Day 58 (of 188) Can a maverick survive a culture of yes? @chrkennedy #bcedbloggers
“she also had a software hacker’s ability to combine irreverence with a collaborative spirit. This pirate crew camaraderie—something Hopper shared with subsequent generations of coders—actually liberated rather than restrained her.”
Excerpt From: Isaacson, Walter. “The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.”
She was Grace Hopper – one of the first computer programmers. And one who had to overcome ‘barriers’. And from a book by Walter Isaacson – who also wrote the Steve Jobs book which beautifully captured Jobs own ‘pirate nature’ being a bit of a maverick – even in his own company (Raising a pirate flag over his own skunkworks to show he wasn’t following his board). And it reminds me of many examples of Daniel Pink & Sir Ken Robinson who illustrated ‘Mavericks’ who reached great heights by going against the status quo.
But what happens when the status quo is enabling….
There is a growing movement to embrace a “culture of yes” – many of us in #83learns have spread the concept that West Vancouver Superintendent Chris Kennedy promoted via his blog of that very name.
But I can’t help but wonder…what about…
* that 150′ Ethernet cable to bring the Internet into the classroom to ‘encourage’ wifi
* the first apple II that disrupted the typewriter class
* the seven plans generated to ‘sneak in’ iPads into an anti-apple school district
* the first microwave oven that was going to nuke brains as well as a lunch time potato
…what about the ‘out of the box’ thinking that is needed to sneak by/ignore/disrupt/etc the ‘authority’. What would happen if when I asked for 1:1 laptops the first time, I got them (and by I – I do mean my learning community, I just prefer rotten tomatoes of disapproval be hurled at me rather than my colleagues)…
Is a ‘culture of yes’ the best idea? Or should it be a culture of yes-ish. My first thought/plot last year was to launch eportfolios right away in what used to be referred to as ‘first term’ – my superintendent @gborthis suggested that we still do ‘a’ report caaarrrrrghd (sorry – hurts to even type that word) with a sample of “what might be”. He (and our wonderful director of instruction @wwoodhur) were right as it turns out. We could’ve done it, but it definitely went smoother with our learning community to….go slower than what I wanted.
And I worry as Walter Isaacson went on to say (as I’m reading The Innovators while waiting for a delayed flight) “Computer innovators, like other pioneers, can find themselves left behind if they get stuck in their way”
Is a little bit of ‘no’ a good thing?
Or does the CoY need to do maybe a little bit more…. Excerpt From: Isaacson, Walter. “The Innovators” “Most of us have been involved in group brainstorming sessions that produced creative ideas. Even a few days later, there may be different recollections of who suggested what first, and we realize that the formation of ideas was shaped more by the iterative interplay within the group than by an individual tossing in a wholly original concept. The sparks come from ideas rubbing against each other rather than as bolts out of the blue.”
Do the “Mavericks” and “pirates” need to change their ‘focus’….perhaps the “NOs” need not come the top, but instead from co-conspirators! Will events such as what @chrkennedy referred to in a recent blog: http://cultureofyes.ca/2014/11/24/affiliation-and-ignite/ events such as edcamps, tedx, ignites! and others help to still create the “je ne sais quoi” that has led to innovations…disruptions…and other things of awesomeness.
Or (even worse?), does the “yes” include the double edged entente: careful what you wish/ask for because you just might get it…will the CoY be liberating, or restraining….