💬 Loosening the Shackles: Empowering Growth and Innovation

Replied to Loosening the Shackles: Empowering Growth and Innovation (andreastringer.blogspot.com)

After the demanding requirements of finishing my doctoral thesis, the mere thought of delving into another scholarly endeavour feels drainin…

School leaders must be empowered to take the reins and drive meaningful change in the realm of PL. They need the autonomy to design PL experiences that are tailored to the unique needs and context of their school community. This may involve fostering a culture of collaboration, leveraging technology to facilitate ongoing learning, or creating opportunities for job-embedded coaching and mentorship. Furthermore, school leaders require the support and resources necessary to bring their vision for PL to life. This may entail investing in PL opportunities for staff, providing time and space for collaborative enquiry and reflection, or partnering with external organisations to access expertise and resources. The success of any educational initiative hinges on the commitment and vision of its leaders. By empowering school leaders and leadership teams with the autonomy, time, and support needed to reimagine school-embedded PL, we can unlock the full potential of our educators.

Source: Loosening the Shackles: Empowering Growth and Innovation by Andrea Stringer

I read this piece a few weeks ago Andrea and it has really stayed with me.

Firstly, I feel I can relate to your point about once having a window into school via social media and blogs. However, my lack of investment in social media and the changes in that space have left me feeling far less connected. Sometimes I feel like a species caught on the wrong side of continental drift.

On your second point about leaders adapting PL to the needs and context of their school, I recently read Joel Selwood’s autobiography and he discussed the way in which he needed to transition how he lead to accommodate the needs of different group of players:

I was finding it difficult managing the transition from being part of a tough and tight premiership-winning group to needing to teach an emerging group often struggling to find what was right for them. Connecting with people inside and outside the club required more of my energy, and the standards I set for myself were not always met by others.

Although my relationships with teammates were strong enough to avoid animosity, I began to sense I needed to adapt, or my message would stop resonating. What underpinned success for me was not necessarily the same as what drove others, and I was beginning to have conversations with people inside the club about how I could be a better leader.
[Brian Cook] wanted me to develop what he labelled ‘influential skills’ on top of my ‘lead by example’ policy. He could see the young players on our list requiring more of everyone’s time.

Source: All In by Joel Selwood

Although this seems logical when you think about it, I had not considered the fact that the conditions that foster success at one point in time may not foster the same success at another point in time. I guess this comes back to your point about identity and change over time. What was intriguing was the team that he had around him to support this change, whether it be trusted teammates, ex-captain Cameron Ling, club CEO Brian Cook and psychologist Anna Box. Throughout the book, I was continually reminded that it success in any field really does take a village, I just wonder if we always provide the resources to build such a village? Instead, it can be easier to provide the answer or automate a solution, rather than invest in autonomy and self-determination.

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