OnCUE

Author - David Culberhouse

Future Shifts

CUE Future

future“We are getting kids ready for jobs that do not exist” has been a mantra of frustration that has been bandied about the educational ecosystem for far more than the last several years.  A mantra that I believe to not only be wrong focused, but an inhibitor of change for (1) it’s predictive element relieves the system of real responsibility, necessity and urgency for any type of deep, exponential shift(s), and (2) the unknowing element of the statement can continue to allow us to insulate the system from better awareness of changes that are currently and constantly occurring across society that necessitate an educational mind shift.

When the future becomes a guessing game, when we focus on the unpredictability that we currently face, we have a tendency to recoil back to the known, back to the familiar, both as individuals and as organizations.  We often allow the fear of this vast unknown to entrench us in the status quo of the past and present.

What we have to begin to realize is that we are not getting kids ready for jobs that are yet to exist…We are preparing them to be agile and adaptable in the face of profound shifts.

This will eventually require some very deep shifts in our systems, our focus, our structures, processes, and even our beliefs and behaviors. Just as we remain content-focused in a skills-based world, change will be necessary in a societal landscape that is being driven relentlessly forward by the exponential pace of technology and digital disruption.

What has driven education in the past, is no longer sufficient or necessarily relevant for the future.

However, this is not some new phenomena, in fact, the world of work has been very open about the skills necessary for future success and how those skill-sets are changing, especially as technological abilities in robotics and artificial intelligence continue to disrupt the workplace.

We continue to see skills such as critical thinking, creativity, adaptive and agile thinking, social and emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility and load management, and collaborative and design attributes gaining greater traction as necessary and needed for those in and/or moving into the present and future workforce. Whatever those skills are or will be in the future, awareness will be paramount in preparing our future generation to be agile and adaptable to these profound shifts we now face.

futureHowever, it will not only be individuals that will need to become adaptable learners, remaining agile to our exponentially shifting world we now live in…so must our educational organizations if they are to remain significant, dynamic, relevant hubs of learning, innovation, and transformation in the face of these seismic shifts and changes.

Editor Note: This post is a synopsis of David’s mini e-book: “Surviving and Thriving in a VUCCA World”. Find the full text here: Ebook


DavidDavid Culberhouse: Educator, Ideapreneurial, Exponential Mindset, Social Architect, CUE Rockstar Admin Faculty, TEDx, Facilitator for NISL, Proactively Designing the Future… @DCulberhouse

Beyond Band Aids: How Do We Heal Education?

bandaids

Ed note: This blog was co-authored by David Culberhouse, Jon Corippo, and Cori Orlando.

bandaids

“Is that quick fix, that Band-Aid, what is needed for truly sustainable change? It’s time for a new conversation, time for a different plan of action…we need to look deeper than the surface wound.”- Orlando, Culberhouse, Corippo

Urgency. The time to create educational change is now, it isn’t an option. Our students, our world, and our future are changing, therefore our students’ education must change as well. When organizations feel the urgency to solve or heal a problem, it is easy to look for a quick fix. That is part of human nature, see a problem…fix the problem. Makes sense, right? But let us ask: “How is that working for you?” Is that quick fix; that band-aid, what is needed for truly sustainable change? It’s time for a new conversation, time for a different plan of action…we need to look deeper than the surface wound. We must look under the band-aid. We need to diagnose the origin of the holes to heal them at their core. So what is holding us back?

Gaping Holes: Disconnected systems: Many systems try to increase cognitive loads on individuals in the organization. But adding “one more thing” diminishes space for new learning and creating new knowledge that should be focused on better idea flows. Instead, we should identify things we can let go of – schools are a mile wide and an inch deep. What if we narrowed our scope and dug deeper? Like the quote that’s attributed to Einstein says: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” When is the last time we tried to make the process of education more simple?

Unhealing Holes: Initiative fatigue across organizations: When the focus is on implementing programs more than shifting mindsets, people become fatigued. Their mental bandwidth for change decreases with every new event. So let us increase leadership capacity to make a shift in our educational organizations. Let’s focus our change efforts on mindsets, mind shifts, future and around the corner thinking, internal and external awareness, greater emotional intelligence and empathy, greater understanding of improvement and transformational processes.

Band-Aid

“We can change the look to make it more attractive, but it still just covers the wound.” – Orlando, Culberhouse, Corippo

Rather than a short-term, new initiative every year (replacing with a fresh band-aid) let’s think more long range. The president of Honda was once asked how long their long-range plan was by American MBAs. He replied “250 years”. We need to think the same way. We must develop a real plan for raising healthy human beings not test scores. To do this, we need to shift our minds and actions to be student-centric so we can focus on the best ways to help all of our students become their best.

The wound that begets the band-aid: Lack of awareness: If there is not a deep understanding as to the “WHY” change and transformation are even necessary, it will be difficult to create and sustain a plan. It may create an unwillingness to look beyond what we’ve always done to better prepare students to be adaptable and agile to a changing world. It could blind us by not seeing our own “Napster” moment staring us in the face. Educators (all levels of educators, including administrators) should look at books like Dumbing Us Down and The End of Average and films like Most Likely To Succeed and Race To Nowhere and grapple with the idea that to some degree, we are culpable. We can not change unless we are willing to understand our own responsibility and power within the system.

Self-inflicted wounds: Facing the enemy within: We create our own internal divisions (between teachers, administrators, district office, parents, etc.) that inhibit collective transformation and impact. This keeps the system from having any type of momentum as it is constantly stepping on itself. Communication and transparency are key when creating change. Involve those who will be affected. Ask for and listen to ideas, regardless of where they come from. Listen beyond titles, rank, role, age; because amazing ideas can come from the most unforeseen places.

Change is never easy, large change can be painful. “Pain is mandatory, misery is optional”. At all levels, education takes a Herculean effort to be excellent. Education is COMPLEX, INTENSE and requires SACRIFICE. Being an educator means long, hard days. But by keeping our eyes on the prize – a healthy, creative and connected next generation- it is worth the cost. When we believe that and work together, the misery dissipates.

What is the antidote? We can start by ripping away the band-aid to allow holes to scab over. We need people and organizations who have a (disruptive) beta mindset. Those who have a willingness to engage in ongoing learning (should not be an event), as well as a willingness to disrupt mindsets that inhibit change. Those who see and share new possibilities that lead to new learnings and new behaviors. We have to be willing to ask hard questions, have tough conversations and be transparent and honest in doing so. We have to also be in tune and truly listen to what students want and need from their education – it is their future we are creating.


DavidDavid Culberhouse: Educator, Ideapreneurial, Exponential Mindset, Social Architect, CUE Rockstar Admin Faculty, TEDx, Facilitator for NISL, Proactively Designing the Future… @DCulberhouse

 

JonJon Corippo: CUE Interim Exec Dir. Creator: CUE Rock Star. CUE BOLD. Co-Founder Minarets HS, EdCamp Yosemite.  @jcorippo

 

CoriCori Orlando: TOSA at Co-mod & #VCHSChat   faculty, CUE BOLD Faculty @CoriOrlando1