From "You" to "Could Be You"

Changing means moving away from your current conditions to something different and hopefully better, however you define that.  In effect it means moving from “You” to “Could be You.”  That’s not easy.

Schools, like any organization, have ways of thinking and operating within a set of community expectations.  It’s called culture.  Most organizations think within the boundaries of their culture, and this can limit divergent thought and innovative action.  This is not to say that both of those two behaviors cannot occur within cultural boundaries, but I believe it is healthy, and essential, to extend thinking and action beyond the accepted norm.  That’s how you create truly new conditions for thinking and doing.

That said, moving from You to Could Be You means negotiating the boundaries of your culture.  It’s about pushing through the tension of accepted practice and thought, and negotiating the dreaded “yeah buts’ of status quo thinking.

To transition through that boundary requires that you temporarily suspend how you typically think and operate. Again, not easy.  And that’s why change is so hard.  To expect change, you can't use the same thinking that has created the need for the change.

Enter design.  The design process is the vehicle that can help you negotiate that boundary to “Could be You.”  Design allows you to suspend certainty (an idea framed by Karina Ruiz), and by that I’m suggesting that design enables you move beyond the almost certain (and typical and expected) outcome that is guaranteed by thinking within the domain of your culture.

Of course, and beyond any change, the most important element of the design process is to expand the dimensions in which the organization can think and operate.   Some people may call this “thinking outside of the box,” and that might be true, but the most important element of the process is to put the thinking back in the box so that the box becomes bigger, and the members of the organization have a greater latitude to think.  In the end, it’s about expanding the cultural capacity to do and to act.