20. Nov, 2018

Routine versus Greenfield ...

Picture by https://pixabay.com/en/open-house-sign-for-sale-2328984/ 

Work is expending effort on things we don't want to do. Passion is expending energy on things we love to do. The goal is to do no work. Simon Sinek

Coming Saturday there will be Open House in the school of my youngest daughter. The event is organized for the future 5th and 11th grade students. 11th grade for the first time as the school was just founded 5 years ago. 

A new school, with all the pros and cons of a new school:

  • Pros:
    • a new school building and cantine, according to the latest standards from a technical and educational perspective
    • new school concepts inside the given guidelines of the regional government
    • a lot of freedom to try new things, being the pioneer or taking a greenfield approach with new ways of working
    • no measurement against past performance
    • less need to manage expectations
    • every day challenges, but also opportunities to make a change
  • Cons:
    • More work and a broader focus required for topics that are not directly related to educational tasks, as the environment is new
    • Less routine in doing recurring things - e.g. yearly activities, open house, etc.
    • No chance to rely on past experience, expertise and documented processes
    • Less history the school is well known for
    • No - we have always done it the same way in previous years 🙂

Not at all surprising that the same arguments work in any work environment. There is always pros and cons for the one or the other direction. You just have to make a choice, give it a try and change direction early enough, if it is not working out as planned/expected/proposed.

Sounds good, but sometimes it is a difficult sell to the students, teachers, colleagues, supervisors, etc. - as any change is a challenge and opportunity at the same time.

Regular readers might remember my 13-Nov-18 post about agree to disagree. Here a fitting TED talk:  https://www.ted.com/talks/julia_dhar_how_to_disagree_productively_and_find_common_ground