The Rider, Elephant, and the Path

In my Turnaround Leadership class, we have been learning about ways to influence and enact change within our organization. The Heath brothers’ books–Made to Stick and Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard–are now both on my To Read List. Unfortunately, I don’t think that I’ll be able to read both books in its entirety while still working on my dissertation. #sigh #toomanybooksnotenoughtime

However, that’s not say that I haven’t already gleaned some important concepts that are applicable in my position at my school. I like that the Heath brothers made the concepts so simple to remember:

  • Direct the Rider
  • Motivate the Elephant
  • Shape the Path

The video included in this post gives a great synopsis of how to approach change in any organization. I definitely need to keep these concepts not only in my backpocket, but forefront in my mind.

#goodstuff

#InnovatorsMindset Part 3

So this is my view from the deck as I finished this latest set of sketchnotes and blog post…

I would rather be out on the dock but I’m afraid I’ll either drop my new iPad Pro or Apple Pencil. 😁 But I couldn’t ask for a more serene setting with which to reflect on Chapters 4 & 5 of George Couros’ (@gcouros) book The Innovator’s Mindset.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I am not an administrator but I do consider myself a leader, a change agent. I’ve always found myself in some type of leadership position even from a young age…which is a bit odd to me since I don’t like being in any type of limelight. But I do have the gift of being able to empathize and relate well with people which brings me to the main focus of Chapters 4 & 5 – relationships. George brings the issue of successful and sustainable change back to the idea of people…understanding them, empathizing with them, building a relationship with them, connecting with them. His idea of being a leader is more about servant leadership. Through consensus building of a school-wide vision, stepping into the shoes of the end-user (teachers & students), removing barriers to success, scaffolding the change process, and most importantly, keeping in mind that at the heart of innovation are the people, not stuff…not policies, not initiatives.

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I think all too often educators at all levels feel the pressure to conform to policies and regulations…and get stuck right there. But George’s idea that we need to innovate inside the box is exactly what we need to remember when feeling discouraged or bogged down by issues that are behind our control. Innovation is happening at this moment…it’s better that it happens beyond “pockets of innovation” (p. 226) but it has to start somewhere. We’re not all fortunate to have a George Couros in our districts or at our school sites, but we do have leaders who understand the necessity of change and the importance of cultivating an innovator’s mindset.

Step aside naysayers, there’s a new mindset in town.