Sunday, 21 February 2016

Lean Change

Yesterday, at the Reflect Growth meet up, we heard about the synergy between good teaching practice and a particular business model called Lean Change Management. The speaker (Selena Woodward) related that as she read about this model she couldn't help but see the similarities with what we, as teachers, do all day everyday.

My interest was piqued and so I've done a little digging.

Lean Change Management Cycle from
This image uses slightly different language to Selena's presentation (build, measure, learn) but demonstrates the similarities beautifully.

Our 'meta' process, or the green cycle involves planning (options), then teaching (experiment) and then reflecting (insights) before the cycle continues.

The part that REALLY appeals to me is the yellow cycle. That, right there, is the everyday, moment by moment reality of teaching. We have a lesson plan, meticulously researched, considered and prepared (prepare) in hand and ready to go. The lesson is moving smoothly (introduce) until we notice that there is an undercurrent of social tension and we instantly decide that a different path needs to be taken (review). Within seconds a  new plan emerges in our mind (prepare) and we move into that stream (introduce) and so on. It is this ability to fluidly review and re-start the cycle that characterises quality teaching.  It is making snap decisions between staying 'on plan' or being responsive that creates successful teaching and learning relationships.
It is understanding that teaching follows this cycle widely and intimately that frees us to innovate our practices and meet the actual needs of our students.  In the end, that's what it's all about.

This business model comes from a field that relies on innovation. And for me, therein is the power of identifying this cycle in a field outside of education. It reminds me that what we do is not separate, or different, from the 'real world'. Our success as educators relies on being responsive and innovating.

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 6 Engage in professional learning

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