Sunday, May 17, 2015

Are "growth and "change" bad words? Not according to me!

I usually don't write two blogs in one weekend, but I felt inspired today.  It has been a personal inner mission of mine to figure out why "change" and "growth" sometimes is so difficult in schools and why this is grounded in fear.  Let me first define what I mean by "change" and "growth" in this context.  Or at least how I have seen it at times....

Here is how many perceive these two ideas:

Growth - Everything in education is circular, we did that 15 years ago! This is exactly the same.

Change - The feeling you get when "the next new thing" comes and you are in #initiativefatique. Easy to say, "this too shall pass" and close your door, or I have my own way of doing things.

So how do we "change" and "grow" the mindsets of these two ideas?  That is what I have been struggling with... So I went for a run, cut the grass, played bball with my son and tried to give myself some time to get away from my thoughts, to sort of reset to begin again.  This was just today, I have spent the last couple of months in the same cycle, constantly wracking my own brain to the point of exhaustion!!!

Growth - Alas some reprieve today! I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast (highly recommend) and was convince that the process of working through problems is "growth".  Talk to other people, I having a strong network of people that I rely on.  We bounce ideas off each other, which is essential.  We talk on a seemingly daily basis.

Realizing there is no finish line is also key.  Live and grow now, if you are always waiting for a sign, or for the stars to align, you will miss your chance.

My solution from that rant - Talk, share, think, talk, share, think, talk, share, think, talk, share, think, repeat.... Get the idea.  Flood people with that common language until it becomes routine for them to also talk, share, think, talk, share, think, talk, share, think.  Even if the new thing you are working on seems like it was recycled, make it better and grow! Like a bad Zombie movie, we need to INFECT others!

Change - This is a little harder.... How to get others to see "change" in a positive light.  If I go back to my definition of the problem, then I would say people don't want to be shaken and made to feel uncomfortable.  So how do we provide an environment where there is no threat of harm and the "change" seems fun?

My solution here is in finding those first followers, they will be there, guaranteed, and then celebrating their successes!  Allow the "change" naysayers to see this, put it out there for them to see, and then back away.  Let those that are being celebrated push the message. It will create a situation where the "change" naysayers will either get on the life raft and move forward, or be so separated from the rest of the group, it becomes very clear they are not willing to move.  This uncomfortableness and separation may lead to......???

The journey is the fun! It is a race, just not competitive, it is a race within yourself to never settle! The struggle is the work! The relationships and bond you forge with those in the struggle is what makes it worth it!  "Change" and "Grow" all the time, we all have a date of expiration, extend yours by challenging my initial definitions.  Promote this mindset and always speak to it and defend it!

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