Monthly Theme: VISION
Week 2: Seeing the Bigger Picture
This week was focused reflecting on seeing the bigger picture, taking time to understand the power of connecting with a big vision and committing myself to audacious goals.
In the first part of the Intentional Leader book for this week, a story was shared of Google’s Brin and Page hanging onto a goal setting phrase that Happiness is “having a healthy disregard for the impossible”. Both partners insisted and incorporated trying things that most people would not. They committed themselves to goals that almost seemed impossible. Page comments that the company needed to focus on things that are really important.
I feel that this is where Parkland School Division is now heading as well. Over the past couple of years, stakeholders were asked how PSD could become better in all areas. And, with the many meetings, dialogues and sharing, I believe that our new vision, mission and ultimate goal are now giving PSD stakeholders a pathway to focus on things that are really important too!
A statement via Page also struck me this week as I read through the Intentional Leader in which he comments that, “You should try to do things that most people would not.” (p.9, Intentional Leader) PSD staff are trying things that most people would not. We have teachers taking the learning in the classroom and showcasing it online via blogging, we have various stakeholders sharing their learning through the 184 Days Project (one blog per school day), we have administrators, teachers and students collaborating online, school sites are using Twitter and Facebook to connect with the outside world, PSD itself has a dedicated YouTube channel, and so the examples go on. There is a great movement within our organization to share the vision locally, provincially, and on a global platform. I am excited to work with the administrators, Learning Coaches, Key Contacts (SpEd) in supporting their almost impossible goals. Well, as Rob Sheehan, puts it “the more difficult the goal, the higher the level of performance. As a learning organization, PSD wants to be innovative and commit to breakthrough performances via setting “almost impossible stretch goals” where the goal has 1% chance of accomplishment, you don’t know how to approach it but you keep it in mind as you go about your day, your week, your school year and see it evolving into a goal that is attainable since it has been in your mindframe with everything that you have done.
My commitment as part of a leadership team in Learning Services is to support our administrators and teachers in linking PSD’s vision to the work that is already occurring. Using PSD’s 4 key elements of engaging our students, staff, community and being good stewards of our resources, I am attempting in my work, this year to make these connections transparent for the people that I facilitate professional learning and dialogue with. Below is a quick video clip giving an overview of PSD’s key elements:
This past week I also visited with people other departments at Centre for Education to as each of them their thoughts on what was compelling about PSD’s new vision. Each were genuinely impressed with it. Their comments:
- “for all employees”
- “open-minded, explore their learning, not just from a book, more innovative and taking ownership”
- “explore, create and imagine – making learning exciting”
- “encourages people to reach their dreams”
Overall, this year, I will encourage greater buy-in from stakeholders by connecting all of Learning Services and ET/IT work to the PSD vision. I will share our learning in F2F situations, professional learning opportunities, blogging, twitter and with other educational organizations.