Sunday, February 16, 2014

Focusing on the proper question . . .

This Heart of Innovation post is very timely for me as I find myself in the midst of multiple initiatives with difficult and important decisions that need to be made and questions being asked about the process being used.  The essence is captured in this image from the post.

I am far from an Einstein thinker and make more than my fair share of mistakes and as I reflect on that, I believe that I can trace some of the problems to not considering the question(s) I need to ask before taking action.  There are times when I have a sense of what I want and need to accomplish and then decide on a course of action before having the clarity necessary to ensure that the action will solve the problem confronting me or lead to the desired outcome.  I see this need to determine the proper question not only when solving a problem, but also when confronted with major decisions that must be made and shared with others.

An example can be found in my last post where I shared the status of our CTE Task Force meeting.  I wrote the post later that evening like it was the minutes of the meeting, not once considering that readers would not have the context or experience of the previous meetings when bringing meaning to the words.  Had I asked myself the simple question, what is the purpose of this post and who might read it, the structure and content would have been different.  Because I didn't do that, it caused problems for high school administrators and some staff members.

With time to reflect and more thoughtful on intent, I need to clarify that the purpose of the Task Force is to identify in the short term the career clusters and possible programs of study for the specialized spaces (4000 square foot) in the new high school.  It is not the work of this group to focus on specific classes in our current program or in the new building meaning no classes will be cut or added at this level of the process. Those decisions will be made as the work moves next to programs of study and then to the class level as described in the image below from the meeting.  There are also other spaces in the current design to accommodate clusters not prioritized for these larger specialized spaces that will become part of a comprehensive Tahoma CTE program.

This Task Force work is very challenging because of the time line, emotional nature of the work, and significance of the decisions that will be made.  I need to remember this and consider the proper QUESTIONS that must be asked as we move this work forward and as we communicate with those that are a part of the task force and those not part of the work.

1 comment:

crystal said...

Just saw this post after responding to the last. Still processing what this means.