Monday, November 12, 2012

Reflecting on the past to move forward . . .
Thanks to Dawn who e-mailed Doug who asked Ben, I am using my new computer for this blog post.  Once again, people coming through to support me, this time based on sharing my frustration in a blog post.  This happened even though today is a holiday from school back home.  To show how disconnected I sometimes get from the non-work world, I called Linda, my assistant, this morning and kept getting the operator intercept.  I finally figured out I had forgotten the three hour time differential and was calling too early.  So, later I called using her cell phone and she answered, only it was from home.  She gently reminded me that I was one of the few school employees working today.

The support I received are examples of collaboration in the workplace.  Unfortunately, they also are accompanied by the issue of positional authority.  If I didn't have the title in front of my name, would I have received the same response to my technology need or my poorly timed phone call?  In the culture of my vision yes, but in our current reality no.  Though this is but one component of the culture we are creating, for me it is an important component.  I believe that I have the responsibility to provide leadership to close the gap between that vision and our current reality and I also know that the gap will be with us after I physically leave the system.  Knowing that, I feel a heightened sense of urgency to ensure that the communication foundation and values that drive our behavior live beyond those in leadership positions today.

The challenge is in the how.  I believe that one way to support this need is in telling stories.  These stories can be about our vision, the values that drive our behavior, things that didn't work and how we responded to them, or those stories that describe who we are.  It is time to begin that story telling, so I have been reflecting on those critical times in our journey that have contributed to who we are.  I have identified several of them that I believe have had an influence that has sustained over time that provide insights into our values and beliefs.

What about you?  If I asked you to identify the ONE story that you believe captures who we are and what we want to become what would you pick?  Is there one thing that stands out or are there a series of things that build upon each other?  I believe that this is an important exercise for our system to undertake and your thoughts are an important part of this effort.  Please consider sharing in a comment to this post.  Capturing from the past what has contributed to our current reality is an important part of creating the capacity to continue to move forward.

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