Sometime soon, I will pen more in-depth thoughts I have regarding leadership versus management, as well as the idea of what makes for an effective organization. There is an enormous pile of books on the topic, many of which I’ve read at some point. The volume of writing on the topic of effective leadership or effective management or effective organizations tells me that numerous organizations struggle with functioning at a high level while simultaneously maintaining healthy organizational culture. Schools are no exception to this. We struggle with engagement, productivity, results, and accountability. And our world is undoubtedly getting remarkably more complex in this day and age with loads of new requirements, mandates, expectations, and outcomes.
I don’t have an answer to the dilemma of effective leadership, effective organizations and how to increase productivity and engagement and outcomes… but I stumbled across this TED talk, and found the paradigm shift in terms of approaching the problem to be refreshing and interesting. Yves Morieux focuses on industry, true. But a lot of what he discusses in his “Smart Simplicity” paradigm could apply in the educational context too. When he described the “hard” and “soft” approaches and how they are obsolete, and then focused on the need to focus on cooperation, I found myself nodding my head. I also liked the idea of managers being “integrators” who have high levels of discretionary power and few rules so that they’re able to empower everyone to use their skills and talents to move the work forward and move to cooperation. And the concept that blame is not for failure, but is instead for a refusal to help or ask for help is interesting to contemplate. Finally, the spirit of cooperation being the focus is a fascinating concept to manage complex landscapes without creating complicated systems.
Cooperation, it would appear, is king. What do you think?