Monday, March 06, 2006

Stumbling into the future; the blind leading the blind

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As a country we continue to stumble our way into the future led by politicians who seem to believe that the future will some sort of extension of the past when, in reality, we need some new visionary thinking.

It is not as if there are no signs that things aren’t working out. Almost all our organizations and institutions are failing to do their task as designed – our health system, the justice system, our roads, our industries, our prisons and our schools. The trouble is they were all planned in a past simplistic industrial age where people at the top new best. Add to this environmental problem and the oil crisis and it would seem new thinking would be obvious.

The trouble is our current government is bogged down in the status quo. They need to realize it is time to at least begin a dialogue on worrying issues but they seem bereft of any idea of what is required and simply drift from crisis to crisis. And the opposition is no better.

The future will be different and not a linear extension of the past. We are in the middle of a major change from an industrial society to one based on ideas and creativity. To thrive in this new, as yet undefined world, we will need to rethink all our organizations and, in particular, schools if we are to develop ‘new minds for a new millennium’. The status quo needs to be interrogated and hidden faulty assumptions uncovered if we are to break the unthinking habits that tie us to the past if we are to live with ease in changing world.

As a country we deserve better but too many citizens are all too focused on their own personal needs (survival or greed) to consider the bigger picture. It is the blind leading the blind!

Would it be great if out ‘lame duck’ government faced up to the situation and, realizing that they have little chance of being re-elected, actually started the process of developing a new sense of direction for us all; one that we all could aligning our creative efforts behind. It is about the power of vision.

The reality of the failing current situation needs to be placed in front of all citizens so they can consider the various options available. Until this is done we will remain stuck in either or arguments when what we need is a range of options to think about – and with the thought there is no one right answer. The future will require constant rethinking.

Out of this national dialogue/conversation a new vision could be created. Or at least it would be a start.

What we need is some inspirational thinking from out politicians if we are to transform our country. Transformation is a word politician’s love to use but action is now required. Actions mean change. Change means upsetting the status quo. Upsetting the status quo requires courage.

The trouble is our government has become insulated from the needs of people and is too busy listening to their political analysts, advisers and ‘spin doctor’s, all of whom are employed to tell the government what they want to hear!

We need to reinvent ourselves. Other countries have done it: Singapore, Ireland and Finland.

So far there is no real need for change coming from anywhere. We are all too blind to see we can’t keep going on as we are but eventually the signs of trouble bubbling away in our complacent society will become too great to ignore. Change will be forced on us; but by then it might be too late.

Far better to control our own destiny.


Anonymous said...

People in all organisations seem to prefer getting better at a bad job that take the trouble of thinking up new ideas.

Anonymous said...

We are sure getting good at something - NZ now has the second biggest % of people in prison!

When will the time be when rethinking prison becomes obvious?

We need politicians with courage to place the alternatives and costs in front of people.

Anonymous said...

It is correct to say that a large number of our children are being reared in a hostile environment created by the state. The original intention of social welfare provision by the Labour Govt was to provide a benefit payment that allowed the mother to stay at home and look after the children. They also had a child benefit. It would be a fair commment to say that a large proportion of our young are being reared in Auckland where you actually need two incomes to survive! The social interventions provided by the state at school level seem to be only short term funded and tend to stop or change quickly. I have seen a very good family support system die because the Seed funding stopped How can you help strengthen families without long term commitments from the government and the schools etc. It is possible to identify those kids who will go the prison etc from an early age, and yet it is also possiblem to build onto the natural resilience to make them successfull!!

Bruce Hammonds said...

Creating conditions to build on the natural resilience and creativity of every learner/person would seem to be obvious- the 'one that a size fits nobody' solution is no answer.