Monday, October 27, 2014

How might we ....Thinking about paddling in unison

Thinking about paddling the waka, not only in the same direction, but also in unison!

I'm about to get dangerously close to being excited by the prospect of strategic planning! The SLT has begun a round of workshops with Kay Hawk to help us formulate a structure for strategic planning. She has got us thinking about what are the Big Rocks that should form the foundations of our strategic thinking.

As well, Claire and I were fortunate to spend a day talking with Ewan McIntosh from NoTosh where we concentrated on specific actions  we could immerse ourselves in to better involve others and to capitalise on the huge pool of great ideas that exist in our building.

I followed up by reading his book How To Come Up With Great Ideas and was taken with the concept of "How might we ....?" The combination of these three words has helped me reconcile the conflict I have been experiencing with the legislative requirement to formulate a 3-5 year Strategic Plan and the desire to remain responsive and agile in a fast changing environment.

The "how" implies the need to explore a range of strategies. "Might" makes it clear that even though we might be successful with our strategy we may just easily be unsuccessful. And the "we" makes it clear that it is a shared activity.

The excitement comes from tying together the Big Rocks and the "How Might We" and linking them to our clearly established principles for learning. We're still in the early days of  strategising our strategic planning but this sort of thinking has put a neat energy into this activity.

Brainstorming the Big Rocks of Learning @ Hobsonville Point, Thinking @ Hobsonville Point and Relating @ Hobsonville Point
Linking the Big Rocks to our Principles: Innovate, Engage, Inspire
Once we've filled up the matrix with our brainstormed 'small rocks' we'll look at formulating them into "How Might We..." statements.

Such a process helps resolve the inner conflict. We're not going to base our venture on a plan but rather build it on a strategic foundation. If our foundation of Big Rocks are stable (as a result of firm links with our principles of learning) any plans we make can be fluid, allowing our school to remain an agile organisation.

An outstanding example of linking a myriad of processes (in this case around assessment and reporting) to one of our foundation rocks (learning design) to establish coherence is Di Cavallo's visual which she workshopped with our staff last week.

My desire is to have a strategic plan that looks more like the visual above than a numbered list of Strategic Goals and Targets.

Another important foundation rock for our school is a strong culture of collegial and collaborative professional learning where we openly share knowledge. The power of collaboration is brought home to me every day at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.

Sharing our best ideas on getting to know our learners

No comments: