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Leadership in Times of Transition

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Education as we know it is in its final days. Are these scary or exciting times? To me, it's the latter as I believe we are entering a new age and the change is no more frightening than how the farmers must've felt when people left the fields for the factories. In the days ahead, we must challenge not only the status quo, but the foundation structures that have been a part of our operating system for well over 150 years. These times call for bold leaders. Join me moving into the unknown.

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Leadership in Times of Transition

  1. 1. 1 Leadership in Times of Transition presented by Chris Shade Leadership in Times of Transition presented by Chris Shade What is the single greatest impediment to your organization’s greatness? The state standards outline curricular expectations lack specificity and relevance. Our curriculum is “a mile wide and an inch deep” requiring students to be a “jack of all trades and master of none.” According to Robert Marzano, “If you wanted to teach all of the standards in the national documents, you would have to change schooling from K-12 to K-22 .”
  2. 2. 2 According to Sir Ken Robinson, last year, the NFL was a nine-billion-dolla industry. Hollywood was an eleven-billion-dollar industry.
  3. 3. 3 Standardized assessment? A sixteen-billion-dollar industry. This sounds like big business to me; and to that I say, “education is none of your business.” http://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf Government policymakers, in an effort to correct what they perceived as inefficiency and ineffectiveness in publication, have over-mandated and over-regulated the local function. Multiple and largely punitive accountability provisions were created to ensure compliance. Though the continual proliferation of prescriptive rules and requirements is probably well-intentioned, its impact on schools is inherently counterproductive. Rather than focusing efforts on student success, school districts have been forced to behave like inflexible and unresponsive bureaucracies, more accountable to policies set by the government and their enforcement agencies than responsive to meeting the needs of their students and the communities they serve. This shift in power has stripped the local community of a sense of ownership of its schools and denied its citizens the right and opportunity to make meaningful choices about the quality and nature of education it desires for its youth. [Visioning Document]
  4. 4. 4 Bureaucracy Test [from Gary Hamel] • Do you feel there are too many rules and policies in your organization, too much red tape? • Do those rules and policies often get in the way of doing the right thing for customers? • Do you feel over-managed, as if you're not really trusted? • Are there internal processes, like budgeting and the annual performance review, that seem to absorb more time and effort than they're worth? • Does it seem unnecessarily difficult to start something new, to get a bit of seed funding and carve out some time to experiment with a new service, product, or work practice? • Does it feel like speaking up, challenging your manager, or questioning a decision, could be a career- limiting move? • Are you or your teammates sometimes reluctant to take risks for fear of being punished for failure? • Do internal staff functions, like HR and finance, seem more focused on enforcing their rules than facilitating your success, more meddlesome than generally helpful? • Does it often feel as if employees are treated more like resources than human beings? That profits come first, and people come second? • Do you feel there are too many layers in your organization? Too many managers who spend their time managing other managers? • Do leaders seem more inclined to protect their decision- making prerogatives than to empower those around them? • And does it often seem as if it's the best politicians who get promoted rather than the best leaders? So that's a dozen questions.
  5. 5. 5 http://www.garyhamel.com/blog/3-trillion Reform strategies have repeatedly been introduced with such acts as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind, and the recent Every Student Succeeds Act. Image borrowed from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:No_Child_Left_Behind_Act.jpg
  6. 6. 6 Yet each new reform is merely putting lipstick on the pig. Like its predecessors ESSA emphasizes standardized assessment despite knowing that weighing the pig won’t make it fatter. And what CEO would offer to be rated on the price of company stock on an arbitrary day of the year? Why?
  7. 7. 7 Name some of the greatest breakthroughs of the past 150 years. All of humanity’s scientific advances would have contributed little to our quality of life if they hadn’t been accompanied by equally astounding breakthroughs in management science. Over the past century, much of this innovation was focused on getting people to be as reliable as machines, a challenge that required a new and systematic approach to the problem of control. The name for that approach: bureaucracy. The challenge may seem intimidating, but take heart. Those early management pioneers had to turn free-thinking, obstreperous human beings into obedient, kowtowing employees. They were working against the grain of human nature.
  8. 8. 8 In routinizing work, we risked routinizied human beings. Indeed, this was inevitable, since the goal of bureaucracy was (and is) to excise the human factor, to turn people into machines made of flesh and blood.
  9. 9. 9 When we think of factories, we think of Henry Ford, Model T’s, and assembly lines. Yet, with the burgeoning success and growth, the need for a new type of worker was born, the white-collar workers. Interestingly, however, these white collar workers were still factory workers. Whether pushing a pencil or hammering away on a keyboard, or calling on customers, the work was planned, controlled, measured and routinized. If you paid attention in school, followed instructions, showed up on time, and tried hard, you were promised to be taken care of, paid a lot of money, given job security, offered health insurance and retirement benefits. It was the American Dream. My father worked in the factory, in a white collar, in sales. Every day he would fight Houston traffic going from one place of business to another. Meet with an office manager, ask, “What paper products do you need? Paper towel? Toilet paper? Cleaning supplies? Chemicals?” He would take the order; get back into his car and drive to another place of business, church, or school. “What paper products do you need? Paper towel? Toilet paper? Cleaning supplies? Chemicals?” He was extraordinarily talented and extremely successful. In routinizing work, we routinized human beings.
  10. 10. 10 No corporation or school can thrive in the absence of creativity, innovation, and learning, and the greatest threat to all three of these is disengagement. [Daring Greatly by Brene Brown] Engagement may have been irrelevant in the industrial economy, but it's the whole game now. http://content.gallup.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/C ms/POLL/ifgznd_do0qhwo_o3oc5sg.png
  11. 11. 11 The Texas Center for Educational Research reviewed a number of estimation models and studied three representative Texas school districts. They concluded that the districts spend 20% of a departing teacher’s annual salary to replace him or her, amounting to a conservative estimate of $329 million statewide each year. In a 2004 study of teacher retention, the Alliance for Excellent Education estimated that the costs associated with teacher attrition are about $12,500 per teacher, and conclude that the cost in the 2000 school year could have been nearly $2.1 billion across the nation. 1,000 teachers x 15% turnover = 150 departing teachers $30,496 x 20% = $6099.20 to replace one [first year] teacher $6,099.20 x 150 = $914,880 total annual expense [Building Engaged Schools by Gary Gordon]
  12. 12. 12 How can you expect engagement at work if work isn't engaging? Teachers are shackled by standardization, standards and standardized assessments. There is little room for autonomy and creative liberty. Technology has changed everything. The white-collar jobs that were once machine-proof are now being replaced by machines. When it’s time to do taxes, many no longer call on an accountant, but instead go online. When shoes are ordered from an endless supply online, they are shipped in the correct size the next day with a click of a button having never left home. Today, I can do what my father did in eight hours in a matter of minutes. But in the face of competition and technology, the bargain has fallen apart. Job growth is flat at best. Wages in many industries are in a negative cycle. The middle class is under siege like never before, and the future appears dismal. People are no longer being taken care of— pensions are gone; 401(k)s have been sliced in half; and it’s hard to see where to go from here. It’s futile to work hard at restoring the take-care-of-you bargain. The bargain is gone and it’s not worth whining about and it’s not effective to complain. There’s a new bargain now, one that leverages talent and creativity and art more than it rewards obedience.
  13. 13. 13 In their viral video Shift Happens, Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod state, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” Until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours. Or put more simply…
  14. 14. 14 If there is one thing you can always count on to happen in life, it’s change. "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less." Eric Shinseki You can't outrun the future if you don't see it coming...
  15. 15. 15 Because an influx of monies for education is unlikely, we must innovate “inside the box.” George Couros We need to turn the assumption of “organization first, human beings second” on its head. Instead of asking, how do we get employees to better serve the organization, we need to ask, how do we build organizations that deserve the extraordinary gifts that employees could bring to work? The most important task for any manager today is to create a work environment that inspires exception contribution and that merits an outpouring of passion, imagination, and initiative.
  16. 16. 16 To create an organization that’s adaptable and innovative, people need the freedom to challenge precedent, to “waste” time, to go outside of channels, to experiment, to take risks and to follow their passions. Policies and rules are important—no organization can survive without them. Most organizations, though, are overcontrolled. That’s because control works like a ratchet. Managers are incentives to create rules, not abolish them. More rules mean more things to control, and that means more job security and more power. If you’re a formally appointed leader, and you want to turn sheep into shepherds, you have to take off your leadership mantle and say to people, “I don’t have a plan, what’s yours?” That’s humbling, but it’s the only way to release the latent talents within your organization. Let people find the work that best suits their interests. This is the key to building a community of passion. When you force people into slots, you get slot-shaped contributions; you don’t get bold and astonishing contributions. If you want the unexpected, you have to give people the freedom to do the unexpected. Three things are critical to engagement: first, the scope that employees have to learn and advance (are there opportunities to grow?); second, the company’s reputation and its commitment to making a difference in the world (is there a mission that warrants extraordinary effort?); and third, the behaviors and values of the organization’s leaders (are they trusted, do people want to follow them?)]
  17. 17. 17 Show me an organization where compensation is largely correlated with hierarchy, I can tell you that’s not going to be a very innovative or adaptable organization. People are going to spend a lot of their time managing up rather than collaborating. There will be a lot of competition that goes into promotion up that formal ladder rather than competing, really, to add value. So, increasingly, compensation has to be a correlate of value created wherever you are, rather than how well you fought that political battle, what you did a year or two or three years ago that made you an EVP or whatever. The problem is with the technology of management, the systems, processes, tools, methods, that we use to mobilize and organize human beings to productive ends. We have a name for this technology. It's called bureaucracy. And though that word seems archaic, like horsepower, bureaucracy is still very much with us. In fact, it's pretty much inescapable. Bureaucracies are disempowering. Bureaucracies partition thinking, and doing. Those in the top envision, while everybody else simply enacts. And deprived of any real influence, most employees feel emotionally disconnected from their work. Unless your organization is truly exceptional, it contains a lot of people who are phoning it in. Three things are critical to engagement: first, the scope that employees have to learn and advance (are there opportunities to grow?); second, the company’s reputation and its commitment to making a difference in the world (is there a mission that warrants extraordinary effort?); and third, the behaviors and values of the organization’s leaders (are they trusted, do people want to follow them?)]
  18. 18. 18
  19. 19. 19 http://brenebrown.com/wp- content/uploads/2013/09/DaringGreatly-EngagedFeedback- 8x10.pdf Rehumanizing work and education requires courageous leadership. Honest conversations about vulnerability and shame are disruptive. The reason we’re not having these conversations in our organizations is that they shine light in dark corners. Once there is language, awareness, and understanding, turning back is almost impossible and carries with it severe consequences. If you give us a glimpse into that possibility, we’ll hold it as our vision. It can’t be taken away.” [Daring Greatly by Brene Brown] What about our children?
  20. 20. 20 http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2015- Gallup-Student-Poll-1.jpg Learning is passive. For 13 years, we learn to consume info. Why?
  21. 21. 21 America’s schools were not designed to teach all children to high levels. They were designed to select and sort young people into two groups: a small handful of thinkers and a great mass of doers. It started with Thomas Jefferson who considered it essential all children be educated “well enough” to a) transact business, and b) effectively participate in the civic life of the community. In the Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson proposed teaching the 3 r’s, reading, writing, and arithmetic to children three years “gratis.” A visitor was to chuse the boy of best genius in the school whose parents are too poor to provide an education, and to send him forward to one of the 20 grammar schools for further teaching in more complex subjects. From there, the best genius of the whole was raked from the rubbish and continued for six years at the public expense. The choosing continued until the turn of the century and the industrial revolution. The country was filling up with factories; and these factories need workers. Factories replaced farms as the primary place of work. Rural Americans flocked to the cities where they seeking greater comfort and security. They entered the regimented world and were closely monitored and tightly controlled. They were paid to do what they were told—no more, no less.
  22. 22. 22 Here’s the deal our parents signed up for: Our world is filled with factories. Factories that make widgets and insurance and websites, factories that make movies and take care of sick people and answer the telephone. These factories need workers. If you learn how to be one of these workers, if you pay attention in school, follow instructions, show up on time, and try hard, we will take care of you. We will pay you a lot of money, give you health insurance, and offer you job security. It was the American Dream. It worked. Those workers were not only adults, but children…and the adults were incensed. “Children can’t work in the factory…They’re taking our jobs.” Factory owners insisted that losing child workers would be catastrophic and said they couldn’t afford to hire adults. And a deal was struck. They were sold on the idea children would actually be more prepared to be compliant, productive members of the workforce if educated to sit in rows, follow the rules, and do as they were told told. Mass education was designed churn out adults who worked well within the system. The economy needed an institution that would churn out compliant workers, so we built it. Factories didn’t happen because there were schools; schools happened because there were factories. The reason so many people grew up to look for a job is that the economy has needed people who would grow up to look for a job. Jobs were invented before workers were invented. [Stop Stealing Dreams: What Is School For? http://sethgodin.typepad.com/files/stop-stealing- dreams-print.pdf] Factories didn’t happen because there were schools…schools happended because there were factories.
  23. 23. 23 School, no surprise, is focused on creating hourly workers, because that’s what the creators of school needed, in large numbers. Think about the fact that school relentlessly downplays group work. It breaks tasks into the smallest possible measurable units. It does nothing to coordinate teaching across subjects. It often isolates teachers into departments. And most of all, it measures, relentlessly, at the individual level, and re-processes those who don’t meet the minimum performance standards. Today, we face a new and different challenge. Technology is ubiquitous. The white-collar jobs that were once machine-proof are now being replaced by machines. When it’s time to do taxes, many no longer call on an accountant, but instead go online. When shoes are ordered from an endless supply online, they are shipped in the correct size the next day with a click of a button having never left home. In their viral video Shift Happens, Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod state, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”
  24. 24. 24 “If I can google your questions, your questions suck.” If you use google, I consider your resourceful. If kids do it, they're cheaters. There’s no competitive advantage today in knowing more than the next person. “We can no longer operate a 19th century system using 20th century accountability and expect 21st century learners.” Dr. Jeffrey Turner, Superintendent
  25. 25. 25 http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericaswallow/2012/04/25/creating- innovators/#41dd65553d7a Innovation is a team sport. Problems today are too complex to solve alone. Innovation is a team sport. Problems today are too complex to solve alone. Innovation is cross disciplinary and explores solutions from multiple perspectives.
  26. 26. 26 Multiple and largely punitive accountability provisions were created to ensure compliance. [Visioning Document] The present bureaucratic structure [is a] system based on compliance, coercion, and fear. If proper focus is to be restored, the system must be transformed into one based on trust, shared values, creativity, innovation, and respect. [Visioning Document] “We don’t like to use fear, but it’s the only tool we’ve got.” Director at the Texas Education Agency, ACET Spring Conference 2013 Innovation is grounded in taking risks and learning via trial and error. We are a very failure adverse society.
  27. 27. 27 First Attempt In Learning Innovative learning cultures teach creation, not consumption. Extrinsic incentives have driven learning: carrots and sticks, As and Fs.
  28. 28. 28 Innovators are intrinsically motivated and aren’t interested in grades or reward systems. http://novemberlearning.com/educational-resources-for- educators/teaching-and-learning-articles/students-as-contributors- the-digital-learning-farm/ Johnson_1920_HighPlains.jpg Is the idea of completely changing school as we know it scary? Yes, but I think no more frightening than how the farmers felt at the turn of the century when people were leaving the fields for the factories. Over the next 50 years, America entered its most prosperous time in history.
  29. 29. 29 Don’t think of how it is, but of how it could be. cshade@dentonisd.org www.underwhoseshade.com @underwhoseshade Chris Shade Coordinator of District Improvement & Innovation Coordinator of Federal & State Programs Denton ISD Professional Development Center 1212 Bolivar Street Denton, TX 76201 (940) 369-0676 cshade@dentonisd.org www.underwhoseshade.com @underwhoseshade Follow @underwhoseshade
  30. 30. 30 www.facebook.com/underwhoseshade youtube.com/ www.youtube.com/underwhoseshade

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