Monday, August 26, 2013

Getting to Why



Getting to Why

The logistic team has been working on crafting the announcement for the 2013 New Literacies Institute. During conversation about the wording of an email and digital newsletter that will go out to about 1500 educators in Massachusetts, a question keeps coming up,  “Why should any educator spend almost $600 and a week at our institute?” We listed all the great keynotes, content team, and breakout sessions we will have, all the wonderful digital tools teachers will learn to use, and how teachers will be inspired to turn their classrooms in to 21st century learning centers, but it still did not get to the core of “Why”.
As we struggled with Why, I remember a TEDx video by Simon Sinek – Getting to why.


Sinek has developed what he calls the golden circle, with Why at the center then How at the next level out from the center and What being the next level out. His thesis is that successful companies work from the center out, or they have a deep understanding of why they do what they do instead of selling what they do.
His mantra of “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” helped focus us on the core of why we do the New Literacies Institute – Everything we do at the Massachusetts New Literacies Institute stems from a belief in thinking innovatively about how children are educated. We believe students deserve to have access to skills, tools, and knowledge that will help them succeed in school and life. We believe that the digital age offers an opportunity to fundamentally change the way education works.  How we change education is by understanding that Online Reading Comprehension, Online Collaborative Inquiry, and Online Content Construction are the literacies  of the digital age. What we do is train teachers to use ORC, OCI, and OCC in their teaching practice.
We have also been using Dan Pink’s ideas about Drive – autonomy, mastery, purpose, as guides when think about and planing the next MNLI.

I have thought about how to merge these two concepts of what makes a business successful (education is a business) and came up with the following idea.

The How level of Simon Sinek’s golden circle is where Dan Pink’s autonomy, mastery, purpose can be used.
Now comes the application of these concepts to find out if it makes sense. Any feedback on the synthesis of these two concepts is welcome.

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