Building Ideas Together – The Principal of Change


…The beauty here is when a team of individuals works together positively to incite change rather than taking the initial opportunity to shoot ideas down

I just read this post by George Couros, georgecouros@gmail.com, and I am sharing it with you here. It is good to be reminded of how we react to ideas suggested by colleagues at work. It is a reminder of how we move forward and how we learn and grow as a learning organization.

According to Peter Senge (1990: 3) learning organizations are:…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.

I just read another article where a school encouraged all their teachers to come up with ideas that were shared anonymously and voted on by all the staff. The top 3 were chosen by popular vote and the whole school started looking for ways to implement those new ideas. It was a smart process since there was no chance of anyone assuming ideas were bad based on who had proposed them. The software that made sure of that.

Coming up with the best ideas is also encouraging students to find problems to solve like here when Geoge quotes  Ewan McIntosh who talks about  “problem finders,” and there is a definite connection here.

“Currently, the world’s education systems are crazy about problem-based learning, but they’re obsessed with the wrong bit of it. While everyone looks at how we could help young people become better problem-solvers, we’re not thinking how we could create a generation of problem finders.”

Back to supporting ideas that come up at school.

So here’s my challenge to you.

The next idea thrown at you, before you quickly begin listing reasons it’s not a good idea or how it will not work, take a moment to think of how to use that idea as a foundation and suggest ways to tweak it in order to make it successful instead. This in no way means you have to carry out the plan, if you absolutely do not want to participate, that is fine. Can we make a deal though? Can you encourage others to participate by contributing positive and constructive feedback? Can you find at least two alternatives to the idea that will make it viable? Again, you are not at all obligated to participate, but you can contribute positively rather than negatively. I think you will be surprised how this small change will make you and others feel. Negativity weighs a lot. With all of the advertisements and supplements for losing weight — I think you will agree, no one wants extra weight hanging around.

Source:  Becky Schnekser, titled, “Instead of thinking of ways it won’t work — try thinking of ways it could.”

The whole article here: Building Ideas Together – The Principal of Change

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