Too Far Out Front of Which Parade?

In the May/June 2007 issue of The Futurist, author John Naisbitt (Megatrends) shares how he uses information from vast news outlets to predict future trends. He filters that information through his values and mind-sets.

Judgments in almost every area are driven by mind-sets . . . Mindsets work like fixed stars in our heads. Holding on to them, our mind, drifting like a ship in an ocean of information, finds orientation. They keep it on course and guide it safely to its destination.

His primary mind-set is “Understand how powerful it is not to be right.

It is a great release in any field of business and private life, indispensable in any endeavor where you venture out. It is the mind-set that will enable you to dare to say or try whatever you are working on . . . It is the mindset that supports creative imagination.

His secondary mind-set is “Don’t get too far ahead of the parade so that people don’t know you’re in it.

In every field of life, in business, in leadership, or in politics, it is the mind-set that helps you not to extrapolate so far ahead that people do not relate to what you do or say.

I like the interplay and balance between these two mindsets. The first one opens the door to inquiry; the second maintains the reigns of relevance. Both resonate with leadership.

Pushing the envelope, however, I struggle with the metaphor of school as a parade. Rather, schools often appear to be several parades. For example, we can see admin on parade, teachers on parade, students on parade, etc. If we are pushing the latest technological innovation, we might be too far ahead of one parade, but barely keeping up with another parade.

I often hear of a true learning community, an environment in which all stakeholders are committed to lifelong learning . . . a single parade. In that ideal, is it even possible to be too far out front?


One Response to Too Far Out Front of Which Parade?

  1. Patrick Keough says:

    Yes Joe…it is so easy to get caught up and locked into our personal mindsets. We all do it in some way, even those of us making a real effort to break out of preconceived notions about education, teaching, technology, creativity and even art. I do agree it is about balance, because as you mention, we can be way ahead of the curve with one group (parade) and behind the eight ball with the other. I find myself a lone voice here at CCC sometimes as far as trying to get instructors and administrators to SEE and UNDERSTAND what is going on in the worlf of education, technology and how we can do a better job connecting with and guiding our students into this new technological (global) age.

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