Rules for Game Changers

In a recent post, All The Right Notes, Jon Wennstrom brilliantly captured what all of us believe when he wrote, “There are so many good teachers in the world of education. Those that do the right thing at the right time. But there are also great educators out there too! Educators that challenge the status quo, who take risks and try new things, and whose passion for doing whatever it takes to make students successful is evident in everything they do. That’s the kind of educator I want to be and that’s the kind of educators that I want to encourage ALL our teachers to be!”

He followed it up with, “You don’t have to be bad to want to get better.” I commented on his post that “game changers don’t necessarily break the rules, they change them.”

Early in my career as a change agent, I found a fantastic book by Roger von Oech, A Whack on the Side of the Head – How You Can be More Creative. The lessons of this book proved invaluable in my work.

Educator Rudolph Flesch described it as follows: “Creative thinking may simply mean the realization that there is no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done.” It runs as follows”

1. We make rules based on reasons that make a lot of sense.

2. We follow these rules.

3. Times passes, and things change.

4. The original reason for the generation of these rules no longer exist, but because the rules are still in place, we continue to follow them.

To follow up on Jon’s post, Beethoven challenged the rules of composition that Clementine, and others, followed. Music was forever changed. Think about it, almost every advance in art, cooking, medicine, agriculture, marketing, politics, education, and design has occurred when someone challenged the rules and tried another approach.

In my organizations, part of our culture was that Every rule here can be challenged except this one.

What rules exist in your organization that need to be challenged???

And so it goes…

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