Monday, June 27, 2005

Creating a culture of innovation and creativity!

What's this water stuff? Posted by Hello

There is a lot of talk about creating schools as creative learning communities these days but what is not understood is that the current managerial audit culture, and the imposed growing micromanagement that has been imposed on schools, is toxic to its growth.

Leadership to change the mindsets of all involved is required rather than dull management or meek compliance!

Creating and sustaining an innovative culture is the real task of leadership. To achieve this, leaders must look at the culture of the schools so as to break through the negative power of the status quo and blind habits that limit growth.

It means developing a total integrated system where every teacher is aligned behind developing creativity, not just relying on creative individuals. It is all about valuing the power of culture

A good analogy is cleaning a dirty fish tank. You take out all the fish and send them off to professional revival centre to teach them to be creative. The course is a roaring success, the fish are returned energized ready to change the world. You pop these stimulated fish back into the same dirty water. Try as hard as they might, with their rejuvenated powers, they are beaten back by the depressing environment that hasn’t been changed in their absence. The new ideas cannot be used and the revived fish have no choice but to return to their past habits. As the fish fall back into past expectations and habits the water gets dirtier and less sustainable. The only thing to do to survive is to return to the old ways.

Leading the change is about cleaning the tank not the fish.

No one said that this would be easy; it will require courageous leadership.

Fish, they say, are last animals to discover water!


Anonymous said...

Teachers have been swimming in murky water for so long that they think that what they are doing is what is supposed to be happening.

Anonymous said...

This story probably says why secondary schools seem happy to swim around in 19thC compartmentalized tanks

Anonymous said...

Politicians always have a 'quick fix' ( Poll driven ) answer. This morning the National Party suggest putting the boy fish and the girl fish in their own tanks.
It isn't the water after all!

Bruce said...

I have a feeling that transforming current secondary schools is just too difficult for all sorts of reasons. Instead what we need is for a range of different schools (preferably community based) to be established throughout the country to try out new ideas, and then for the successful ideas to be spread to other schools through collegial networks.
This could be an ideal task for a central Ministry to establish.

Anonymous said...

Murky water is the default culture of our confused society - and we await helplessly for leadership. This is futile - it is time for us all to act!

Anonymous said...

No point in waiting for someone to change the water - the fish need to plan their own escape from such conformity.

Anonymous said...

It is fortunate that people tend to learn what is important to them in spite of their schooling.