Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Is there something here that we can use in education? Is there a reason for their process? Why do they go from clothes, to hair to make-up in that order?
Here's what I notice -
1. A group of people recommend or encourage someone they care about who is in need of a makeover.
2. There are strong facilitators throughout the change process -Stacy and Clinton are direct, but supportive and dare I say, even funny!
3. How they go about the change process is basically the same, but tailored for each person. In one episode I saw of How Do I Look?, Jeannie placed the person in an experience to help the person understand how others perceived her and the light bulb went off! Simply telling the woman did not work! Seeing examples did not work! It is deeper.
I have seen value in being engaged in an experience to offer insight into the internal change process. I have heard teachers say they are afraid of technology, so does designing an experience to help them face that fear have value? I think so. I tried this and boy did they get angry! Were there tears? You bet! Some even got sick, but I have never had more respect for a group of people than these teachers who bravely went forth with learning technology because they truly cared about their students. That is what I call commitment!
What I noticed afterward was growth in confidence. The teachers were able to get past the fear and knew that they could face challenges that technology brought - and we know there are many. The cool thing about it was they kept moving forward - at their own pace. It stuck.
If you look at the shows, the transformation sticks, too.
What I am wondering about is how this connects to staff development. If Stacy, Clinton and Jeannie are able to transform a person's point of view in 3 days, why can't we?
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Did you know that today is National Letting Go of Stuff Day? My teammates designed a really fun way to start "letting go" of the past. Each teacher found an item in their classroom that they really didn't need, wrapped it up as a present and then at a staff meeting, we exchanged gifts! It was hysterical to see what we've been holding on to. What's brilliant about this though is in the design. We hold onto things because there is usually an emotional attachment. Once we gave it away, the other person hasn't built that emotional attachment and therefore had no problem getting rid of this item from the past which we did. We then gave away all of the gifts and they either went to our rummage sale coming up or got thrown away.
Come to think of it just now - I didn't even think twice about missing my old stencils that I used to use to make bulletin boards : )
Does letting go of things from the past open up minds to letting new thoughts about education in?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
According to Jan Carlzon (1987), who provided SAS Airlines with transformational
leadership, a leader must encourage and facilitate formulation of an organizational
vision in which as many stakeholders as possible have participated. He must create
an environment in which employees can accept and execute their responsibilities with
confidence and finesse. He must communicate with his employees, imparting the
company's vision and listening to what they need to make that vision a reality. To
succeed...he must be a visionary, a strategist, an informer, a teacher, and an inspirer.
(p.5, italics mine).
My concept of a vision is a description of a state that is considered to be
significantly more desirable than the current state It is a state that cannot be
approached without a fundamental change of direction, a change of the status quo. It
takes courage to lead such a change and it requires instilling courage in others. This
involves more than persuasion; it requires the ability to inspire. Unlike persuasion,
inspiration evokes a willingness to make sacrifices in the pursuit of long-run objectives
or ideals. Therefore, visions that induce others to pursue them must be inspiring. An
inspiring vision is the product of a creative act, of design. Inspiring visions are works of
art and those who formulate them are artists.
Leadership also requires the ability to implement pursuit of the vision. Inspiration without
implementation is provocation, not leadership. Implementation without inspiration is
management or administration, not leadership. Therefore, leaders must be both
creative, in order to inspire, and courageous, in order to induce implementation.
Positive visions that can mobilize transformations can be produced by idealized design.
In this process those who formulate the vision begin by assuming that the system being
redesigned was completely destroyed last night, but its environment remains exactly as
it was. Then they try to design that system with which they would replace the existing
system right now if they were free to replace it with any system they wanted.
The basis for this process lies in the answer to two questions. First, if one does
not know what one would do if one could do whatever one wanted without constraint,
how can one possibly know what to do when there are constraints? Second, if one does
not know what one wants right now how can one possibly know what they will want in
Summarizing this much, then, a transformational leader is one who can formulate
or facilitate the formulation of an inspiring vision of something to be sought even if it is
unattainable, although it must at least be approachable without limit. The leader must
also be able to encourage and facilitate (inspire) pursuit of the vision, by invoking the
courage required to do so even when short-term sacrifices are required, by making that
pursuit satisfying, fun as well as fulfilling.