*|MC:SUBJECT|*
JOHN CORRIGAN - NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 - Issue 7
View this email in your browser
This is a monthly newsletter that summarises my most recent activities and thoughts.

It really is about leadership

The idea of 'emergence' is becoming a stronger meme for me. People are emerging from a state of acquiescence and this emergence is leadership. Hence so much talk about distributed leadership. When we awake we lead, by definition.

Some key learnings

As people awaken and begin to think and act for themselves they still need processes and methods to find and organise activities that are worthwhile to do. Worthwhile in the sense that they make the world a little better for themselves and for others.

Civilization can only revive when there shall come into being in a number of individuals a new tone of mind independent of the one prevalent among the crowd and in opposition to it… the ethical comes into existence only in individuals. – Albert Schweitzer

Q: What am I doing differently now?

A: Continue to broaden understanding of middle leadership in complex environments and particularly gaining a better understanding of why middle leaders are emerging now.

Q: What else?

A: I continue to develop ways to build leadership capacity efficiently.

WHY ARE MIDDLE LEADERS SO IMPORTANT NOW?

For students to fully emerge as leaders - young people able to think and act for themselves - then they need role models for this. In the long run all teachers will model these behaviours and thus encourage them in young people. In the interim, it is middle leaders who must stand up and play this role.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

We really do need young people who can take up their full place in society and do so resistant to the blandishments of a consumer society and the seductions of maintaining the status quo, hoping that the damage we are doing to the climate and the planet itself will just go away.

It won't.


The Game Changer

Published in 2016 this book combines the best elements of three distinct fields - motivational science, game design, and agile management - to positively influence behaviour through better work and project design.

It shows how to unlock creative, productive and collaborative work - a great resource for leaders focused on crafting a work culture that gets the best out of their people

Safe to Fail

We learn more from failing than from succeeding. In a complex environment there is no one right answer so a lot of things need to be tried. If none fail then we are simply not trying hard enough.

At the same time, we do not want to put the organisation at risk when failure occurs so 'safe to fail' is a concept that carefully prescribes how failures can occur safely.

Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* *|END:IF|*

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
JOHN CORRIGAN - NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 - Issue 6
View this email in your browser
This is a monthly newsletter that summarises my most recent activities and thoughts.

The emerging role for middle leaders in schools

The more I focus on the development of middle leaders in school the more apparent it becomes that the role that is emerging will become a very key one as schools transform themselves.

Some key learnings

One of the key learnings is that as we want students to engage more and more in high cognitive demand work - deep understanding, making connections - then the adults in the school must lead the way. The adults perfectly positioned to lead the way are middle leaders who, by engaging in high cognitive demand work, can nudge organisation along whilst being close enough to the coalface that their modelling is visible to both children and other adults.
In a complex environment an organisation gets ‘nudged along’ to better performance with each nudge being small in itself but, cumulatively, adding up to a continuous movement forward.

Q: What am I doing differently now?

A: Continuing to develop Instructional Rounds in the context of middle leaders and developing a broader framework of which classroom observation is one key element.

Q: What else?

A: I am developing a framework which, I think, will better position the work that I do.

WHY ARE MIDDLE LEADERS SO IMPORTANT NOW?

If we go back far enough there were no middle leaders in schools. First we have seen the emergence of senior leaders and their increasing focus on the strategic: one, ensuring that they know what it is that stakeholders (eternal stakeholders, parents, staff students) need from the organisation and communicating this effectively internally, two, ensuring that the quality of the work being done meets stakeholders’ needs and, three, recruiting and retaining quality staff. If senior leaders are taking on that focus, then the operational focus is being taken on by the emerging group of middle leaders.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

In a complex environment - and although a lot of the work is still routine - there is a proportion of the work that is about nudging the organisation forward by improving operations within the strategic framework set by senior leaders. it is these projects that is the part of the work that is engaging and meaningful in terms of higher order learning for the adults in a school.


Complex Times

Published in 2015 this book gives a good overview of the problems that leaders face in complex environments.

It uses a long fictional case study interspersed with the framework of habits that the authors recommend.

BOUNDARIES

In a complex environment, boundaries become important. We want people to innovate but we do not want them to put the organisation at risk – if they fail it needs to be in a contained way.

In a complex environment we must expect people to fail, if they don’t they are not venturing enough, they are being too cautious.

Boundaries are often seen as constraints at every level. I feel constrained by my manager but then my team feels constrained by me. Boundaries need to be carefully defined for the individual – role clarity – as well as for teams or groups so that people know where they can ‘play’.
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* *|END:IF|*

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
JOHN CORRIGAN - NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 - Issue 5
View this email in your browser
This is a monthly newsletter that summarises my most recent activities and thoughts.

Facilitated first Instructional Rounds Day!

On Monday 27 June I facilitated the first Instructional Rounds Day following the program at Harvard in May. There were five different schools involved and the host school principal was rapt at the learning that took place.

The process for the day

The day involves a set-up and explanation of the 'problem of practice' (in this case it was about the level of deep understanding and deep knowledge that was being evidenced by students). An hour's observation split across four classes per team of five covered 16 classes in total. Developing and tuning specific, descriptive evidence and finding and sharing patterns took us up to lunch time (about 2 hours). During lunch the host school identified 'high leverage patterns' and then we spent an hour and a half doing root cause analysis on why these patterns were occurring and what would be required to shift them.
High Leverage Patterns - in other words, if we could shift this pattern of practice, we believe it would improve student learning

Q: What am I doing differently now?

A: Developing instructional rounds as a core methodology for developing middle leaders continues to be high on my agenda. I have developed a white paper focused on middle leader development. If you would like a copy you can request one by replying to this email.

Q: What else?

A: I will have the opportunity early next week to test this thinking as I am exhibiting at the CaSPA conference in Melbourne which will have about 200 school-based leaders, mainly principals.

WHY ROUNDS FOR MIDDLE LEADERS?

To date all the rounds focus has been on principals and people above the school level. To balance this a rounds process has been developed at the teacher level only but I think this lacks the power of the original. What no-one has done is develop a rounds process for middle leaders in schools. Until now!

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

The original model of rounds developed from the view that teachers are like doctors and doctors do this so why shouldn't teachers do it too. It is more and more evident that teachers are becoming a collective profession whereas doctors remain an individual profession. In collective professions 'middle leaders' are the powerhouse for operational efficiency and change - yet this role is still poorly defined in education. I strongly believe that rounds provides a way to further flesh out the middle leader role and make is powerful for improving student learning.


The Seminal Text

First published in 2009 the book introduces the concept of Instructional Rounds as a method for improving educational practice in a way reminiscent of doctors doing 'rounds' in a hospital.

This approach began in 2003 in the US and has continued to focus on cross-school, high level learning. A version has also been developed at the teacher only level.

A SHIFT IN THE WORK

It is now widely accepted that as a society we want students to engage in high cognitive demand tasks so as to prepare them to face up to a future that is different from our past.

“Low cognitive demand tasks involve stating facts, following known procedures, and solving routine problems.” (Van De Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2012)

“High cognitive demand tasks involve making connections, analyzing information, and drawing conclusions.” (Smith & Stein, 1998)

It is this shift in the work that is taking place inside the heads of both students and adults alike - all learners - that underpins the changes taking place in our education systems.
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* *|END:IF|*

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
JOHN CORRIGAN - NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 - Issue 4
View this email in your browser
This is a monthly newsletter that summarises my most recent activities and thoughts.

Optimising Time, Attention and Energy is now out!

The book is now out in paperback (see left) with a kindle version due in about a week or so. The whole process took 87 days from the decision to write to having a book physically in my hand. An interesting process that I may do again. It is a powerful way to get clarity.

Working Hard is Fun

It is clear that by managing well our time, attention and energy we are able to work harder and grow faster with less stress and anxiety. Hard work can be deeply satisfying and worthwhile. Fun, in fact. This turns on its head the idea that hard work is unpleasant but necessary.
I learned the value of working hard by working hard" - Margaret Mead

Q: What am I doing differently now?

A: On the fifth day of the Instructional Rounds program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (that I reported on in the last newsletter) I had a sudden epiphany. This is a way of connecting the work that middle leaders do in schools directly to changing teacher practice so as to change what happens in a student's mind - and hence what learning takes place.

Q: What else?

A: The above epiphany has lead to the development of a leadership program for middle leaders that has the Instructional Round's process of specific, non-judgemental observation at its core. From observation comes the identification of patterns, root cause analysis to identify why these patterns occur and then the design of interventions to change the practices. Powerful stuff!

UNTANGLING THE HEMISPHERES

The two hemispheres have different world views - the left is optimised for local exploitation, the right for global awareness - untangling them involves aligning their world views. This releases energy, we feel energised.

HOW DO WE UNTANGLE THE HEMISPHERES?

Although it has taken a while to realise this but the core coaching process that I use for setting goals (or as I would say now, setting direction, goals and actions) - SMARTER - works because it is aligning the two hemispheres by helping the left hemisphere articulate what the right hemisphere knows that it should be doing. When done well there is a release of energy ("that's what I should be doing!") and then developing actions gives a road map for the left hemisphere to follow.


128 pages - 26,000 words

The book focuses on personal effectiveness and has been produced to support personal coaching for leaders, in schools and elsewhere.

TIME is about using our left hemisphere efficiently, ATTENTION is about using our right hemisphere as first responder and ENERGY is about untangling both hemispheres and getting clarity of direction.

WORKING HARD

When I was at school a lot of the work was conscious memorisation and repetition of unconnected procedures. The hard work was doing work that was sometimes boring and sometimes with little meaning attached to it.

Today, we increasingly want the work taking place in a student's head to be high cognitive demand work where connections are made and deeper understanding is developed. This work is hard because it uses a lot of the brain's resources at the same time - it is intense.
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* *|END:IF|*

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
JOHN CORRIGAN - NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 - Issue 3
View this email in your browser
This is a monthly newsletter that summarises my most recent activities and thoughts.

A NEW BOOK - update

The new book has now moved into the proofreading stage, the layout stage comes next and then it is more or less ready to go.

How we use our time

It has become clearer that we use our time much more efficiently if our left hemisphere gives up the role of first responder. When this happens we suffer far fewer distractions, ergo, we are more efficient. With fewer distractions we also increase the chances of going into 'flow'.
Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it." - M. Scott Peck

Q: What am I doing differently now?

A: I am currently in Boston where I am participating in a program about instructional Rounds in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Instructional Rounds is an approach modeled on the medical practice of conducting ward rounds so as to harmonise and develop the doctors' practice.

Q: What else?

A: I continue to focus on unlocking what my right hemisphere knows and one of the key steps is the development of models and metaphors that make things I know into forms that can be more readily shared with other people. At the same time, creating models forces me to fill in any gaps in my understanding and even highlights opportunities for greater understanding that I might have missed. A difficult but rewarding process.

BRINGING THE RIGHT HEMISPHERE INTO BALANCE

Bringing the right hemisphere into balance releases the left hemisphere from its role as first responder which in turn means that the left hemisphere can focus on what it does well.

WHAT DOES THE LEFT HEMISPHERE DO?

In the area of doing work, the left hemisphere does two types. One type of work is drawn directly from its static world view and involves applying rules, systems and procedures to do things that it already knows how to do because it has dome them before or done something similar. The second type of work is to abstract from the right hemisphere new knowledge or insights and incorporate these into new rules and systems. This work is hard and so we often try to default to the first type of work.


SMART WORK

The above is the title of a recent book by Dermot Crowley that is an excellent resource for learning to manage our time better.

With good time management and high energy we get into 'flow' where the work just hums along.

MANAGING OUR ENERGY

Managing our energy well is like have a well-tuned car, with a full tank of fuel and with an open road ahead. We can take off to wherever we want.

Tuning is about managing our mood, so that we are confident and creative. A full tank of fuel is about managing our health so that we are full of energy and an open road reflects the need to be clear about our direction.

We need to untangle and align what our two different hemispheres think we should do. This is goal setting.
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* *|END:IF|*

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
JOHN CORRIGAN - NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 - Issue 2
View this email in your browser
This is a monthly newsletter that summarises my most recent activities and thoughts.

A NEW BOOK

I am in the midst of writing a new book called Optimising Time, Attention and Energy: being happy, healthy and productive. This is allowing me the space to fully develop my ideas in this area.

How we use our attention

Carol Dweck's Mindset (see left) provides a very helpful framework for one of the key areas that we need to attend to in managing our attention. Approaching people and events with a growth mindset allows us to use our attention in productive and useful ways
“How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win." - Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Q: What am I doing differently now?

A: Over the last month I have run three lunchtime sessions at a design engineering firm, one each on managing Time, Attention and Energy. These sessions were very well attended and showed me that these ideas extend beyond the education sector.

Q: What else?

A: I am very much focused on unlocking what my right hemisphere knows. This is a long-term process of articulating in a very systematic way what I have come to know over the years. I am doing this for two reasons. One is so that I can share what is that I know but, perhaps more importantly, work out how such a process can be used more widely, to raise the value that each of us has to offer.

BRINGING THE RIGHT HEMISPHERE INTO BALANCE

I continue to learn more and more about bringing the hemispheres into balance. Essentially, there is no downside and considerable upside but, for most people, it is a long-term journey. More and more it is clear that our young people should not be put out of balance in the first place.

WHAT DOES THE RIGHT HEMISPHERE KNOW?

Part of the process of identifying what the right hemisphere knows is to trawl through memory and reflect on events throughout our lives that we remember - both good and bad - with a view to identifying a few common threads. What happened? What did we make it mean? And then, What was it really about? We develop deep knowledge in areas that we visit and revisit throughout our lives. Some common threads for me have been learning, discipline, acceptance, service.

The UK Edition of Mindset

MINDSET

The above is the title of the seminal book by Carol Dweck that explores the concept that we can have either a fixed or a growth mindset (in fact this can vary by activity - fixed in Maths, say, growth in History).

The mindset we use determines how we frame or approach an event or a person or an idea.

THE BUILDING METAPHOR

The right hemisphere is like an old apartment building. It has been built and modified over time, it's been lived in.

Unlocking what the right hemisphere knows is like refurbishing one apartment, showing it off and getting a well-paying tenant.

Each time a new apartment is redone the reputation - and value - of the whole building goes up.

The building was always there but it is making it accessible in the best light that causes it to grow in value in other people's eyes.
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* *|END:IF|*

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
JOHN CORRIGAN - NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 - Issue 1

A NEW CHAPTER

Coaching for goal setting has been at the heart of my professional work for a long time and my coaching methodology is derived from observing and analysing what outstanding teachers do with their students.  My understanding of what coaching is for and how it can be used is expanding and I want to use this newsletter (and a weekly blog that will begin shortly) to explore these developments.

What is changing?

The Master and His Emissary (see left) makes the point very clearly that the right and left hemispheres see the world differently and think differently.  For me this is key and removes the idea that one hemisphere is about thinking (the left) and the other about feeling (the right).  They both think, but differently.
“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." - Alvin Toffler

Q: How does this affect the work that I do?

A: To be most effective we need to manage our attention, our time and our energy at a personal level, in relation to those around us and at the level of the organisation.  My coaching practice is now developing to provide support in all three areas and at all three levels

Q: Has there been a shift in my underlying thinking?

A: Yes, very much so.  My understanding of the evolution of education points to our current education system favouring left hemisphere dominance where the natural order of things implies that the right hemisphere leads.  This has very far reaching consequences that I plan to explore.

BRINGING THE RIGHT HEMISPHERE INTO BALANCE

My research – both academic and experiential - is showing that as we bring the right hemisphere back into balance then there are very significant benefits in three independent areas.  One is we become more confident (less anxious), more collaborative and more creative.  A second is that we unblock our natural growth in awareness or consciousness.  A third is that we can unlock what the right hemisphere knows.

WHAT DOES THE RIGHT HEMISPHERE KNOW?

Our education systems have focused on certifying and credentialling the learned and transportable knowledge that the left hemisphere is taught at school.  At the same time, the right hemisphere has been learning as well but that knowledge is unique to each individual.  We can unlock what the right hemisphere knows by using the left hemisphere to articulate what it is.  Arguably, this is one of the key roles for the left hemisphere, as assistant to the right.  I have just begun this process and I will report on this too, as it develops.

The Human Brain - showing the hemisphere split.

THE MASTER AND HIS EMISSARY
The above is the title of a book by Iain Gilchrist which brings together all that we know about the split brain – our right and left hemispheres.
This has revolutionised my approach to coaching and my understanding of how coaching can be used much more widely than goal setting alone.

THE METAPHOR OF A BIRD

Birds also have split brains and they use one side (the left) via the right eye for the detailed and focused task of finding the seed amongst the grains of sand.  At the same time a bird uses its left eye to see the world around it as a whole and to look for discrepancies.
If it detects a shadow that might be an approaching predator then it needs to take action.  Quite sensibly, it is the right hemisphere’s input that determines what happens next – fly to safety.  If left to the left hemisphere the bird would still be looking for the next seed as the talons of the predator rip into them.
Humans have the same basic mechanism.  Our left hemisphere is optimised for exploiting the world around us and our right hemisphere takes in the world outside of us which includes an ability to engage with people.  The right hemisphere is larger and heavier in all social animals.