Best Practices to Guide Our Journey to “There” Reflection by Tiphanie Edwards
“Begin with the end in mind”..such a dominant statement that touches all facets of our work in education from basic lesson planning to major shifts in curricular innovation...
But how do we begin with the end in mind when the “end” that is truly needed may look differently through the lens of each stakeholder? How do we get “there”? Chapter 2 outlines the process of setting the right direction with all of the key players and developing a shared vision for charting a new path (that will require authenticity and flexibility) through the phases of:
-Engaging and Visioning,
-Planning and Design,
Charting a new path or changing the “known” in order for transformation to occur definitely requires a roadmap; it is my belief that an inclusive visioning process is at the heart of this work. “Authentic participation” is the key to true stakeholder buy in. I’m sure that many of us have been in situations where our participation was requested, but may not have felt authentically wanted.
In my early days of school leadership training, I was taught that you get your “power” by giving it away to your constituents and the basis for that starts with inclusivity, collaboration and communication. A new project may be doomed from the start without stakeholder buy in. The text stresses the importance of understanding the small group cultures of each of your constituents as it will completely shape the focus and the process needed to move change forward.
The assessment phase will diagnose and inform; it will provide feedback. It will highlight the gap between what exists and what is desired. However, assessment must be a honest process that will help identify the starting point, articulate a path and inform pacing in order to lead to a continuous cycle of improvement.
The collective vision and data gleaned from the assessment process guide planning and design to move into the pre-pilot phase. The pre-pilot phase is a new concept for me, especially because it is described as a designed opportunity to fail small and fail fast, adapt quickly and learn from our mistakes. How great is it to be given the green light to renegotiate our thoughts around the beauty of positive failure in order to garner key learnings?
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