Failing Forward

Before I get too far into this blog post, I need to give credit to Chris Smeaton who shared his concept of ‘Failing Forward’ a few years ago when he was Superintendent of an Alberta school division. He has since retired, but is still influential in the educational field. Chris is a quality person who believes in the possible — a leader who builds a culture of risk taking and emotional support — someone who embraces the idea of failure being a springboard to better things.

Our conversation was about 3 years ago at a conference table. I loved the visual imagery of his ‘failing forward’ message.

Even if You Trip – You’re Still Falling Forward

Even if you’re experiencing a temporary pause in your momentum, you can still move forward if you’re supported and encouraged, but not if you’re condemned for your mistake during your exploration of something new.

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Change Can Be Difficult in Education – Well, We Need to Get Over That!

Full disclosure … I like predictability.

Predictability doesn’t equal Innovation

I like knowing that certain things have order and certain outcomes will occur. My science training conditioned me to make order out of disorder — to put things into virtual ‘buckets’ of similarities. I am conditioned to align characteristics and form inter-relationships between things.   Once something is in a bucket I prefer that it stays there and doesn’t move.

Predictability brings me comfort.

Predictability = Security

Why Did the Duck Cross the Road? A Story of Readiness

Sort of like “Why did the chicken cross the road”?  Maybe the better question should be “UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES did the duck cross the road”?

I think you’ll enjoy this 27 second video — the German voice over isn’t relevant — just watch the ducks and the traffic signal:

 

I’ve watched it a few times trying to figure out what the actual stimulus was for the lead duck — it certainly appears like he recognizes the light change.  Regardless, once the right conditions were in place — in other words, a safe environment to take the risk of crossing the road — every duck took the leap of faith and walked.

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