By: Robin Huebner, Guest Contributor
“We never did it that way before.”
I am sure that we have all heard this response to new and innovative practices developed to meet the changing needs of our students and communities. These seven words are a quick and often automatic response from colleagues: it is quite natural to find comfort in the structured policies, procedures, and unwritten rules that guide our work. But these seven words create barriers to funding the innovation needed to meet the challenges unique to the individual setting.
The front-line professionals are key: they encounter complex situations that are unusual and impractical, and these challenges impede the mission of learning and growing students to their best potential.
The answer lies in creating a culture of ideas, and cultivating an environment where ideas can percolate into viable and measurable solution-based practices. A culture of ideas encourages those on the front lines to use their knowledge, skills, education, and experiences to grow dreams into meaningful ideas that fit the unique nature of the problems and challenges they face on a daily basis.
Creating a culture of ideas means change. The comfort of the tried and true is no longer relevant in this dynamic society. So, change the response to the seven last words with seven words of innovation: “Change is hard, but change is growth.”