Thursday, January 5, 2012

Five Not so Easy Pieces for Educational Innovation

Five not so Easy Pieces
For Educational Innovation

1. Possibility Leadership:
folks who say things like:
"When I dream I see(*&+_$@!"
"My dream comes from what I heard in your dreams"
"Don't know how, but you wanna try this?"
" I saw how 'so and so' did this or that, which makes me think if we turn it, we can..."
"We failed, what's it telling us?"
"I put in the extra and inspire others to bring their best, which fuels me."
"This is not a job. This is my calling."

if you are hearing the negaholic chant, you are going nowhere:
"Everything is fine."
"We can never do this"
"I would do it, but he is horrible"
"We don't have enough...."

2. Elevator Processes
Ways of working that capture the good from the bottom up and the top down (in our imagined hierarchy that will be melting away soon enough)

Processes that honor the gifts of the forces of the people and the professionals.

You can't have great professionals who make the change

You can't have great task forces who lead and imagine a visionary innovation

You can't have occupy wall street and community conversations define and implement the innovation

You need them all.
So elevator processes go up: they bring the voice, experience and passions of the users to the work of innovation and
Elevator Processes go down: they bring the professional expertise, experience and passion to the work of innovation

3. Forge the Beachhead
Stop talking, pondering, and for goodness sake Just do it.
Get a glimpse of the future done and do it well. Learn from it. Celebrate it.
Be bolder next time.

4. Tell a Tall Tale
Tell the story of the world to come. Say it is true, even before it is.
The sparks of tomorrow are here. You heard it through possibility leadership, through elevator processes and the lives you've already changed.
So say it. Raise up the success now that is the taste of the olam ha ba. Say it boldly. (look how they are calling Romney Timid..woops)

5. Make the evidence visible
Collect the data in stories, in numbers, in pictures and in lives.
Get your base line and keep measuring.

I hate numbers. I still do math on my fingers.
But I know to ask:
What will we take as evidence that we are making a difference?
How do I collect the evidence?
Make it visible.

Not easy. But five pieces, that when congregations put them together, I see Wow.
Take away one or two, limp.