Educators, especially principals and administrators: Follow these guys, will you?

In last eight years I’ve spent in frontline education, I cannot count the times I’ve had administrators bring up some management scheme misdescribed and misexecuted as a result, or rejected completely by businesses years ago.  Each time I wonder, don’t these organizational leaders read the management journals, the leadership gurus?

Well, no they don’t.

So, for the three or four principals and administrators who occasionally read this blog, will you do us all a favor?

Follow Tom Peters and Rosabeth Moss Kanter on their Twitter feeds, will you?  A few times a week you’ll get a gem of advice from each of them.  It’ll improve your life, and it will improve your organizations if you pay attention.

Agree or disagree with me — let us know in comments.

Who is Rosabeth Moss Kanter?  You should know her as the author of Teaching Elephants to Dance.  It’s a hoary old classic by now — and not present in any of the libraries of the administrators I see daily.

Who is Tom Peters?  He was co-author of In Search of Excellence, and has gone on to push excellence, quality and good change for the past quarter century plus.

If you, Ms. or Mr. Educator, do not know who these people are, you’re hopelessly behind the times.  If you are not familiar with their writings, your schools are suffering for your ignorance.

Go change something.

2 Responses to Educators, especially principals and administrators: Follow these guys, will you?

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Generally, both Peters and Kanter encourage people to think, and to act like people — they encourage supervisors to treat workers like humans.

    Schools aren’t resistant to change, not compared to most corporations. One of the greater problems of education has been entire systems’ susceptibility to leap into untried or under-tested schemes, like massive testing required by the No Child Left Behind Act.

    Few education systems below the college level treat employees, especially teachers, as human beings.

    Try these actual tweets, from Kanter:

    Try these tweets from Peters:


  2. Mike Reno says:

    So what were some of the recent gems that you took away?

    It’s difficult to predict the success of some of these business-tested ideas when used in schools. It’s not that they don’t make sense… they do. It’s that school culture is oftentimes just too change resistant.

    It would be interesting to hear what some of these “gurus” suggest for education. They are all about change, but usually seem to mix innovation with pragmatism. But what do you do if the culture blocks change, or is so methodical that the slow evolution effectively smothers change?


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