The rate of economic, social and technological change has increased rapidly in the last century and industrial-age organizational models are no longer capable of keeping up. Self-organization is a set of principles and practices that allow for organizations to evolve with purpose through more individual ownership, accountability, and transparency. This book is filled with examples and stories showing how organizations in other industries and education have adopted self-organization models, as well as how some school districts are implementing the structural changes required to become more agile. These types of changes are rooted in organizational culture, a refreshed mindset, and the creation of a shared consciousness. Districts working through this will feel uncomfortable, but implemented thoughtfully, they will realize more effective ways to get things done. The authors provide concrete tools that anyone in education can use in designing their teams for success. This book will also address the issue of teacher recruitment and retention.
Preface Acknowledgments About the Authors Introduction: Why We Need New Organizational Practices for Thriving Schools and Students Today The Promise of Responsiveness How Responsive Organizational Thinking Evolved How This Book Is Designed A Note About Who This Book Is For CHAPTER 1. PLANNING: Plan for Change, Not Perfection When Plans Are More Important Than Our Purpose Planning Without Learning Control Is Confused With Planning Build Roadmaps, Not Manuals Use Cadences and Pivot Points, Not Just Schedules and Deadlines Encourage Testing, Experiments, and Responsiveness EXPERIMENT 1. Define a Clear Purpose EXPERIMENT 2. Delineate Between What You Know and What You Anticipate CHAPTER 2. TEAMING: Build Trust and Allow Authority to Spread We're Dragged Down by the Slow and Unwieldy Legacy of Hierarchies Land Grabs Are Still Too Common When Everyone and No One Is Responsible Clarify the Purpose of Every Team . . . and Revisit It Build Trust and Address Tensions Develop Effective Team Habits That Support Distributed Authority Embrace Dynamic Team Structures That Evolve and End EXPERIMENT 3. Offer Feedback as Data EXPERIMENT 4. Team Meeting Protocol CHAPTER 3. MANAGING ROLES: Define the Work Before You Define the People Job Descriptions Get in the Way Role Overwhelm (and Underwhelm) Put a Role's Purpose Before Politics Separate Roles for Personal Clarity and Smarter Decisions Value Each Voice as a Human Sensor EXPERIMENT 5. Role Mapping EXPERIMENT 6. The One-Question Technique EXPERIMENT 7. Guidelines for Being an Effective Sensor CHAPTER 4. DECISION MAKING: Aim for "Safe Enough to Try" Instead of Consensus The Cycle of Meeting Paralysis The Risks of Delayed Decision Making The False Promise of Consensus . . . or Defaulting to a Decider-in-Chief Get Aligned and Clear Out the Noise Decide on Things You Can Decide On: Make Decisions Smaller Fail Forward: Approach Planning and Big Decisions as Decision Cycles EXPERIMENT 8. Three Language Shifts for Decision-Making Discussions EXPERIMENT 9. Protocol for a Starting Proposal EXPERIMENT 10. Default to Yes and Defend No-One Decision at a Time CHAPTER 5. SHARING INFORMATION: Harness the Flow and Let Information Go A False Sense of Transparency Information Has an Expiration Date Accept Ambiguity Think of Others: Apply the Reverse Precautionary Principle Ask for What You Need: Apply the Lesson of Self-Advocacy Plan Communication as a Process, Not an Event EXPERIMENT 11. Say "Thank You" for Asking EXPERIMENT 12. The 3 x 3 Rule CHAPTER 6. THE LEARNING ORGANIZATION: Schools Grow When People Grow "Best Practices" Are Inhibiting Learning and Innovation There Isn't Learning Without Listening The Mindset of Efficiency Use the Physical Environment to Build a Learning Environment Promote Optimal Zones of Learning (for Adults as Well, Not Just Kids) Develop a Learning Mindset: The Stance of Agent, Not Subject Face the Truth EXPERIMENT 13. Start a Reflection Practice EXPERIMENT 14. Create a Habit of Learning Every Day EXPERIMENT 15. Personal Portfolios A Responsive Roadmap: Beginning the Shift to New Organizational Practices Three Dimensions of Change A Plan for Implementation Frequently Asked Questions and Answers List of New Rules and Lessons List of Experiments References Index