Justification is a waste of time when you’re solving problems.

Justification is a waste of time when you’re solving problems.  – Nathaniel Greene

If something is wrong – fix it!  Defending the status quo, defending actions that are contributory, is a waste of time.

Identifying a problem is a step on the journey to improvement.  We don’t complain about the problem – we solve it.  We don’t defend our actions – we get better.  We don’t blame others – we do the work!

The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.

The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.  – Theodore Roosevelt

Standing still is easy.  The status quo is secure.  Letting someone else break the ice is safe.  We all know people who are followers.  We all know people who take comfort in stagnation; people who resist any change.

Living our passion for growth, modeling a growth mindset demands action.  Making mistakes is part of the growth, part of the learning process.  We all make mistakes.  We learn from our mistakes, get better, and keep on going.

Don’t be fearful of action.  Embrace the productive discomfort along the journey to elite.

We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. 

We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.  – Ronald Reagan

The challenges facing public education today are immense.   Schools are no longer simply responsible for the academic education of the children we serve.  For many children that cross the schoolhouse threshold each day, schools provide two meals, social services, counseling services, and medical support.  Traditional family values are being taught at school – because in some cases they aren’t being taught at home.  Self-regulation and self-control are now part of the curriculum in many classrooms.

No single person is responsible for the new demands on educators.  This isn’t a teacher issue or a principal issue . . . this is an everyone issue.  No individual can meet these challenges alone . . . it takes a team.  If each person, peers included, helps someone each day then we will make progress.  The vast challenges that face us aren’t going to get easier; they aren’t going to diminish over time.  Each of us has a responsibility to make a difference, even if it is for one person, to make the world a little better.

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. 

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.  – Peter Drucker

We’ve all created plans that were designed to make a difference.  I’ve had dozens of three-ring binders on my shelves with strategic plans and goal documents.  I’ve served on committees that have spent hundreds of hours creating these plans – the very plans probably still sitting on shelves today.  All the work . . . all the time and talent . . . are merely good intentions unless there is intentional, purposeful work to execute the plan.

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Any plan requires hard work to make a difference.  Every plan must provide checkpoints along the way for reflection, analysis, and corrective actions.  The work doesn’t end with the plan . . . the plan is only the beginning.  In Hilliard, our Innovation Campus started as an idea; create a new high school experience that inspires new pathways for learning AND utilizes the capacity of three high schools and three middle schools.  From the opening of the ILC in 2013 to the expansion in the form of a campus with the opening of The Hub in 2018, it’s taken hard work, flexibility, a growth mindset, and skill.  The idea became a plan, the plan was launched through hard work and lessons were learned through failures, and the journey continues today.  

Plans are only the start . . . strategy is only good until it is tested . . . the real work is in execution, reflection, and continued growth.

Your first idea is wrong, so, as quickly as possible, implement a careful plan to learn which of your assumptions are flawed.

Your first idea is wrong, so, as quickly as possible, implement a careful plan to learn which of your assumptions are flawed. – Rita McGrath 

Great ideas require cultivation, execution, and reflection . . . then repeat.  We live in a world of upgrades.  From the beta version, to the live release, to version 2.0 and beyond . . . our world is about incremental improvement.  An idea, true innovation, is born from the same seedling.

Your idea is only an idea until it is executed.  True ideas require intentional planning, purposeful implementation, and honest reflection.  We adjust and adapt to make each new implementation, each new version, better than the previous one.  Each of us naturally has assumptions – we test them.  Each of us has a bias – we face it.  Waiting for the perfect time to launch that idea won’t ever make an impact . . . the time is now.

Innovation – something different that has an impact. 

Innovation – something different that has an impact.  – Scott Anthony

Innovation is more than an idea; it is more than a concept.  Innovation makes an impact; innovation is positive change.  The idea is only the beginning.  The idea must be executed, reviewed, and improved.  There is nothing simple or easy about innovation; innovation requires work.

Innovation embraces the uncertainty of process.  It is the journey from the idea, through execution, to impact. We don’t innovate using the process already in place.  We can’t evaluate success with the existing performance metrics.  Education today requires an innovative approach in some areas.  Let’s be intentional in the areas that we innovate to create the most positive impact for our students.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Peter Drucker

Public education has long been defined by outside forces.  From legislators with political agendas to media outlets focused on ratings, from government bureaucrats to think tanks, external forces with divergent purposes all influence both the perception and the policies that govern the very schools we serve.  

The time is now to take back the conversation . . . to shape the future that is required of us.  We serve the students in our care; we serve our school community.  Let’s eliminate the noise and set the course that best prepares our students for the future.  We must stop reacting to unfocused, bifurcated messages.  The best future for our students, for our country, is for us to write the narrative, to set the course for public education.