Long before I read the book The Four Disciplines of Execution, I often referred to the ongoing, nonstop activities of a school year as a Ferris wheel. I noticed that most of the decisions and discussions were taking place in the months of June and July among very few of the total faculty. When August rolled around, it was time to get back on the Ferris wheel where there were far too many distractions and requirements to allow for anything new or unexpected. This constant movement of the day to day activities means that real change is only possible when people understand the goal and are willing to commit to what needs to be done to achieve it.
I know that it will take more than just information and discussion to coax teachers off the Ferris wheel of the school day grind. My plan for incorporating blended learning into a very traditional district will need to follow some of the 4DX and influencer techniques.
Change is Hard!
The two books Influencer and 4DX both offer models for changing behavior that are not intuitive. They suggest ideas for change that stray from the normal, overused tactics that we often naturally fall back on. The Influencer Model focuses on understanding vital human behaviors that are crucial for implementing a goal, and 4DX relies on team members committing to a common goal.
The Influencer Model seems to take into consideration the personal abilities and motivations of the targets of change, while the 4DX model doesn’t address these things specifically, but does create an “all in” atmosphere that promotes the desire to be a part of successful change. I truly think these books compliment each other because they each address the different components needed for successful change to occur. We need to understand both the psychology of people while simultaneously developing a plan that makes them want to change.