Welcome to The Learning Curve,
Like him or loathe him, one thing that can be said about US motivation guru Tony Robbins is that he comes up with some killer quotes.
“Complexity is the enemy of execution”
I love this. In fact it pops into my mind almost daily and I shared it with you in my first presentation. Schools try to execute something that sounds so straightforward. That being, to ensure students learn well, make excellent academic progress and flourish as human beings. Seems simple enough.
The challenge of course is that schools are incredibly complex places. In trying to execute this overarching goal they have to execute hundreds (if not thousands) of smaller goals. Each one of which can be made more complex than it needs to be. The enemy of execution can easily then compound problems and prevent progress.
To add further complexity everyone in a school has knowledge and experience of school. Teachers trained to be teachers and work there every day. Student’s lives are dominated by school and parents once went to school themselves. This is further complicated in international schools by the cultural complexity. The experience and expectations that might exist within one country’s system may be very different from others. If we place a British, French and Finnish family in the same room to discuss education we might be right to expect a lively debate. These views are often driven by the same, seemingly simple motive “we just want the best for the kids”. Which we do. All of us. It’s just that we want to do it the way we know or have experienced. This makes the whole thing astonishingly complicated.
One of the ways in which we can reduce complexity is to have a clear set of guiding values that we adhere to and are accountable to. As you know we have been going through a process of finding our Mougins School values over the last month. I am pleased to share with you our final four:
We are now in the process of writing our statements for each of the values. This should reduce complexity because it gives us a shared language and a clear guide to how we act and communicate. School policy should and will be driven by these values and the decisions we take should be aligned to them and perhaps tested against them.
To move from the abstract to a concrete example of these values can and will help us to develop a really effective policy for behaviour and rewards. They will allow us to clearly express what we want to see in our community, what is unacceptable and what consequences may result. It’s simple, clear and built upon something we have all signed up to.
Have a great long weekend everyone!
Head of School