Funding cuts hamper progress on education reform, says a recent Center on Education Policy report. About 66% of the districts with budget shortfalls in 2010-11 responded to these cuts by either slowing progress on planned reforms or postponing or stopping reform initiatives. Slightly more than half (roughly 54%) of the districts that anticipate shortfalls in 2011-12 expect to slow progress on reforms or postpone or stop reform initiatives.
How can our superintendents, principals and teachers maintain momentum on holistic education reform with these projected budget shortfalls, rising poverty, and increasing demands for accountability at all levels?
Bob Johansen, Distinguished Fellow, Institute for the Future and Bestselling Author of Get There Early recommends the following leadership skills for our troubled times and the future. These skills are maker instinct, clarity, dilemma flipping, immersive learning ability, bio-empathy, constructive depolarizing, quiet transparency, rapid prototyping, smart mob organizing, and commons creating.
Maker Instinct: Ability to turn one’s natural impulse to build into a skill for making the future and connecting with others in the making. The maker instinct is basic to leadership in our challenging times, and in the future.
Clarity: Ability to see through messes and contradictions to a future that others cannot yet see. Leaders are very clear about what they are making, but very flexible about how they get it made.
Dilemma Flipping: Ability to turn dilemmas-which, unlike problems, cannot be solved-into advantages and opportunities.
Immersive Learning Ability: Ability to dive into different-for-you physical and online worlds, to learn from them in a first-person way.
Bio-empathy: Ability to see things from nature’s point of view; to understand, respect, and learn from nature’s patterns. Nature has it own clarity, if only we humans can understand and engage with it.
Constructive Depolarizing: Ability to calm tense situations where differences dominate and communication has broken down-and bring people from divergent cultures toward constructive engagement.
Quiet Transparency: Ability to be open and authentic about what matters to you-without advertising yourself.
Rapid prototyping: Ability to create quick early versions of new innovations, with the expectation that later success will require early failures.
Smart mob organizing: Ability to bring together, engage with, and nurture purposeful business or social-change networks through intelligent use of electronic and other media.
Commons Creating: Ability to stimulate, grow and nurture shared assets that can benefit other players-and allow competition at a higher level.
These new leadership skills are a blueprint for success in the mist of dilemmas we confront, the technologies we use, and the organizations we lead. Can these skills help superintendents and principals boost teacher effectiveness, parental involvement, and student outcomes?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Feel free to comment on our blog. If you would like to write a guest article, feel free to let us know. We look forward to the on-going conversation!