What is the point at which people are not willing to look beyond the horizon?
Next week at the annual NAIS conference (#NAISAC), John Gulla and are are giving a three-hour workshop with the primary goal of pushing education leaders’ thinking beyond their current horizons. We will have between 85-100 leaders from something like 60 schools, 26+ states, and at least five countries in the room. John says that he has visited more than 200 schools in the last couple of years, and every one of them has tried to impress on him that they are “innovative”. His honest view is that almost none of them are; they are not pushing their thinking enough to keep up with the changes in education and what is required of us in the predictable future.
Today I tweeted that John and I want to push these leaders a bit beyond their breaking point. Thought leader Gary Gruber just responded: “What is the traditional breaking point?” My answer: “That point at which people throw up their hands out of fear, discomfort, or uncertainty of what is over that horizon.”
Every single indicator we can find screams that almost all schools are not on a trajectory of change that intersects the future needs of our students, and therefore the future sustainability of our schools. For many schools, the wolf is not at the door today, so leaders ignore these signs; they incorrectly assume that the past is a good indicator of the future.
Horizons change. It is only those who think that the ocean goes on forever who fall into the trap that the horizon always looks the same. We are going to learn a TON next week in those three hours: all of those smart people with diverse viewpoints, sharing ideas and “next horizons”. I will have a lot to share with you!