Innovation provides an opportunity for leaders to shape culture


Sydney Harbour/Dennis Sparks


Culture trumps innovation. But that doesn’t mean that leaders must wait until the culture is “right” before they introduce innovations.

Because school culture is often invisible to those who work within it, innovations often reveal cultural features that interfere with the continuous improvement of teaching and learning for the benefit of all students.

For instance, an innovation based on a growth mindset that stipulates that ability is like a muscle that can be developed through effort may arrive in a culture that believes that intelligence is a fixed commodity that is either present or absent in students. Or, the introduction of professional learning communities may reveal low levels of trust among teachers or between teachers and administrators.

When innovation brings particular aspects of the school culture into sharper focus, leaders can describe the cultural features they observe, share assumptions regarding the effects of those features on teaching and student learning, and engage the community in relevant professional learning or other appropriate activities intended to shape the culture in a positive direction.

In the hands of skillful leaders innovations can serve as tools that not only improve teaching and learning but enable the culture to shift in ways that sustain and deepen those innovations over many months and years.

0 Responses to “Innovation provides an opportunity for leaders to shape culture”

  1. Leave a Comment

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,779 other followers



Recent Twitter Posts