The culture of an organisation is absolutely critical for its success, and its change journey, and for enabling people to deliver on its vision and mission.
This message was iterated in different organisations and by different speakers throughout my recent Leading Learning that Matters Study Tour. It was a privilege to engage with leaders, researchers, and teachers in diverse organisations such as Microsoft, Fort Leavenworth Army Command and General Training College, Bradley Elementary School, Steelcase, Global Kids Foundation, The Bronx School for Artists and Writers, The Bowery Historical Society, and culminating at the Graduate School of Education Harvard University working with the team form Project Zero.
Each of the organisations that we visited were vastly different, yet they shared a history of struggle, a commitment to partnering with likeminded organisations, a commitment to courageous innovation and flearning (Learning from failure).
The organisations we visited had engaged a workforce that had incredibly broad and diverse backgrounds, many who had no direct connection to the core function of the industry. And in schools we could learn from this. The complementary skillsets, the unique lenses that people brought to viewing the work were key attributes in the companies finding innovative solutions to the problems they were facing.
Collaboration and collaborative workspaces are becoming the new norm. New gadgets, new ways of thinking about offices, meetings, desks and storage were evident in each of the industries we explored.
As we continue on our journey to bring innovative, relevant, engaging, and challenging experiences to our students; as we continue to grow as educators and carers of young people; and as we seek ways to contribute back to the local Portland community, may we always remember that our work is focussed on assisting our young people to discern “who they want to be”.

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