Monday, June 6, 2016

Welcoming Innovative Disruption: Embracing Those Who Ask the Tough Questions

"The people who ask questions that no one else is asking are the inventors and entrepreneurs and leaders who will create the next wave of innovative disruptions." Jensen, Bill. Disrupt! Think Epic. Be Epic.: 25 Successful Habits For An Extremely Disruptive World
Often, as we work within the education system, we are actually discouraged from asking tough questions. Questioning is often seen as disrespectful and not being a team-player. The teacher at the back of our staff meetings who begins to ask question after question on some new initiative the school is preparing to roll out, is seen as a "naysayer" and a "supporter of the status quo." These are sometimes apt labels for these individuals, but sometimes, the questions being asked need to be asked. They need to be listened to, and they need to be answered carefully.

Certainly, it is possible that the one asking the questions about our new initiative and project just want to sabotage our plans as school leaders. But can we really take that chance? Especially, if as Bill Jensen points out, that these are often the inventors, entrepreneurs, and leaders who create innovative disruptions that turn our schools and the educational system upside down?

As school leaders, those who ask tough questions might or might not have ulterior motives, but if we really want to be innovative, we perhaps need to listen rather than dismiss them. As Jensen points out, those who wish to be proactive "disrupters" of our organizations need to join in and "actively question every system, structure, and rule" placed before us. This is embracing the potential of "disruptive innovation in our schools."

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