Affective Domain in the Classroom that points to and annotates a wide assortment useful resources and research.
affective-cognative domain-brains.v3

This illustration of the two domains provide a good visual starting point for considering how the affective domain can be used in a scientific setting.

Enough of the head talk and onto the heart…

How to Change People Who Don’t Want to Change | The Behavioral Science Guys

I trust you will enjoy the irony of this TED talk that argues that TED talks don’t change peoples behavior.

Why TED Talks don’t change people’s behaviors: Tom Asacker at TEDxCambridge 2014

For a learning theorist and Professor there are few things more invigorating than working with a group of highly motivated learners. My long time colleague and friend Dr. Craig Montgomerie often asks me to join his online Athabasca University class MDDE 610: Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications to provide his students the opportunity engage with a professional like myself who has extensive experience in promoting the use of Educational Technology.

In the MDDE webinar for November 18, 2014 titled Leading learning and technological change we focused on the most difficult challenges in any organizational change — dealing with an organization’s culture and implementing strategies that require a cultural shift. Through examining a case study of the ACU Connected Mobile Learning Initiative we explored how addressing the following four key principles increase your chances of success significantly:

  1. Start with Why
  2. Identify and engage key influencers
  3. Install an effective execution strategy
  4. Enlist and empower self-differentiated leaders

We also analyzed how ignoring even one of these principles can contribute to failure and how these principles are currently being used in new E-learning strategy at BCIT.

Webinar slide deck – MDDE 610 Nov 2014.pdf

The following resources were mentioned or briefly discussed in the webinar and can be used to gain a deeper understanding:

People who like this stuff…like this stuff
Includes a short annotation and links the books Start with Why (Simon Sinek), Influencer, Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX) and Freidmen’s Failure of Nerve.

Connected The Movie by the ACU Connected Initiative
Link to the ACU Connected mobile movie that started and provided the fundamental Why or vision for Mobile Learning at ACU.

Additional resources on Change and Innovation: