Today Kat and I had our first big discussion on #EdJourney after having finished “Part 1: Roadblocks: How Can We Overcome the Biggest Obstacles to School Reform”. Now to be honest, Kat and I both felt that the book is more written for an audience that is either a teacher or educator rather than a student, but that’s ok it just challenged us to change how we read. Personally I’ve been reading the book through the perspective of a leader.
We are trying to make this a timed writing piece so rather than going into depth on our discussion I would like to point out a few key insights I found through our reading and discussion today:
- Teams and organizations need to break the mold of pyramid structured leadership if they wish to innovate and instead have a richer system of many levels and different people that can be trusted to lead.
- Leaders must be challenged in order for improvement and innovation to occur. It is uncomfortable to ask teammates hard questions, but it is necessary. This is a cultural change that needs to take place.
- Decision making should not all be done by one person; therefore, people need to be able to trust others with the responsibility involved in making decisions in order to innovate.
- Giving people a title helps them feel more empowered as a leader that can be responsible in that area of work, and helps give others someone to go to other than a “top dog” on a traditional leadership pyramid.
- I wonder when it is right to lead by example versus letting others experience and struggle with something on their own.
- We wish there was a book like this exploring innovative colleges and universities are the country.
- And it would be really cool if we could do this as high schoolers or college students… (including writing a book about the findings.)
- We wonder what it would be like for high schoolers to have more opportunities like those of college students to go on long “breaks” for learning outside of school. Like building a school in the rainforest of Thailand. Or traveling the country talking to different educators. Or trying to find a solution to clean water. Or apprenticing artist for a few weeks. (We both went on college visits this weekend so study abroad, internships, and co-op opportunities are on our minds.)