Little Miss Nearly-five was the first one dressed this morning, as did I in getting ready for work. She said that the girls could lead the trip (her planned adventure for the day) because we were ready first.
I suggested that maybe the girls could just lead the whole world, as I gave her a hug.
She responded with:
“No, there are only two leaders in the world, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.”
Happy Friday )
It’s been a big week in the world of service providers and with our evaluation planning. I am struck by the silos that still exist in the way some services are governed. The conventional and conservative approaches are alive and well (and comes as no surprise)!
I wonder how organisations that adhere to a more conventional model of governance see themselves in relation to the world around them? I fear there is an echo chamber rather than a (connecting) feedback process that perpetuates the silo-ed structures of such organisations.
|Silo canisters by alandberning|
How do we look out and connect to the world beyond, when we are silo-ed? How does this skew or colour our view of the world? What relationships are we able to enjoy (and endure)? How do we validate what we do? And with whom? How do we trust others with our knowledge and practices? How do we trust in ourselves?
|Silos 1 by Cal Dellinger|
The cultural challenge begins . . .
There have been a number of recent posts about the importance of “social” for organizations.
"Trust is built by sharing vulnerability,” says John Hagel, a long time author and consultant who co-chairs Deloitte’s Center for the Edge. “The more you expose and share your problems, the more successful you become. It’s not about the top executive dictating what needs to be done and when, it’s about providing individuals with the power to connect."
…What could education institutions learn from these business experiences?
See on interactyx.com
“What do you notice?”
A small, but powerful question, when you involve people in some self-reflection.
We are putting together a workshop for mental health service providers at the end of the month and part of the process during the workshop is to encourage and support participants to ‘stay with their hearts’ and not to too quickly seek out solutions to issues raised during the workshop.
It’s tricky to ask people to reflect when they are not always open to, nor experienced in, reflective processes – some are more naturally adept at reflecting than others.
The art of reflection can be viewed as the art of noticing. You can notice things around you by looking, hearing, feeling, tasting, and so on. You can also notice things within: what are you feeling? resisting? holding some tension about? loving? dreaming about?
In all of my years of walking down the beach looking for seashells, I had never found a sharks tooth until the day someone taught me how to look for them. I remember the first one I found after that, and how easy it became to pick them out as I walked along. Within a few months and several trips to the beach, I literally had collected hundreds of sharks teeth. If a person can learn to see sharks teeth in the sand, then I believe we can guide ourselves to notice the many things in life that need not pass by like ships in the night (July 10, 2011).
How do you cultivate this process of noticing? Practice, practice, practice! Nothing is more habit-forming than practicing something regularly.
Paper, Pen, Post by margoc.
Throughout this project, I’ve come to rely on our team meetings and phone conversations as a way to stay with the process and its emergent nature, as it keeps me in a ‘noticing mode’. It keeps me connected and open to ideas (or the echo of ideas, that is, before they fully form and come into view). I have also taken up my pen and paper journaling again, which has really added another dimension to my process of reflecting (and ‘staying with the question’ – whatever that has come to mean for me from time to time).
Often there’s a crossover between reflection and feedback. While these two processes are useful together, there’s a need to be careful not to mix them up. Feedback is more about returning information in a situation (think of feedback in a sound system, for example). I explain reflection further on in this post.
There’s also parallels between reflecting and debriefing. Again, you need to be aware of when you are reflecting and when you are debriefing.
I like to think of debriefing as a time to download and outwardly express thoughts, feelings, concerns, experiences. How do you think that went? What did you notice about X’s reaction? It was good you prompted me when…, and so on. There’s an instructive sense to debriefing, as in gaining knowledge and understanding.
Reflecting tends to be more inward: what will I take away from this experience? How will I connect this to future activities? What does this mean for me in the bigger picture? How would I do things differently next time? What did I notice about me? There’s a consequential sense to reflection, as in deepening understandings and follow-on actions.
The debrief unpacks to experience; the reflection connects it to the bigger picture.
And so, here’s Elizabeth Cottrell’s question to finish:
What do YOU notice? What do you think it’s saying about who you are and what you value?
Some further reading:
Jennifer Stanchfield, 2011, Reflective Practice Versus Debriefing, The Inspired Educator Blog.
Joanne Roebuck, 2007, Reflexive practice: to enhance student learning. Journal of Learning Design, 2 (1). pp. 77-91.
Prpic, J. (2005) Managing academic change through reflexive practice: A quest for new views. Research and Development in Higher Education, 28, 399- 406.