This morning in my inbox there was an article from the Harvard Business Review that compared Italian soccer and the country’s performance at this summer’s world cup to businesses who don’t see the need to change their practices and innovate as time marches on. The quote that struck me was, “Companies often make the same mistake (that being sticking with things that worked in the past) , investing little in innovation because they believe market conditions are stable.” Looking at the world of education around me, that seems like a very appropriate statement. Classrooms that look pretty much the same as when I was in school 20 years ago would be suffering from a lack of innovation. Teachers who lecture and expect students to glean the important information for the multiple choice test are suffering from a lack of innovation. Strides are being made, but we still have a long way to go.
In another part of the article, Alessandro Di Fiore writes about how the Italian coach, facing elimination, abruptly changed his strategy and put players in positions in which they weren’t comfortable and were therefore unsuccessful. In so many cases, teachers and administrators are asked to fill the other roles that might be left by the wayside. We have abruptly changed our strategy and in desperation, set ourselves up for varying degrees of failure. Life is changing and we must adapt to meet the needs of our students, but let’s do this in a more organized way; not in desperation or simply in response to the latest crisis.