Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stop Doing Lists

What's your "Stop Doing List?" Do you have one?

Thanks to an article James O'Hagan shared, I stumbled across a quote from Jim Collins that I'd underlined, highlighted, promised to never forget, and then promptly forgot when I put the book down (which is why I HAVE to write about what I learn). Here's the relevant quote, as cited in Schmoker's article, Up and Away. Schmoker wins my praise because he quotes some great folks, like Michael Fullan, Peter Drucker and Jim Collins (albeit with my reservations still in place about application of his work to education).

In words that resonate with most educators, Peter Drucker (1992) writes that "the largest and easiest gains in knowledge work come from redefining the task and eliminating what need not be done."

Collins writes that we must all make a "stop doing list." We must "stop doing anything and everything" that doesn't get us the results we want (Collins, 2001).

Results will require tough but intelligent decisions from us. To gain the results we want will require that we systematically review and eliminate unnecessary, ill-wrought goals and committee work, that we abandon ineffective but so-called "research-based" programs and strategies.
Source: Schmoker, Up and Away

When momentum stops, forward movement ceases, one has a wonderful opportunity to explore different options. What would things look like if I reconceptualized how professional development is approached in the District, assuming no barriers?

So, I've been reflecting on what should go on my "Stop Doing List." Before coming up with my list, I have to redefine my mission. Here's my mission statement (i just made it up, so i'm open to suggestions on writing a better one) for the Office of Learning and Development (OLD), not necessarily with an ed-tech focus:

Model and mentor staff and students in the everyday use of technologies that enable them to learn, create, collaborate, and innovate in their work.

A different organizational structure might reflect the following (and this is strictly fun brainstorming):

Of course, I didn't like this "house" at all. I'm going to have to revisit the whole org chart idea. In the meantime, do you have any suggestions?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure