Monday, July 9, 2012

Iceberg Dead Ahead
Bad Idea
It is probably a bad idea to really compare any situation to the Titanic, cause at the end of the day, we all know how tragic that ended. So let me start with a little different situation that still has to do with water and small boats, not gigantic ocean liners. About 10 years ago my wife and I had a personal watercraft (which I will refer to as a pw from here forward) and our friends had a boat, so on the weekends we would spend time at the lake. One of the best things to do, although not to safe, was to spray the boat and soak everyone with the pw. You could accomplish this by moving quickly at the side of the boat, turning hard and gassing the heck out of the pw. Our friend who owned the boat was on the pw one weekend and was going to pay me back for all the soakings I had dished out. So he came quickly at the boat and we knew we were in for it, but instead of the pw turning at the last second when he turned the handlebars, the pw kept going straight and he ran right into the side of the boat. Luckily nobody was hurt, but I don't think he ever took a turn on the pw again. I will get back to this story a bit later....

Turn The Ship
The Titanic is a great math problem that I just don't have the skills to figure out, but I get the idea that it takes a lot of space to turn something that is so large. School districts, schools, even departments can often feel like a massive ocean liner bearing down on something that they just can't maneuver around quick enough, and once the iceberg is struck, forward momentum is lost. Often I think that we see the iceberg with plenty of time to avoid the impact, but the thought of turning the ship causes many to shut down the engines, take their foot off the pedal. This choice can lead to doing the "same old thing" not innovating, becoming stagnant. Every organization has reasons that keep them moving forward, always seeking new ways to do things, improving practices, creating better learning environment for their students. How does your organization keep forward momentum?

Walt Disney was very big on curiosity leading to new ideas, dreaming big, and always moving forward. "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new path." Walt Disney
Power On
Every day there are icebergs in our lives that we must maneuver around to avoid a disaster and sitting idol in one place is not going to move us forward. The reason for the long story above about the pw and the boat was to point out that if he had just kept the gas on, he would have made the turn, sprayed everyone in the boat and accomplished his goal. The second he left off the gas, there was no power moving out the back of the pw which is what allows it to make the turn, and the boat became an iceberg. So keep the power on, maneuver around the obstacles and continue moving forward!