Thursday, March 3, 2011

An unplanned milestone . . .

I'm going to celebrate an accomplishment of reaching a number that was not a goal or something I gave much thought to over the last 3+ years.  What is it?  Yesterday's guest post by Nancy was post number 500 for Seeking Shared Learning.  When I started this it was to learn about a new technology for me and to model for staff.  I never thought that I would sustain over this period of time or reach this number.

My first post was sharing a book and an article.  I got my first comment on that post from Kimberly encouraging me to continue and sharing how what I said could inform her thinking.  I have found that comments are like energy pills for me, far more important than the number of hits.  Comments suggest that someone is interested in what I am saying enough to take the time to craft a response.  Thanks Kimberly for that first one and the continuing encouragement from you and others like Ethan who challenge me.

Before closing I'll share another book that is influencing my thinking and behavior, Change the Culture Change the Game by the authors of The Oz Principle.   This book is about the importance of creating a culture of accountability and it's influence on the success of any change initiative. The focus is on creating alignment with what they call the Results Pyramid, a focus on results, actions, beliefs, and experiences. 

It is not all new learning for me as much of it is similar to my work with systems thinking and other leadership work.  The words they use and the way they package it, however, makes sense and will be easier to use in our leadership work than some of the models from earlier learning.  For example, they talk about mental models and ladders of inference, but with different terms that are more easily understood.  I will not stop using the current language because they have become a part of our culture, but I will incorporate new ways of explaining how people embrace change such as below.
  •  Experiences foster beliefs - beliefs influence actions - actions produce results
If we don't focus on all of these factors, our Classroom 10 initiative will not be successful and sustain over time.  Too often in work that requires us to embrace new ways of working we do not create the opportunities necessary for  reflection on beliefs and the experiences that have produced these beliefs.  Expecting others to embrace the change and make a commitment to work differently without this focus and reflection results in pockets of implementation.  We have experienced this in our system where not all teachers commit to, implement, and sustain a new practice.  Including the components of the results pyramid in our work has the potential to change these results. 

Enough for now.  Once again thanks for reading!

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