Friday, July 17, 2020

Making sense of powerful sentences

As a learner, I know that there are multiple levels of understanding. There many writers out there that provide a great reach for me, and there are others that I can quickly grasp. I am hopefully continually leveling up with regard to understanding in order to live well and do good work.

David Culberhouse is one of my favorite thought leaders. He's definitely a futurist who knows what we need to get ahead. His extensive research is tremendously valuable, yet he requires reach which many don't want to do.

Following David on Twitter provides me with glimpses of wisdom to dissect. The tweet he wrote today is awesome, and I want to dissect it with respect to my work.


I'm sure that David means ease here as well as definition two which makes me think of the shared model of teaching I'm involved in. We divide tasks, we use short phases of work, we reflect and revise regularly. I would say we're an agile team. I too use systems of agility to do my work.

Adaptable toward the future
I want us to embrace these words. Too often we do not see the potential in a problem, too often we solve problems for a world that no longer exists. To be adaptable toward the future, we have to be aware of what the future holds and where we are going. We have to stay abreast of this information and weave it into our everyday work.

Braiding design, systems, and future thinking
This weave lights up my mind with all kinds of colorful imaginings. Of course to do this we have to be systems thinkers who create efficient, flexible systems of thought and action which brings to mind the way buildings are built to withstand earthquakes--we want to keep our organizations in tack, but we need to be able to move with the movement that's happening all around us. As I think of schools facing the pandemic crisis, I think we can use these words to build for the future by identifying the systems that exist in our systems, revising as needed and braiding those systems together in loose-tight ways to design a solution to the problem--a dynamic solution of remote teaching and learning rather than a stagnant sit-at-your-desks, face forward, wear a mask and don't move solution which is inhuman. Why is no college or business relegating their employees to that system--it's because they know it's unproductive, backwards, and inhumane.

While engaging continuous improvement
To continually improve you have to know what you've accomplished, what's left to do, and where you want to go. Without a vision, you cannot improve. Without an understanding of where we are headed as a people and the values you hold about that direction, you can't improve. So these words beg you to think about who you want to be as an individual and an organization and what values do you want to uphold as you make the decisions you make and do the the work you do.

Equity lens
Where is it unequal in your home, community, school, or business. What can you do to make it more equal. For me this begs me to look for ways to improve the circumstances of my students who have inadequate homes, incomes, neighborhoods, food, and other supports. Let's make sure that every American family has what they need to live a good life. I have to think more about how I will make that happen. During the pandemic we can start with a childcare stipend for every family that needs it--a good, hardy childcare stipend that helps families take good care of their children everywhere.

Ongoing iteration and constantly reframing
I use this process for my own work, but I believe most systems haven't updated their reflection, assessment, revision, and vision setting processes to be more dynamic, ongoing, and a match for the modern world. That is why people are spending so much wasted time on this pandemic response--they are not accustom to pivoting quickly and meaningfully.  This pandemic problem gives individuals and systems a chance to try out new iteration and reframing processes to make positive decisions based on equity, humanity, and futuristic thinking.

I will likely return to these notes later. I highly regard Culberhouse's research and depth. He is definitely a go-to leader for organizations great and small throughout the world. Thanks David!