Monday, June 27, 2005
Creating a culture of innovation and creativity!
What's this water stuff?
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!