The Time For Heavy Lifting Is Now

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“Leading innovation and what is widely considered good leadership, we found, are not the same.” -via ‘Collective Genius’

In education, we are in the midst of confronting and engaging in some of the most massive shifts and changes across the learning landscape that we may have ever faced.  Much of which has been accelerated exponentially due to the advances of technology, both in education and society as a whole.  Altering current expectations and skill-sets of today’s modern educator, often requiring major transformations in how they impart learning, as well as extracting their own learning and professional development.

As we move forward in this new world, there will be many paradoxes that we will come face to face with that will require new ways of thinking, new ways of doing and new ways of leading.

  • Being more creative while still facing a variety of stakeholder expectations.
  • Being more innovative under current accountability systems.
  • Learning and implementing new strategies and technologies in the midst of standards and curriculum changes.

And the list goes on.  Facing these shifts and changes in new, creative and innovative ways will require new perspectives, new ideas and new ways of thinking.  And most of all…

It will require new ways of leading.

Be assured, we will be unable to initiate and scale the type of creativity and innovation necessary to face these shifts and changes at any type of scale, until we take a long, hard look at leadership and the leadership skill-sets, knowledge and learning necessary to push education forward effectively into the 21st century.  Inability or unwillingness to do this, will allow many of our leaders to remain both a hindrance and obstacle, often unwittingly, to forward movement and momentum.

The mindsets we create, the cultures we establish, the organizations we build, ultimately revolve around people.  At its very foundation, education is truly about relationships and connections, pure and simple.  And when leaders don’t get this, when they struggle to comprehend this, when fail to see this as the focal point of their daily work, very little changes.

If you want to lead change, you have to understand people.

Talking about change is easy, getting people to see its value and come on board, difficult.  Understanding creativity is easy, getting those in your organization to be more creative, difficult.  Seeing the importance of moving forward and being innovative is easy, getting people to engage and adopt more innovative ways of working, difficult.

Coming up with new, creative and innovative ideas, while important, is easy.  Getting people to accept and adopt these new ideas, difficult.

Leadership is not about things, it’s not about initiatives, or programs, or plans.  It’s about people.  And if you can’t move people, you can’t move forward.

“Instead of trying to come up with a vision and make innovation happen themselves, a leader of innovation creates a place— a context, an environment— where people are willing and able to do the hard work that innovative problem solving requires.”  -via ‘Collective Genius’

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