Skip to content

smells like team spirit

December 13, 2014


This is my attempt at a postmodern blog post written, in part, driving home last night, finessed in the garden while watering, hanging washing, recording skyshots, then captured by the repeated actions which marked sweeping floors and verandahs this morning. None of this appeared like writing.

Doubt my [written] words. Comment/ question in the space below…

Yes, this is a skeptical piece of artifice, and I want you to feel how I am feeling – discomforted.

Are we there yet?



To inflict structure:

  1. Join me in the garden this morning
  2. Shape and frame reality with Be Funky
  3. Re-fit, as required
  4. Use numbers
  5. Take bearings/ look at that sky
  6. Come step inside…





3. Nearly – not quite – ending

  • 2014 school year
  • Year 12 students through
  • Leavetaking (staff and students)
  • Performance review & reflection processes finalised



Here we both are with nowhere left to hide. You sit with me picking out letters on the keyboard which meantime appear, synchronously, on this screen.

The cursor flashes.

What do you honestly need to say/ hear?

First, resort to an old standby – illustrate from the perspective afforded by your friend’s son’s post discovered on Facebook this morning:

And I did it. Six years of hard work, determination and laughs but I finally did it. Three schools, countless friends and family’s support but I did it, I have completed primary school and I nailed it!
Next thing, high school.


Wouldn’t you love to meet him as a student in your 2015 class?

Me too.

Same with enabling colleagues [past-present, one and all] at the SmartBoard face/ in the fishtank/ staffroom/ collegiate spaces/ offices and classrooms as they share stories, revelations, feedback and strategies along with advice and insights.

How could you manage without their support?

Follow that coalseam. Let’s keep mining.

It grows dark with emotions swirling.

Murky, even.

Down here in the depths discomfort dwells. You don’t much like the sensations, but they’re real and won’t shift just by being hopeful. Take a look now – what do you [honestly] see?

  • Awareness
  • Courage
  • Trust
  • Hope
  • Compassion

All of the above despite struggles to overcome

the crisis of boredom and frustration among students and career disillusionment among teachers (Fullan & Langworthy, 2014, p.8).

Similarly, well-meaning leaders’ attempts to exert some semblance of control over complex processes of change where nothing in sight seems anywhere near as absolute as linear spreadsheets and graphs delineated by numbers, grades, milestones, targets and measurement… well, we’re all bound to feel a little disillusioned when scrutiny of indicators reveals only more uncertainty. Meanwhile, the [audit culture] system tools provided reflect problems like a hall of mirrors.


Without drawing on the smell of team spirit, these revelations are likely to erode hope while generating perplexity and stress. Especially if you’re holding tight to the certitude of what once was perceived as dear and true: your own [newly] redundant beliefs and practices.

Given that organisations

were simply never designed to change proactively and deeply—they were built for discipline and efficiency, enforced through hierarchy and routinization (Hamel & Zanini, 2014),

effective change leaders will adopt considerable shift in their approach and their thinking to prepare for a future which is clearly

unknowable and uncontrollable (Beatty, 2007, p. 2).


Selected reference

Beatty, B. (2007). Feeling the future of school leadership: Learning to lead with the emotions in mind. Leading and Managing, 13(2), pp. 44-65

Fullan, M. & Langworthy, M. (2014). A rich seam: How new pedagogies find deep learning. White paper published by Pearson. Retrieved December 12, 2014

Hamel, G. & Zanini, M. (2014). Build a change platform, not a change program. McKinsey & Company Insights & Publications. Retrieved December 10, 2014

photo credit: <a href=””>FACEBOOK(LET)</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: