Thursday, March 23, 2017

Just what makes that little old ant think he'll move that rubber tree plant? (Frank Sinatra)

Not everything is a BIG initiative in life. Mostly it's all incremental small steps, both forwards, backwards and forwards again!

Recently, our staff has been discussing ways we could implement some of the initiatives that were suggested at the Leading Remarkable Learning conference.

We came up with five things we want to see implemented at our campus:

  • Innovative learning environments (inspired from Mark Osbourne's keynote)
  • Coaches (a buddy/ reciprocal sounding board) (from Sir John Jones)
  • Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) (from Sugata Mitra)
  • Assessment for the future (also Sugata Mitra) Where do we want to head? What does success look like for our Westmount students? How do we get there in our context?
  • All the while following the concept that 'Relevance and context is everything' (Frances Valintine) (This may involve Mindlab's Postgrad Cert in Applied Practice – digital and collaborative practice; taking students to Mindlab facility; Self-directed learning (SDL); and innovation – what is next?

'What is next?' indeed! Anyone wanting to lead innovation must travel via this question.

Well here are some thoughts gleaned from Dan Rockwell's blog about our next moves and what initiatives need:

  1. New initiatives need to inspire energy to survive and thrive. Does the new idea generate enthusiasm in current team members?
  2.  New ideas need committed champions. Who on the team is ready to lead the charge? 
  3. Look for champions who aren’t already leading. Include new employees and people with untapped potential when exploring new ideas. See who steps up.
  4.  Listen to the concerns of dedicated doers. People who are already getting things done, understand what it takes to get things done.
  5. Cut stretch goals in half and move forward. Small choices are easier than big.
  6. Keep everyone in the loop. People on the fringes grab the rope after first-movers generate a win or two.
  7. Give life to new initiatives by giving them flesh and bones. Give enthusiasm a job. 

I could tick quite a few of these five initiatives for these seven principles of success (or needs).

Our five initiatives came from group choice and they each have their champions. Possibly the next stage, for me, is to discover the doers and the champions and see how they match the ideas. 

The loop sounds easier than it is in practice - some people like to know everything and the other end of the continuum are those on a need-to-know basis. All up, that one sounds like one for me to look after as Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

Giving flesh and bones is well placed at number seven. If the other things happen then meat and potatoes...erm...flesh and bones, will flow (that all made much more sense in my head).

Anyway, FORWARD!

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