Making “Joy” our School Culture #BCSLearns

You may have heard about the Ann Arbor, MI company Menlo Innovations and the attention they give to culture.  The company is said to have “a workplace that generates joy both for those doing the work (workers) and for those for whom the work is being done (clients).”  What I gathered from both the Forbes article by Steve Denning called The Joy of Work: Menlo Innovations and the video I include below of Menlo CEO Rich Sheridan, we can create a culture in schools, like Menlo does in their workplace, where we:

  • make mistakes faster so we can correct them when they are small
  • allow freedom – not micromanagement
  • pair programming – teamwork is not optional
  • nurture maintainable code – in school terms, quality teaching and learning that is clear and understandable and maintainable by all teachers
  • team continuity and scaling – shared expertise
  • build human relationships
  • scale down, which is as important as scaling up
  • drive out fear – “pump fear out of the room like a cold air return [HVAC system]”
  • are anthropologists – learn about the people we serve
  • experience the joy of what we do, not the stress
  • avoid “sunk cost thinking” – a fear of change
  • give accountability, not expect it
  • smile
  • trust our team and run experiments
  • get our customers (parents) to participate in our culture
  • we shrug our shoulders and run the experiment

By the way, my next read is going to have to be Joy, Inc. authored by none other than Rich Sheridan. Check out his message in the below video.  Watch it till the end and his concluding story is absolutely heartening…

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