Sunday, September 30, 2018

Lead Time is Critical to Good Work

Sometimes lead time is impossible, but in general, lead time leads to good work.

When issues of analysis and deep think are presented at the last minute and do not provide time for preview or review, the analysis and think is typically less good than when information is presented with time for thoughtful analysis and consideration.

With regard to the classroom, I try to give parents and students a heads-up about the learning to come. Often the team will share a number of resources ahead of a project to allow students time to preview, look at the information, and try out related experiments and learning projects. This generally translates into greater investment, enthusiasm, and engagement with the learning. I believe the same is true for educators when it comes to professional learning--the more we can share in advance, the better.

Last minute sharing often seems like a tactic of oppression. It seems this way because when you present information and expect a response all at the same time with limited time you limit the conversation, analysis, and thought, and you also mitigate the potential for good decision making. We see this kind of tactic used often in politics when one group wants it their way without consideration of the others sides' thoughts, opinions, needs, or interests.

Good learning, I believe, generally demands lead time. Lead time creates a prepared and open group of learning. Last minute share when there's little time to prepare creates stress, angst, and oppression which serves to frustrate and divide a learning community rather than build a strong, collaborative team. Do you agree?