“If we want people to fully show up, to bring their whole selves including their unarmored, whole hearts—so that we can innovate, solve problems, and serve people—we have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected.” ― Brené Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work….
“When we go to conferences like this one, we load up on ideas that are going to get us to progress. We have our little tote bag – we’re going to fill it up with ideas. We hear about a new strategy…a new tech tool…we hear about all these great…
When working on cultural shifts, it can be easy to get frustrated when change doesn’t come fast enough, bold enough, or loud enough. We want glitter and ticker tape parades to reassure us that we’re doing the right work. That we’re on the right path. But that’s not how change…
Total efficiency constrains us. We become super invested in maintaining the status quo because that is where we excel. Innovation is a threat. Change is terrifying. Being perfect at something is dangerous if it’s the only thing you can do.“Getting Ahead by Being Inefficient”
I stumbled across this interesting article today called “Getting Ahead by Being Inefficient.” At first glance, I thought it was going to be the article I’ve been waiting my whole life for… the one that would say my scattered mind, my messy desk, my caffeine-fueled late night procrastinations, were going to propel me far in life.
And while it didn’t quite get me there, it did have an interesting point that probably touches home for a lot of my educator friends. Basically, getting really really good at something can hurt you in the long haul. Let me summarize the author’s example.
A bird evolves over time to become adept at eating a certain berry. The beak fits the berry perfectly. The talons grip the branch just right. The bird has it made. It’s perfect for the berry, and the berry is perfect for the bird. Efficiency is key!
A mammal comes along and says, “Hmm, that berry looks good. I want some.” But he doesn’t have a perfect beak or talons, so he has to adapt.. maybe he scoops up the ones that dropped to the ground, or sneaks around at night and steals some from the lower branches. Not the most efficient, but it gets the job done.
So what happens during the polar vortex when the berries are frozen or the tree is killed? The bird starves, and the mammal goes to his other food source and munches away. Efficiency kills the bird. Inefficiency saves the mammal.
Efficiency is great in an unchanging environment, but to expect an environment to remain static is unrealistic. Environments change all the time.“Getting Ahead By Being Inefficient”
Are you seeing the teaching connection? A lot of us felt pretty confident in our teaching in the NCLB era. We had a scope and sequence laid out, an assessment that aligned pretty well with the high stakes accountability system, and a traditional report card. Teaching was, in many aspects, reminiscent of how we had been taught. The berries were luscious and we could reach them all.
But the world was changing… and changing fast… and it shook the core of our berry tree. It demanded change. It screamed for personalization. It hollered for relevance and engagement.
Our beaks weren’t enough. Our talons couldn’t stay gripped to the tree. We had to change. To adapt to the new world. And the scariest part is that this new world is ever changing. We can’t simply find a new tree. We have to be flexible and adaptable. We have to be open to new opportunities when our environment changes.
We have to be the mammal…