A couple of weeks ago Donna Miller Fry blogged about open education leadership, exploring the question: Is knowledge more rapidly mobilized through the system when leaders work openly?
Her post begins “For the purposes of my work, I am considering personal professional openness – the concept of sharing thinking and learning in open spaces, curating resources for others, engaging in open conversations in text or through broadcast technologies like podcasts, videos and YouTube Live, blogging and commenting on blogs, and participating across the educational boundaries in wider conversations across the web. Working open” means different things in different contexts …” You can read Donna’s full blog post [here] .
In my view, this is a well written post, and as is typical of Donna, she invites further comment and discussion. I have been mulling over my thinking on this topic since reading the post and decided to share my response as another blog post.
I fully believe in open learning, sharing and question asking, and do my best to model this in my own practice. My experience, and I believe that of many, is that the personal value of being a connected professional, connected learner, and engaged in global conversations is truly boundless learning. Yet, Donna’s post has prompted me to do some deeper thinking about context of open learning and knowledge mobilization.
My thinking on this has moved to a triangulation model of open learning, conditions & culture and purpose/focus with knowledge mobilization at the centre.
The question for me is what brings knowledge mobilization to life beyond personal growth and interest?
openness: sharing thinking, learning and questions openly – publicly in digital forums
conditions & culture: innovation and creativity – an interest and receptiveness in moving positions and growth
focus: alignment to a purpose or goal (beyond self)
Applying knowledge mobilization strategies to system
system change is often a task faced by large organizations, including school boards. The open learning model that Donna describes in her post I believe is a key element in change: learning openly from others, leveraging the “global room” of the digital world, bringing new ideas and experiences to the table, challenging and adjusting thinking and landing solidly on the right place to promote, activate and execute system change.
Mobilizing knowledge through to a system requires a certain receptiveness, a level of readiness, a plan. In my view, a culture that embraces innovation and creativity is needed or must be created to truly embrace change. This process takes time, but is important. If this is missing, the pace of change – time needed for the process will undoubtedly be extended, perhaps less impactful or worse, not achieved at all.
Finally, meshing open learning to a culture of change, innovation and creativity then applying it to a strategic focus or goal amplifies the entire process. The strategic focus may be drastic such as a company reinventing itself to “stay alive” in the business world, or perhaps the focus is change one or more elements in an education system. No the less, understanding the need and target for the change process must be well understood.
I believe the triangulation approach creates purpose and amplification for planned change.