Directly Speaking ( November)
Every organization is a product of how its members think and interact. Organisations work the way they work because of the ways that people work. If we want to create school system that is deeply influencing the way our children will evolve, we need to look at the ways people in organization think and interact. Otherwise, the new policies and organizational structures will not be effective.
Changing the way we think means continually shifting our point of orientation. We must take time to look inward: to become deeply aware of , and study, the tacit “truths” that we take for granted, the ways we create knowledge and make meaning in our lives, and the aspirations and expectations that govern what we choose from life. But we must also look outward: exploring new ideas and different ways of thinking.
Changing the way we interact means redefining the formal structures of the organization, but the hard-to-see patterns of relationships among people and other aspects of the system.
These are some of the questions we looked into during our out- bound staff development programme.
How do we think and interact in this school system?
Can we hold productive and respectful conversations?
Can we advocate our views without stifling others’ points of views?
Do we blame others for our problems at interpersonal levels?
Are we open to talking about differences and similarities in the hopes and aspirations others hold?
Do we recognize and relate to others?
Are we genuinely interested in creating something new for our future and the future of the community’s children?
One of the hardest job in any system is to get everyone understand that there is someone else that we need to remember about.
We are so used to the abstractions that we tend to believe that meaning resides in the pieces of information, the content of the job, the role we hold rather than in the context from which it has been abstracted. We tend to focus less on the relationships that we share with each other in our environment, tend to miss out on the small but significant dimensions of each personalities that we interact with, tend to ignore the stories that each soul brings with it to the system and the strength that each individual brings to the organisation.
So we went on a two day retreat to look at each other – acknowledge others’ presence , create a sense of bonding and belonging, reiterate our shared vision to build this institution called “The Orchid School” .
We recognize our collective strength, our collective ability to create, learn and grow.
Some may fear that the idea “vision” in schools means letting people do whatever they want, abandoning rigor and lowering educational standards. Nothing could be further from the truth. Improving numbers, providing safe learning spaces, creating achievers are legitimate goals, but they can’t replace the power of a larger vision, personal and shared , as they drive individuals to be part of this institutional