Posts Tagged ‘ education reform ’

Creating value or reducing costs?

In a recent article in the Business Insider, Editor Henry Blodget says that business obsession with short-term profits has led to the view that employees are costs, rather than value creators. http://www.businessinsider.com/business-and-the-economy-2013-7 Many of us who have participated in the annual school district budget reduction discussions are surely guilty of the same sin. Aren’t the short-term profits in education the annual test results? Don’t we at least consider applying more of our resources to those “costs” that provide higher short-term profits (better results) in lieu of those that might provide better long-term value (student success)?

If your district vision and mission statements call for long-term success for your students (career and college readiness), shouldn’t your resources be applied to value creation and not short-term profits? How are you measuring long-term student success?

Cultural Change and the Brain

In a recent article in Talent Management magazine concerning changing company culture, Reut Schwartz-Hebron suggests that using what we know about how the brain learns will be a way to deliberately develop more positive outcomes as part of organizational change.

http://talentmgt.com/articles/view/use-brain-science-to-drive-change/1

Cultural change is not easy. Using the latest findings in brain science about how the brain unlearns and that it does not see everything as experience will help change managers to design a program that anticipates these issues and will be more successful as a result.

Culture and Loss

In his recent guest post on Clarity, Jamie Notter talks about a company’s culture and his belief that it is the organizational culture that drives success. http://blog.clarity.fm/culture-that-drives-success/

“People leave the culture, not the company.” is one of the culture clichés he uses. It is clear that without effective cultural change why many districts are unable to address their consistently high turnover. One large district told me that one-third of their instructional workforce will leave within five years. I understand from superintendents all over the country that those statistics are not unusual. Could it be time to focus on cultural change within educational organizations? After all, it is one aspect of the education business that will be cost-effective. Every time an employee leaves, it costs the district roughly 20% of that employee’s salary to hire a replacement.

I know some of you have begun change management, but once the rest of you get Common Core and PowerSchool up and running, it is time to for us to talk about real cultural change. Measure your annual losses and calculate the cost.

Good Hiring Advice

Educational organizations are in the middle of the hiring season. Anthony Tjan offers some good advice about what to look for in a candidate. Not your typical HR questions, but you may not be looking for the typical HR results!

http://blogs.hbr.org/tjan/2013/06/becoming-a-better-judge-of-peo.html

Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes

A five-minute research-based video that deals with the community influences we all know hurt student outcomes.Clearly, the next step is for someone to take responsibility for addressing this, although no one has the authority to do so.

Seth Godin’s blog

Overcoming amazing.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/05/overcoming-the-impossibility-of-amazing.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fsethsmainblog+%28Seth%27s+Blog%29

This is why when we start a design session we ask each participant to generate at least ten solutions. Number one is never perfect. Number ten is better. Zolli in Resilience talks about hybrids as being the way to avoid catastrophic system failure (unless they change, all systems fail). Taking the best of solution number one and solution number ten and combining them gets us closer to amazing.

Parent participation in school improvement.

We often get enthusiastic parent or community groups that want to participate in school improvement, but many districts do not have a process that accommodates that effort. Why not let design thinking drive the solutions? The parents and teachers at Riverdale Country School in New York City and the folks at IDEO have produced a manual that may help. You will also need an integrative thinker or two (see Roger Martin, The Opposable Mind) to facilitate the process. Here is the URL for the manual…it’s free. http://www.designthinkingforeducators.com/