STEM Education Summit
Dr Ken Dovey: Leadership in Education, A Collective Achievement
Historically leadership has been construed as an attribute of a single person (Head/CEO), or a small group of people (Senior Management Team). In this talk, Dr Ken Dovey will argue that an organization is a community with a purpose and that for any organization to be successful, leadership behaviour is required from everyone who holds a stake in the realization of that purpose.
About this talk
This conceptualization of leadership has important implications for the generation and leveraging of crucial intangible capital resources, such as trust, commitment and resilience. As these intangible capital resources are all relationship-based, the nature and quality of stakeholder relationships will determine whether the organizational community can access them. As relationships are impacted by various practices that are enacted within an organization, access to these (voluntarily given) resources depends on the nature of these practices. In particular, organizational practices related to power management, communication (dialogue), and collectively-reflexive learning are critical to the enactment of leadership as a collective achievement.
In an increasingly complex world, apparently intractable problems require broad collaboration for their resolution. As the problem of the commons demonstrates, humankind will not solve such problems unless the relationship between individual/sectarian interests and the collective interest is managed constructively.
In the context of this summit, this talk is relevant to all those who hold a stake in a child’s education.
The main points made are:
- Leadership is a shared responsibility when addressing complex problems;
- The resources that really matter in leadership are the intangible social (trust), morale (commitment) and conceptual (ideas) capital resources that are embedded in constructive relationships and a shared meaningful purpose;
- Effective learning occurs through collectively reflexive discussions and debates. These are often threatening to those holding formal leadership positions, and honesty is often viewed as a career-threatening action by those lower in the power hierarchy. Unless these politics of learning are addressed, organizational leadership will not deliver the requisite outcomes that usually are claimed rhetorically but not delivered in practice.
About the Speaker
Over 40 years in universities holding professorial appointments in the area of Leadership Studies. Consultant on leadership to global corporations, and to state sector and not-for-profit organizations in several countries. Continues to deliver leadership modules in courses offered by several business schools around the world. Highly published on the topic of leadership in top peer-reviewed journals. Created successful formal educational programs in Australian and South African universities, and informal educational programs in impoverished African communities.
Watch full video below
Peter Dalmaris: Hi, everyone. And welcome to Professor Ken Dovey. How are you, Ken?
Ken Dovey: I'm very well. Thanks, Peter. How are you doing?
Peter Dalmaris: I'm doing very well as well. Nice sunny day here in Sydney. And I can't wait to hear what you have to say about leadership, which is why we are here.
Ken Dovey: I hope you're not disappointed.
Peter Dalmaris: Definitely not. No. High powered leadership guru, essentially, is what I think of you.
Peter Dalmaris: So, for our audience, I just wanted to say that Ken is about to give a lecture or have a discussion on leadership in the context of education. Ken's talk is part of the STEM Education Summit, a unique one of a kind event where educators from around the world come together to share the best insights on the technologies, methodologies, and philosophies they use to teach and inspire the next generation of amazing humans.
Peter Dalmaris: I'm Peter Dalmaris, an online educator, author of Maker Education Revolution, and co-founder of Tech Explorations.
Peter Dalmaris: Ken is a retired university professor with a 40-year career in leadership studies. He's a consultant on leadership to global corporations, and to the state sector, and not-for-profit organizations in several countries. Ken continues to teach leadership in courses offered by several business schools around the world. He's highly published on the topic of leadership in top peer reviewed journals, and has created successful formal education programs in Australian and South African universities, and informal educational programs in impoverished African communities.
Peter Dalmaris: In his talk, Ken will discuss leadership in the context of education. And here's a quote from Ken, "Unless the politics of leadership are addressed, organizational leadership will not deliver the requisite outcomes that usually acclaimed rhetorically but not delivered in practice." And I think a lot of us can sympathize with this. This talk is particularly relevant to educators who worked hard to introduce change in their institutions.
Peter Dalmaris: So, Ken, again, thank you for joining me. Now, to kickstart your presentation, I've got a comment, that leads eventually to a question. Over the years, I've talked to many teachers that are changemakers, people that work hard to change how education is done in the classroom, but also how learning is organized at the institution level.
Peter Dalmaris: One problem that comes up again and again is that there is a lot of resistance to change, even when the signs are clear that change is necessary. You know, as it is right now going through COVID-19 pandemic, change is obviously necessary and perhaps accelerated. So, these educators are often unsure how to deal with this resistance. It seems to me that change is a leadership problem in the broad sense of the word. What can these teachers learn from the art and science of leadership?
Ken Dovey: Okay, Peter. Well, that's a very, very good question. I'd like to come back to it because I think before I want to answer it, I'd like to look at the concept of leadership itself because I think it's instructive in terms of answering your question.
Ken Dovey: So, one of the issues with leadership that I see prevailing is that everybody understands the word leadership, but what they understand about the concept varies tremendously. One's understanding of the concept of leadership depends so much on one's life experience, on the circumstances and situations one has been through. And, thus, most of us have very different conceptions of what leadership is. That's a problem. And that's one of the issues that I think leaders or a community, let's say, must face.
Ken Dovey: I've entitled this talk today, ‘Leadership as a Collective Achievement’, and that's the way I'm going to try to look at it. I'm arguing that the concept of leadership has become so complex, and the operational contexts in which we work are so complex, that it is ridiculous to assign the responsibility of leadership to a single individual or to a small group of individuals, such as the top management team, for example.
Ken Dovey: I'm arguing that the complexity of the world in which we live, and the complexity of the dynamics in which people have to perform collective tasks, is such that, ultimately, effective leadership is no longer possible, I don't think, by individuals or a small group of people alone. We see this at the political level, and we see it at multiple other levels.
Ken Dovey: In terms of a collective response to this problem, I like to use the example of sports teams, especially the high-performance sports teams. Once they're on the field, it's a collective achievement. People have to make decisions, split second decisions, and they've got to live with the responsibility of those decisions. The coach can't run on the field and tell them what to do.
Ken Dovey: So, as I see it, most communities, whether they be schools or universities, need to engage the resources of everybody who is part of that community. So, that's the first thing.
Peter Dalmaris: Ken, just a question, if that's okay. So, when you say collective leadership, do you mean that every one of us needs to be a leader, at least at some level at some capacity? So, we all need to have these leadership elements?
Ken Dovey: Yes, that's a good point. It's something I'll come back to, what do we mean by that and how does that then gel in terms of a seamless performance by an organization? So, I won't forget, I'll come back to that.
Peter Dalmaris: Thank you. I've got one more, if that's okay. Sorry. Back to back questions because you triggered a lot of thought here. So, you know, the issue of resistance that a lot of the teachers that I talked to, those that want to instil change in their organization, they're saying, "There is a lot of resistance, I don't know what to do about it." It's like a normal part of a leader to be able to deal with that resistance. It's something that it's got to be expected. You can't expect that it's going to happen without resistance.
Ken Dovey: Yeah. Well, I think let's get back to your question about change and the need for change. From my perspective change is endemic. Change is part of everyday life, particularly in the times in which we live. We live in dynamic contexts, whether they are work contexts or home contexts or global contexts of various sort, Things are changing all the time. So, leadership, really, to be effective, needs to manage change on a continuous basis.
Ken Dovey: So, the process or the methodology that I put forward for leadership is that of praxis. Now, praxis is a fancy word of just saying that managing change involves thinking clearly, collectively, about the situation the community is in; deciding on various forms of action to take; acting and then reflecting collectively on the action and its outcomes and pivoting the strategic action if necessary. So, this means a whole lot of learning is required continuously.
Ken Dovey: So, it could be single-loop learning. We made a mistake, we recognize and correct it, and that's it. With double-loop learning we say, "What were the assumptions we held that drove us to make those decisions?" Now, we're digging deeper into the learning process because assumptions drive our behaviour, but assumptions are subconscious drivers of behaviour. We need to dig down analytically if we're finding that certain mistakes are occurring repeatedly. And then, thirdly, triple-loop learning refers to meta-learning processes such as exploring the question of what we need to learn in order to know what we need to know.
Ken Dovey: So, we're looking at the complexity of learning from everyday experience. I'm arguing that every organization should be doing this all the time. Thus managing change constructively requires a collective process. It involves dialogue and constructive confrontation with each other. Through such communicative practices we're constantly making changes which align our actions with the demands of the context we're in.
Ken Dovey: So, I'm coming back to another phenomenon or aspect of leadership, that is, I argue that it's contingent. It depends. How you lead or how the collective leads, depends a lot on the history of the people in that collective. What is their background? Are they educated? Are they uneducated? What is their cultural background? What life experiences have they had? So, there's a lot of complexity there because you've usually got a collection of people who have had very different life experiences.
Ken Dovey: And, therefore, the form of leadership that is most appropriate to that situation needs to be clarified. And it changes all the time. So, one of the issues with the praxis process is that as we act, we change the context. And, thus, we have to rethink the next action, because when we change the context, that action we used to change the context may no longer be appropriate in the changed context. We may need to shift the action somewhat, maybe a little bit, maybe a lot. It depends on that situation.
Ken Dovey: And so, one of the primary responsibilities of leadership, as I see it, is to be able to read the context of any circumstance or situation. What is the context of my school? What is the makeup of the kids that come to the school? What is the makeup of the teachers I have, of the parental background? What is the makeup of the bureaucracy that governs us in a hierarchical fashion? All of these things need to be understood in order to know how to lead constructively.
Ken Dovey: So, how do you learn to read the context? Well, the more contexts you have experienced, the greater your frames of reference for reading the current context.
Ken Dovey: I'll give you a little example. I went to study in the States. And the first week I was there, I decided to go and have a beer on the Friday night at the pub down the road. I was sitting at the pub and suddenly halfway through my beer, the whole pub erupted in a brawl. I ducked under the table and sat under the table until it was all sorted out. What shocked me, though, was that I did not see the conflict coming.
Ken Dovey: If I was sitting in my home in South Africa, let's say, in a pub, I would have read the context five minutes before the brawl erupted, that something was wrong; that something was brewing. That shocked me because I realized that the contexts I was in, were so different and so strange that I couldn't read them. The more you travel, the more you live in different circumstances, the more you're going to build the capability to read contexts. So, that's just a little example.
Ken Dovey: From a more serious point of view, the context of our operations in schools and businesses and whatever organizations are changing all the time, so what's appropriate? As you’ve just pointed out, with the COVID-19 virus we're now tolerating a form of autocratic leadership. And we're accepting that because, in the context, it's appropriate. But in another context, it would be highly inappropriate for that form of leadership.
Ken Dovey: So, you see the complexity of leadership where we are asking people to read the context. A single person is not going to be able to read the context as accurately as a committed collective. A committed collective is going to have multiple frames of reference and experiences that they can bring to the process.
Ken Dovey: The challenge - and I'll get back to this - the challenge is how do we get that collective to talk and engage in dialogue, engaging in critical reflexivity to think through and maybe confront each other on our opinions in a way that does not reduce the constructiveness of the process, but enhances the effect. That is a very, very big challenge that we have.
Ken Dovey: Of course, as you pointed out, there is massive resistance from those who have a vested interest in the status quo. Those who are benefiting from the status quo do not want change, and they will resist it. And very often they are people who have considerable power in the community. So, they have the capacity or the capabilities to suppress change in that situation.
Ken Dovey: And we see it in business as we see it in schools. I saw it in universities. As you pointed out, I have over 40 years in universities. They are bureaucracies with hierarchical structures that basically resist change. And so, that's an issue.
Peter Dalmaris: Just a thing here, Ken. Sorry to interrupt you. It seems like especially large organizations are built to resist change because it's also a form of survival for them. They need to be stable organizations that can operate over multiple generations. So, for them, change is sometimes against the long-term interests.
Peter Dalmaris: So, as leaders, we need to recognize that as well, and question why this resistance is happening. Is it because of something embedded in the organization? Or is it like a personal view of a single person? Which goes back to your context, right?
Ken Dovey: Yeah. It's a good point you're making, because one of the problems that I'm seeing in global terms, and particularly with large organizations, is that in seeking efficiency and so on, organizations become routinized. So, there's a certain logic that the structure of the organization embeds in everyday practices, everyday experiences of people, to the point where they start taking it for granted, as if it is inevitable. They can no longer see that they are being influenced in that way. Similarly with institutions, institutionally embedded logic also gets taken for granted. And then, add on top of that, the surreptitious influence of ideology.
Ken Dovey: So, for example, we've been experiencing neoliberalism in this planet for the last 40 or 50 years, and you see what it has done. Centralized power elites globally and it's introduced the acceptance of greed and financial exploitation to the point where it's perceived as natural, as inevitable.
Ken Dovey: Now, this raises one of the challenges I see for leadership. How do we decipher those abstract forms of power that are influencing our behaviour in ways that we're not aware? This influence can lead to people resisting changing something that would be in their own interest to change.
Ken Dovey: The research I do identifies a lot of organizations that fail because they don't change when it would have been in their interest to change. They don't see the need to change because they've been indoctrinated by those abstract forms of power, to see the status quo as inevitable and natural. They see the status quo as the way the world works!
Peter Dalmaris: And so, would you say that this is like a triple-loop learning problem? The beginning question why is not being asked by the decision makers or even by the individual from the bottom of the food chain, I guess.
Ken Dovey: Yes, that fundamentally is the case and it's one of the issues. It's also a double-loop learning issue because it's also a consequence of unscrutinised assumptions which lead to behaviour that has become embedded in situations.
Ken Dovey: So, if we get back to your point about change, one of the issues is that there needs to be a power base that is supporting the change. A sufficiently strong power base that will enable people to deal with the resistance that's inevitable in many situations.
Ken Dovey: Now, if, let's say, the CEO of a company has the Board’s support to change the circumstances, then the CEO has a power base that can initiate that change. It's still not easy because, again, if a CEO attempts to use a top-down approach to people who are familiar with more consultative processes, it will fail. So, it's reading the context – reflecting on what action is appropriate under the specific circumstances; for getting people aligned with the requisite change.
Ken Dovey: Now, another aspect here is that if you look at schools, it's very difficult for people to influence the process from the bottom up because their behaviour is visible, and they’re working in a hierarchical structure. Universities are similar, but they are less visible.
Ken Dovey: So, one of the leadership practices that I have had to endorse in such contexts is that of intrapreneurship.
Peter Dalmaris: Ken, sorry to interrupt you here, before you get into intrapreneurship, you said that in schools, change attempts are very visible, versus universities being large organizations, it's less visible. Is it because in a small organization that has, say, ten teachers, if one teacher is the odd one out but does things differently, that will be visible to all the others, and that's where visibility comes from?
Ken Dovey: Yes, I'd say that. and I think also, historically, universities were far more decentralized. So, faculties had a lot of power. And then, even within faculties, schools and departments had a lot of independent power. Individuals also had considerable power.
Ken Dovey: So, for example, individuals create their own curricula in universities, which we don't have in schools. There's a lot more freedom, historically. That's all changing, though, with neoliberalism and with universities becoming run like corporations. We're now seeing the centralization of power and a lot more dictatorial management styles with people being forced to do things.
Peter Dalmaris: It's in the name of efficiency. It's like taking the lessons from the corporate world into universities.
Ken Dovey: Absolutely. And it's now all about money. So, regarding the people who are promoted into senior positions, very often it's about their access to industry funding, and stuff like that. That doesn't make them a good leader within the university context. In fact, quite the contrary, very often. But it's perceived that this is what universities need.
Ken Dovey: Anyway, to get back to intrapreneurship. So, an intrapreneur is an entrepreneur who is deeply committed to the value proposition of a particular organization. So, I saw myself as an intrapreneur in universities. Why am I in a university? Why didn't I go and start my own business and make a lot more money than I made in universities? Fundamentally, because the value proposition to which I respond, which gives meaning to my life, is that of education, is that of seeing a lot of talent blossom.
Ken Dovey: So, to do that, I have to work in an organization where I can work with talent, and I can exercise that need for that value to be realized. But as an intrapreneur, I get very frustrated in the layered hierarchy within universities that resists change. That, as you say, refuses to acknowledge any ideas coming from the bottom up.
Ken Dovey: So, in the end, one of the things one has to do about change - I'm still trying to answer your question about change here - is that in contexts like that, intrapreneurs play a very big role, but they live dangerously.
Ken Dovey: So, what I had to do in the 40 years of my university experience, was to do a lot of things below the management radar. I did a lot of things that were classified as illegal in the university system. I had to ignore legacy rules because they were no longer appropriate. The context had changed completely, and these rules were actually obstructing constructive endeavour. All sorts of things, too many to recount.
Ken Dovey: As a result, I was always regarded as a potential troublemaker. Senior management was always wary of me. None of them asked how I created a post-graduate program that was recognized as being the top one out of 150 post-graduate programs at the university. No one stopped to ask me how that was achieved. We built an alumni community of 2,000 people who are very active in ongoing adult education. We provided events regularly for them completely independently of the university. No one has ever asked me about that.
Ken Dovey: The only thing that's ever happened is the request from the alumni department at the university, to give them access to the contact details of the alumni of the program.
Ken Dovey: So, there're many examples of how you have to work. But then, I think for intrapreneurs, the requirement is you have to recognize you will never get recognition for what you're doing. Because for management to recognize you, they have to concede they were wrong. I came to terms with that, as every intrapreneur has to do. You do what you do because of the value that you are providing to people in that community. You don't do it with the expectation of any kind of recognition or reward for yourself because you'll be deeply disappointed if that's your motivation.
Ken Dovey: And so, that has to be one of the principles of being an intrapreneur; you do it because it's the right thing to do and you realize the intrinsic value you see from your work. However, you live dangerously. Which means you must have sources of courage.
Ken Dovey: This raises another aspect of leadership. How do you have the courage, let's say, in a collective, in a school, to stand up and to tell the truth, to talk your mind, to contradict, let's say, something that the principal will not necessarily like to hear? What are your sources of courage to be that outspoken in the interest of the collective?
Ken Dovey: And that's something I think is coming back to individual leadership capabilities, in that individuals have to think through these challenges very carefully. If you've got six kids and you're dependent on a job, you don't have too many sources of courage to be open and confront the situation. If you're financially independent and secure, you have a lot more courage. If you have a strong knowledge base and are easily re-employable, you have an important source of courage. If you have a strong set of principles, you have an important source of courage.
Ken Dovey: So, you know, this is one of the things I say to people - it's coming back the individual thing - think through and build your sources of courage, because that will enable you to exercise leadership in any context you experience, because you are not dependent on the approval of those with formal power around you.
Peter Dalmaris: This is very interesting because when we think about courage, we feel that we either have it or we don't have it. But what you're saying is that it's a resource and it is finite. So, you want to get into the fight or the battle - if that's the right word - of change with a sufficient large amount of a surplus of courage in your so-called courage bank so you can draw from it. And that will help you move forward.
Peter Dalmaris: Another thing that I understand - and I've known you for over 20 years and I've seen you actually creating this change at the university - it's taken a very long time. It wasn't a quick thing. And I remember you implementing one period a time, it would take a few months. Then, you'd move on to the next one, below the radar very often. So, it's a long-term game as well, and your courage has to last that long.
Ken Dovey: That's a good point. So, your courage has to be renewed all the time. You may have to build new sources of courage as circumstances change. So, again, reading the context accurately and identifying what is required in any particular situation, is vitally important.
Ken Dovey: So, Peter, I want to shift the focus somewhat by asking that if leadership is so complex, and if we're going to view it as a collective achievement, what do we do in practice when we hold a formal leadership position?
Ken Dovey: The first thing that I've come to realize in my experience is that of assisting the community, or the collective, to identify what really matters. To do that, you've got to have a very clear purpose to your leadership endeavour. And that purpose, the purpose of individuals, must be aligned with the collective purpose. If you can get that right, you will generate passion and commitment from that collective that you never thought was possible.
Ken Dovey: I've seen it happen and I've experienced it in various contexts. I've been part of the process where we identified what really matters to the people in that collective. And then, we aligned what matters to the collective with what matters (or the purpose of) the organization, thereby aligning personal purpose with the organizational purpose.
Ken Dovey: That sounds easy, but it's not. Because if you look at organizations, universities or schools, you have imposed on you a whole lot of rituals and bureaucratic administrative burdens that when you analyse them, they don't really matter. But they take up a huge percentage of your time.
Ken Dovey: One of the things that really helped my productivity in the university context was I started analysing where my time was going. And I started seeing that at least half of my time was going on meetings that went on too long and achieved nothing in the end, and administrative tasks that were completely unnecessary and often contradicted the purposes of the university, etc.
Ken Dovey: So, I started to engage my sources of courage. I started to work out in any prospective meeting how long it should take if focussed on what really matters. If I worked out that it should take an hour, after an hour I excused myself from the meeting. This caused a few problems initially but gradually people got used to it. By focusing my time on what really mattered to my students and to the university, I became a lot more productive and a lot more successful in realising our collective purpose.
Ken Dovey: That's one of the tasks of leadership: getting members of the community to commit to behaviours that really matter in terms of the purpose that they serve through their respective role. And then, to manage that process so that each member invests their time productively in ensuring that what really matters is achieved. You would know this very well, Peter, given the amount of work that you've got on your plate.
Ken Dovey: The second thing is understanding who really matters. If you look at most corporations, who really matters are the shareholders and senior management. Much of the action and decisions are oriented around their interests. But who delivers the strategic intent? The staff. Who contributes to that process? Service providers, partners, and various other outside entities. Customers are key stakeholders in the whole process.
Ken Dovey: So, once you understand who really matters, you can then focus your behaviour on who really matters in a way that satisfies the entire stakeholder community. And I saw this in research we've recently done with a small green building products company that is incredibly innovative. It's won major innovation awards and export awards and all sorts of things. And what they've done is they've identified their entire stakeholder community as being vital to their innovation capabilities and their products. And so, there's a lot of consultation and interaction between all the stakeholders. Every stakeholder is taken seriously and participates in the innovation process.
Ken Dovey: There's a classic case study of Lincoln Electric in the States. There is a Harvard University case study which covers Lincoln Electric's run over almost a hundred years. They have traditionally split their profits three ways: a good return to investors, a bonus to staff that is independently assessed that can double as staff member's annual salary, and a commitment to customers not to increase the prices of their products because through efficiency and better ways of working, they will keep the prices the same. So, they've got three stakeholders they've identified, who are all vital to their interests, and who are all treated equally.
Ken Dovey: Now, in the late 1990s, Lincoln Electric got attacked by a French company who entered the American market that Lincoln Electric had dominated for a hundred years. And the Lincoln Electric owners thought, "Oh, there's a world outside the USA, okay, so we'll do the same." So, they tried to globalize but did not have a clue how to do so. The CEO didn't even have a passport. They got themselves into a massive crisis, going into huge amounts of debt when, traditionally, the company had avoided debt of any kind.
Ken Dovey: And then, very honestly, the leaders of the organization went to their American staff and said, "Look, we have stuffed up and we need you to get us out of this hole." And they asked the American staff to work ridiculous hours seven days a week, to generate the profits to enable them to pay off the debt and recover the situation.
Ken Dovey: If you go to the internet, you'll see Lincoln Electric is still going well. What happened was they called on stakeholders who they had treated equally in the process to make sacrifices for them. They had always taken their staff seriously and treated them as cherished partners in the business. So, this is where we come back to collective achievement. Those American workers got them out of trouble. Why did they do that? Why did they make those sacrifices? Because they were always treated fairly. They were always taken seriously in the process. Even when the company was in debt, management paid the staff bonuses.
Ken Dovey: So, that's the other thing, who's important? And if you know that, then you can treat them equally and take them seriously.
Ken Dovey: The third one, and I want to spend a bit of time on this, too, is that, of the resources that really matter. Historically, the resources that matter are, obviously, investment, plant, equipment, technology, digital resources, etc. All those things are important. But there's increasing evidence that the resources that have become important in the knowledge/digital era are intangible capital resources.
Ken Dovey: So, I teach a module at Stellenbosch University in South Africa every year. My students are senior members in the construction industry. And I say to them right at the beginning, "What are the resources that really matter to you?" And they answer investment, plant, equipment, and all the rest.
Ken Dovey: So, I say to them, “Assume you've got all that, but the staff do not trust the leadership of the organization; neither does the leadership trust the staff; nor do the staff have any trust in each other. How well do you think this organization is going to perform?”
Ken Dovey: And they are silent! So I introduce three forms of intangible capital that I think leadership has to generate. These are interesting forms of intangible capital because all of them are relationship based.
Ken Dovey: Let's take trust. Trust is what we call a social capital resource. It's a resource that's embedded in a relationship. You and I have a lot of trust in each other. You don't own that trust and I don't own that trust. It's a resource that's embedded in our relationship. It's an inter-subjective resource that we can draw on because of various ways that we've treated each other over the years.
Ken Dovey: The benefit of such a resource is that it is vital to collective endeavour and to leadership, and is not depleted through use. The more we trust each other and honour that trust, the more we generate the resource. It's freely available to any organization. Yet, how many organizations have been able to generate that resource within the organization effectively? Very few have been able to do that.
Ken Dovey: The second vital intangible resource is not only a relationship resource but also generated by a meaningful purpose or mission. That is what I call morale capital. Now, sport is a very good example of this. In sport, it's called team spirit. What is team spirit? It's that level of performance you can get that can deliver over and above the individual talents of the players. Morale is a mission resource, and it is generated when individual purpose is aligned with organizational purpose. Every player in a top sports team wants the team to perform, wants the team to win, as they see their personal interests as being embedded in the collective interest and vice versa. Thus, if the purpose of the organization is meaningful to its members, they will make huge sacrifices for its realization. You get massive commitment and passion from people. And resilience - people don't give up.
Ken Dovey: It's also a relationship-based resource because people with strongly bonded relationships will make massive sacrifices for each other. They'll put their bodies on the line for each other.
Ken Dovey: And then, finally, there is conceptual capital. I argue that creativity, ideas, and knowledge are in some ways intangible capital resources. Because if I sat in a corner and tried to have an idea by myself, versus you and I and various other people in our friendship community sitting down to generate ideas, the group would generate ten times more ideas than any individual sitting on his or her own, would do.
Ken Dovey: So, in many ways, these resources of ideas, of creativity, of knowledge sharing, etc, are collective processes that rely on relationships, and are productively generated and leveraged through relationships.
Ken Dovey: So, what I see the role of leadership to be is that of creating an environment in which these intangible capital resources are generated and leveraged in the interests of the collective and, by definition, in the interests of the individual members of the collective.
Ken Dovey: I remember one of my students once said, "Oh, you've got to go and interview Paul Roos," who was the coach of the Sydney Swans at the time. "You've got to interview this guy. He's really interesting." Eventually to shut the student up, I went and interviewed him, and it was a fascinating interview.
Ken Dovey: I asked him, "How do you see your leadership role?" And he said, "My role is to create an environment in which the players can perform at their optimal level." And that made a whole lot of sense to me. Leadership is the ‘interstitial glue’ that binds all the ‘environmental factors’; it creates an environment in which people are not afraid to learn.
Ken Dovey: I argue that learning is highly political, because in a highly competitive environment, as most work environments are, people are very scared of failing; people fear making mistakes. And so, if you're scared of failing, your capacity to learn is going to be diminished considerably. So, can you create an environment in which people can fail and learn from the failure?
Ken Dovey: In the teaching context, I've always said, there's no embarrassment in failing. There is embarrassment in failing to learn from failing. So, we're coming back to the double-loop and triple-loop learning. Go back and ask yourself serious questions about your assumptions and defences.
Ken Dovey: I failed a couple of times in my life, and because I teach the stuff, I forced myself to analyse how and why I failed. Initially I wanted to blame everybody else but I forced myself to go undergo the self-analysis and this identified some deep assumptions, which come out of my background, that had influenced the decisions that led to that failure.
Ken Dovey: It was a fantastic insight. And it is in my mind all the time. I've never made the same mistakes again because that insight comes to mind immediately when I'm in a context where I want to make decisions that will compromise the situation. So, to me, the politics of learning are crucial. People need to be able to engage in a process with that spirit of discovery, the spirit of fulfilling their lives, rather than surviving in an organization, in a school, etc.
Peter Dalmaris: Well, okay, there's quite a few things here that I've been picking for the last 15 minutes. There's a lot. Maybe we can spend the next five minutes to summarize. At least here's what I understood it, here's what I picked you. You talked about figuring out as leaders - actually, helping - as leaders helping people to understand what really matters.
Peter Dalmaris: And when you said that, I thought of industrialists like Henry Ford or innovators like Steve Jobs. The famous quote of Henry Ford, for example, saying that, "If I had asked my customers what they want, they would say a faster horse," or something like that. But that would be the wrong question to ask, because as you were talking, I was thinking that that's not what people really wanted. They wanted faster means of transportation with less hassle, more safety, etc.
Peter Dalmaris: The same thing with Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is quoted to say that, "If I had asked my customers what they wanted about the iPod, they would have said a bigger cassette tape player." I'm not quoting directly here, just the essence of it. But the fact is that people wanted a lightweight music device, high fidelity that was just easy to plug into the computer and play. So, you've got to ask the right questions.
Peter Dalmaris: And then, as a leader, essentially, you have to help people see how they can reach the thing that they already want to reach. It's just that they don't know how. They know what in some kind of abstract manner. That's what I understand from the first point that you made.
Ken Dovey: Okay. Can I comment on that?
Peter Dalmaris: Yes.
Ken Dovey: Okay. That's very interesting point you're raising, and it's highly relevant. So, one of the issues of leadership, too, is anticipation of the future, foresight, strategic foresight. And, again, it's about reading the context. What are the future contexts? The customers of Ford could not understand or did not see the context? So, yes, maybe they wanted a faster horse. Leadership has to try to anticipate what is coming. And in terms of new technologies and strategic inflection points and changes in the world, that's crucial to the process.
Ken Dovey: Now, we've just written a research paper on open innovation, the whole open turn in thinking of expanding the access of people to innovative ideas. What I saw is, in the strategic foresight process, the level of openness was still very closed. It was still a task for this strategy manager or the top management team to try and anticipate the future of a particular organization.
Ken Dovey: So, what we are advocating in that paper is that you really have to open it broadly. So, for example, coming back to the abstract path that influences the way we think and acceptance of the status quo and the ability to think outside the status quo, how do we confront that?
Ken Dovey: So, one of the things we're saying is you need to bring in people from outside your own institutional boundaries into the process because they won't be constrained by the institutional logic that dominates thinking in one’s own environment. You're bringing people in from outside, bring competitors into the process, bringing people from different industries into the process.
Ken Dovey: And then, the criterion that you want is people who are going to tell you the truth and people who will be constructively confrontational in the process so that you generate through creative abrasion, you anticipate how the world is going to change.
Ken Dovey: That requires a broad dimension of people with different frames of reference, which comes back to leadership as a collective achievement. Very often, we can't generate those frames of reference internally. We're too restricted by the status quo.
Peter Dalmaris: The external point of view. So, Ken, what really matters, just to bring it into the education context, say, K-12. Let's say, we have a teacher, not a school principal, no position of power, at least formal position of power. The teacher has ideas and wants to instigate change.
Peter Dalmaris: And what then they need to do, based on this principle, is to try and bring other teachers or other members of the community in the school onboard, not by just telling them, "This is what I want to do. You're going to join me." Like, bring this new technology in, or sign up to this, or whatever it might be, or try a new methodology. But build on that common thread that connects it together, which is that they all want to see the students doing better or whatever that might be. But let's say this is something that is obvious. It seems to me that all teachers want their students to be better.
Peter Dalmaris: So then, this is how this pioneering teacher can frame the change that they want to bring in. And by the way, how are we going to do that? Then, go to the next step, which is how I came across this amazing technology that is going to help us reach that. So, it's basically addressing the roots of the resistance which has to do with, "I just don't understand what you're talking about," usually.
Ken Dovey: Yes, that's true. And I think it's about interactivity, so teachers talking to each other. And I remember one outstanding teacher once in South Africa, who now is in Brisbane, and he's been a very successful educational consultant. Other teachers asked permission to sit in on his classes because of his reputation for being creative.
Ken Dovey: For lots of teachers having another teacher come and sit in your class creates fear and trepidation. “They're going to see that I can't do my job properly”, etc. So, he created that trust in the process that people could go and sit in on each other's classes; people could discuss and debate particular issues around it and share it.
Ken Dovey: Now, as you point out, with the new technologies, we can do this on a much broader basis. But I don't think we should lose sight of the fact that at the core of educational influence is relationship. And, to me, it is an emotional relationship.
Ken Dovey: I know so many people who will tell me that they were deeply influenced by a teacher in grade four or a teacher in grade seven who developed a particular kind of relationship with them and built their confidence or inspired them or something like that, that ultimately led to them going out and living a fulfilled life.
Ken Dovey: So, I think at the core, I'd say, the basis of good education is relationship; an emotional and cognitive relationship.
Peter Dalmaris: I think that's how you concluded your previous block of your presentation, where you ended up with things like trust, the morale of the team which actually gives them superpowers.
Peter Dalmaris: Like in sports, you have two teams in terms of numbers, one is better than the other. They get into the football field or the basketball field or whatever it might be. And the team with better morale very often comes out on top. So, that bond seems to give the players purpose, and we bring that into any type of organization.
Ken Dovey: It will generate action or a passion from them that would encompass sacrifices and putting 110 percent effort into the situation. Are we working towards concluding now?
Peter Dalmaris: We can. I've got a couple of other questions. I guess they're probably going to become questions that I just formulated in my mind as we speak. Because I want to talk about the who. Then, after you have identified that, what is it, that as a collective, we are trying to achieve? And that goes down to fundamental principles, usually. And it's not a technical issue. It's more of a strategic identification of what we are trying to do as a community of people.
Peter Dalmaris: Then, you need to identify the who. And that who question has multiple answers. So, you said, who really matters in terms of formal authority and power? That's one potential set of people. And you also have the people that actually deliver the work, which could be, like, middle management or people at the front line, so that's another set of who, and et cetera. But all of those have to be brought together based on those principles of trust, increasing or managing morale and so on.
Ken Dovey: So, I want to pick that up in terms of an example. But before I give the example, let me just talk about a little bit of theory again, just to conclude the theoretical aspects of this.
Ken Dovey: One of the issues, particularly if we come back to intangible capital resources, is what is the environment like in which those resources are generated and leveraged successfully? And at the core of that environment is power. So, this is something that we have to face openly. Power has got a negative connotation in the English language. It has implications of top-down autocracy. But you cannot achieve anything without power.
Ken Dovey: So, what is power? Every relationship has a power dynamic, no matter what the relationship is. Parent- child, or husband-wife, or whatever, there's always a power dynamic operating there. How do we manage that dynamic so that we get the best out of the collective? That's one of the issues that leadership has to address. How do we manage the power in a collective despite the formal arrangements, let's say, as in schools where we've got hierarchies imposed on us?
Ken Dovey: So, one of my PhD students who worked for Google, was interested in two teams that had not innovated technically for the previous three years, one was in Sydney and one was in New York. And he asked the organization whether he could do his PhD based on work with these two teams. So, he moved between the two organizations, facilitating an action research process within each team.
Ken Dovey: It took nearly three years, in both teams. It was very messy, politically. But both teams ended up generating magnificent technical innovations that millions of people use now.
Ken Dovey: Through the research, we were interested in leadership practices that generated innovation within each team. He identified, in the end, four practices that facilitated the transformation of these teams that could not innovate technically into dynamic groups that could innovate technically. And the slogan he came up with in the end was that ‘social innovation precedes technical innovation’. And by social innovation, he meant management of the power relationships, how power is managed in that circumstance.
Ken Dovey: The four practices that he identified - and these line up beautifully with the consulting work that I've done in the past – were first of all, that there has to be a negotiated order within the collective. So, in other words, there needs to be consensus on the rules of how we interact with each other. What are the norms? And rules that if you violate those norms, irrespective of who you are, you will be confronted. And to remain in the discussion, you either apologize for breaking the rules or you leave the group.
Ken Dovey: So, a very strict set of norms for interactivity that show respect when confronting others, and at the same time that enact ways of trying to get the best for the collective out of the process.
Ken Dovey: The second one was a degree of tapping into identity resources. The term he used was ‘seeing the other in ourselves and seeing ourselves in the other’. So, in other words, when someone was behaving badly and was being confronted, to what extent could you see yourself in that bad behaviour, and times when you have behaved in a similar way? So, you become aware of your own behaviour through the behaviour of others.
Ken Dovey: So, somebody can bark at somebody else and then be confronted as that being inappropriate behaviour. "What do you mean?" "I wasn't being rude or anything." Those defenses are taken away in that context as gradually people start empathizing with each other in a way that builds identity resources. We all know if we identify with each other, we'll do a lot more for each other than if we don't identify with each other. And some of the video clips that I've attached through the slides address some of these issues.
Ken Dovey: The third leadership practice is intellectually related. So, to what extent can someone concede ignorance? This was one of the major problems in the two teams. Being teams at Google, and with Google being perceived as the creme de la creme of technical organizations, none of the people in the teams would concede any imperfection of knowing. In their minds it would be committing career suicide to say that they don't know something. But how do you learn if you know everything? And this was the problem. They weren't learning because there was this defensive interaction going on all the time.
Ken Dovey: So, what happened over time is they began to start conceding imperfection of knowing. And once one person started conceding, it took the ball rolling to a point where in the end, everybody accepted that our knowledge, by definition, is always going to be imperfect because the context is changing all the time and so is the situation. We might know what we're doing now, but in a year's time, we may be in a situation requiring us to undergo significant learning.
Ken Dovey: So, in one of the video clips there is a fantastic story told by Stanley McAlister, who led the American Forces in Afghanistan. He makes the point that the members of the force he was leading had had completely different life experiences to him. They had been trained in completely different ways to him. They had different skillsets, like digital skillsets that he didn't have, etc. And he was supposed to be leading them. He claimed that he realized that what he needed was ‘reverse mentoring’, where people mentored him rather than the other way round.
Ken Dovey: Now, that's the kind of intellectual humility that I think we require in leadership, where we are prepared to learn from others who may be lower in the pecking order of the situation. For example, students in the class very often will say something or do something that will make you think. In that sense, if the leader is open to such influence, the students are playing a leadership role in the process.
Peter Dalmaris: That's relevant to our STEM education, where we talk a lot about mentorship instead of the classic teacher-student setup. And your example is perfect because it shows that that works at the top level, as it does in the classroom.
Ken Dovey: Yes. And then, finally, he identified what he called ‘intelligent caring’. This relates to the need to confront each other in a way that is productive. If somebody is being defensive or resisting change - coming back to your point about change and resistance to change - you cannot tolerate that if your purpose is important enough. If your purpose is important enough, that person's behaviour has to be addressed, so we need to confront that person.
Ken Dovey: As any good sports coach will tell you, you don't confront your players in order to belittle them or to humiliate them. You confront them in order to build them. So, confrontation is an act of love. It's an act of caring. It's saying to the person, "Look, this is a difficult thing to do. I'm not comfortable doing this, but I'm doing it in your interest because I want you to become a better player and person. And I'm also doing it because the team's interests require me to address your behaviour because you are negatively impacting the performance of the team." Now, that's a very difficult thing to do.
Ken Dovey: I can give you an example in South Africa, that occurred during the apartheid era. I took multiracial groups on outward bound programs. And there was one black guy who was very negative all the time. He kept saying, whenever his team was engaged in a task, “Oh, let the whites do that. The whites always make the decisions. Let the whites do that." So, in the end, he was negatively impacting the environment in which we were operating. And he wasn't helping himself in any way to learn from the experiences.
Ken Dovey: So, that night I had to sit down with him. I thought, "How do I do this?" And I thought, "Well, first of all, let me face or concede an issue." So I said to him, "Listen, if I had had your life experience, if I was in your situation, I would feel the same as you feel. So, I understand how you feel."
Ken Dovey: But to make him aware that this was an act of caring, I said, "I don't have to do this. I can turn a blind eye to your behaviour. I don't have to do this. I'm taking the risk, the courage, to confront you nicely, to say you are not behaving in your own interests because you are not learning through this process. You're also damaging the collective interest here because you're creating a negative emotional environment amongst this group."
Ken Dovey: It worked. He changed his behaviour in that context. Unfortunately, later when he went back home, he reverted to the old behaviour. In the outward-bound context, he could transform. But in the context, where his old mates were reinforcing the old behaviour, he sadly very quickly went back to his old behaviour.
Ken Dovey: If a group or community can confront each other in that way, negative behaviour can be transformed. Andy Grove of Intel describes how they engaged in ferocious fighting with each other while remaining friends. Now, that's what we require in a community if we're really going to learn. If we're really going to generate alternatives, new ways, if we're going to help people to develop as human beings, we have to engage with them in that way and retain the friendship. And everybody needs to understand that constructive confrontation is an act of caring.
Peter Dalmaris: It's like conflict. Again, it's one of those words that is negative, like power in the language, but there is productive conflict, and that's what you're talking about. You can't often create something new as to say without destroying something old, and that's where the conflict is. But we want to make it creative.
Ken Dovey: I was applying those four practices, without the knowledge of what my PhD student was going to uncover years later, in the transformation of Richard White's organization, WiseTech Global, which is now the top logistics organization in the world. When we worked together in transforming that organization, it was a very small organization. When I started with him, I was doing a day in a week with him to help him. He was a student in the Masters program.
Ken Dovey: They were about 28 people in the organization when we introduced the core values. And Richard was held accountable. And if Richard or anyone else violated a core value, s/he was confronted and had to apologize to the group. It was difficult for people - coming back to your point about conflict. The confrontation, the intelligent caring, part was extremely difficult to enact. People were terrified of conflict. Or the other extreme, where they just were being aggressive.
Ken Dovey: So, it took a long time for us to nurture this new way of working. And all sorts of excuses, you know, that people were saying, "No, they can't confront Richard because they come from a culture where you have to respect authority." “Well”, I would say to them, “this is an organization with a mission. You've co-created that mission. You've co-created the core values. You've told us how we need to behave every day if we're going to achieve that mission. What are you telling me now? You're telling me now that you can't comply with what you've endorsed, what we've all reached agreement on?"
Peter Dalmaris: It's interesting to see that people can change their behaviour very quickly depending on their immediate context.
Peter Dalmaris: So, you travelled to a new country, as you were saying earlier, Ken, when you went to the U.S., and suddenly people started punching each other at the pub, but that caused you to change your behaviour as well. But you grew up in a certain environment and you moved into a different place, your behaviour changed. You go home, you could operate at home as the other members of your family are used to, that's what you're used to as well.
Peter Dalmaris: And you go to an organization that has got, perhaps, a different set of values or ways of doing things, and, you know, 9:00 to 5:00, you operate according to that standard. And then, any other hour at the time you operate according to the other standard at home.
Peter Dalmaris: So, I find that people can switch back and forth as long as they're consciously realizing that the behaviors need to change depending on what you're doing.
Ken Dovey: Coming back to reading the context and what's appropriate in that context. So, in your home context, maybe different behaviours are appropriate. But in the work context, how do you read them accurately? That's the thing. You've got to read them accurately. And then, you've also got to have the life experience to know what's appropriate action to take once you've read that context. What is an appropriate action - that requires a lot of experience as well. So, it's procedural knowledge.
Ken Dovey: How do I achieve what I want to achieve in this particular context? Again, in your experience of multiple contexts will enable you to find the methodology for achieving or for bringing about that change in that specific context. That will be enhanced the more contexts you've experienced. So, there's no substitute for experience.
Peter Dalmaris: Yeah, you keep working on it. Ken, I've got one question, and we can use this question to wrap up your presentation. So, I want to bring this back to teachers, basically, the way that we started this conversation.
Peter Dalmaris: So, we've got teachers that are the changemakers, as I called them earlier. They are already performing the tasks and they're operating as a leader, even perhaps they haven't realized that. They haven't put the word leadership next to whatever it is that they're doing. But they're trying to change the future. They're trying to bring people onboard to help them in that journey to change the future.
Peter Dalmaris: What advice would you give such a teacher? They want to do the right thing. They've got the right reasons for doing it. They're seeing resistance. How do they perhaps make themselves a better teacher? Maybe offer three or four principles? What do they read or watch, or any advice in general that you may have?
Ken Dovey: Well, it comes back to two of the slides that I've got on the slide deck. The first is about leadership and culture. Culture is just a set of assumptions that people hold within a group that has a shared history. So, with a shared history, what happens is people develop solutions to the challenges and problems that they face. And these solutions are then embedded in a form of recipe knowledge that is transmitted to the next generation. It’s the way they once solved problems they faced, but this recipe knowledge is transmitted to subsequent generations as this is the way human beings should think and act.
Ken Dovey: Organizations have cultures; ethnic groups have a culture.There are different cultures between technical groupings and, let's say, non-profit organizations. Every single context is different and has a culture because of that group's history.
Ken Dovey: So, coming back to your question, if the assumptions of the people you're working with are contrary to the assumptions that are required for the change you're trying to bring about, how do you manage that? Assumptions are subconscious drivers of behaviour so you can address them directly. Assumptions are embedded in behaviour, so people's behaviour reflects their assumptions.
Ken Dovey: So to change assumptions, you've got to change behaviour. Changing behaviour, from my experience, can take a long time - anything up to three years of consistent application of the new behaviour before the assumptions change. What usually happens is that without consistent endorsement of the new behaviour, people will revert back to the old assumptions.
Peter Dalmaris: It's like a bad habit. It takes us long to get rid of it.
Ken Dovey: Exactly. So, getting back to your example of a creative and/or innovative teacher, the question they need to address is whether they have the power, or the facility, to manage that process of change that they're trying to enact, to consistently support, over a long enough period, the change process. Can they change the behaviour of the targeted group for long enough to change the assumptions that underpin previous positions held by them? If our assumptions about how the world works are aligned, we'll work very comfortably together. So, that's the first thing.
Ken Dovey: The second thing is it gets more complex, in that, individuals also build assumptions created through their life experience. These assumptions are referred to as mental models. Mental models are different from cultural assumptions. Cultural assumptions are shared with a group. A group has them collectively because of shared experience. Mental models are unique to an individual, being based on their biological experience. What happened in your personal life will also build the assumptions about yourself, about other people, about how the world works. And those assumptions also very powerfully drive behaviour.
Ken Dovey: So, that slide that I've got about a guy who was a participant in the transformation of the Mercedes Benz plant into a flat structure. On the shop floor, they went from a hierarchical, militaristic run production facility to a flat team-based structure. This was in the early 1990s in response to the Japanese's new methods of production, etc.
Peter Dalmaris: Just in time.
Ken Dovey: Yeah. Just in time, that whole thing. I forget what they called the whole process. Anyway, I was the consultant leading this transformation process. My task was to take these autocratic ex-managers, hierarchical managers, and turn them into team coaches because there were now 52 teams on the shop floor flat, and each was a team coach. Well, it was one hell of a job, because each of these hierarchical or autocratic managers had a set of assumptions about leadership, which was about domination.
Ken Dovey: The guy (whose comment I put in the slide) was saying, "You know, my assumption is that when you have authority, you dominate." And he says, "Where did this come from? From my father, 'You will!' From my teachers ,'You will!'. My bosses, 'You will!'" And he said, "Associated with this experience is fear. The moment I'm in a position of authority, I have fear. Fear just comes into me. And all I respond to automatically is to dominate those over whom I have authority, as a way of controlling my fear.”
Ken Dovey: Now, that's a profound aspect of change that change leadership has to address. As I mentioned earlier, in Richard White's organization, I had people coming to me saying that they'd worked for autocratic bosses who had damaged them, and that there was no way that they could contest authority.
Ken Dovey: I found that to change behaviour, you have to change the context in which people operate – create a new environment that supports the desired change in behaviour. You must change the experience that people are having. And you've got to support them through that change because there will be all sorts of anxieties around that change. Support them through the change for long enough to where they start feeling comfortable with this new way of being.
Ken Dovey: That's what we did with the team structure on the Mercedes Benz shop floor. Introducing the team structure created a new experience of work. There was now a lot of collaboration, a lot of discussion, a lot of shared ownership. The guy who I referred to earlier had told me when he went to meetings he was terrified that when he got back he'd find chaos on the production line. In the new environment, he slowly learnt that he could trust his team members to get on with the job without him being there and dominating them.
Ken Dovey: So, he learned he could go and sit in a meeting and think strategically about what the task of his team was, etc. And come back, and the team, quite competently, had managed the process. Now, that took time for him to learn and to trust his team members. It took a lot of effort on his part and support from those around him.
Ken Dovey: So, to come back to your question, change agents in schools have to be able to create new experiences that have positive emotional dimensions to them. People will be anxious in the beginning. They will be wary of the transformation process initially, until they become comfortable with it and start enjoying the process, and gaining a degree of fulfillment from the new work enviroment.
Ken Dovey: Now, that's a big commitment in time we're asking of these change agents. We're asking them to commit considerable time to the change initiative over several years in order to achieve an outcome. As, you commented that the university program we built over a long period of time, the change processes took a long time.
Ken Dovey: I had people coming into the program initially motivated by the prospect of career progression. They wanted to become CEOs and make more money. Through the process, and through the environment we created, with different kinds of experience on offer, they experienced forms of personal fulfillment. Many people in that program, so many alumni, come back to me and say it changed them as a person, and that they had become a better person who is trying to make a positive difference in the world.
Ken Dovey: It took a long time, Peter. It took a long time of concerted effort, and absolute focus, and keeping the bureaucracy at bay all the way, as it constantly tried to intervene and resist the change process.
Peter Dalmaris: So, as a teacher, what you have done with your students is you've changed them. Fundamentally, you changed their why. You didn't just teach them skills. So, that's the ultimate, I think, that's what all teachers want to be able to achieve, not to teach them the alphabet or how to add and subtract. It's like, that's what it's about because that's where you can draw strength through change.
Ken Dovey: And through changing their experience. This wasn't changed by saying “you must be this kind of person”. It was through creating new experiences such as mentoring other students, or facilitating events which were open to alumni, or serving on our board which did all sorts of good work in the process, etc. Through such experiences, they started seeing new ways of fulfilling their lives rather than just chasing the buck.
Peter Dalmaris: Well, thank you for that, Ken. I don't expect that we'd get into that aspect of teaching the very core of what teaching is all about, but I think this is a perfect way to conclude your presentation. Thank you.
Ken Dovey: Thank you. Well, I hope it's useful to you and to the people who are watching these videos.
Peter Dalmaris: Absolutely. It is.
Get life time access to all STEM EDUCATION Summit masterclasses
Watch each masterclass and learn how to deal with change in a world of increasing complexity and uncertainty, and how to use new education technologies and approaches so that your students can learn the right skills, with the right mindset.
The Tech Explorations STEM Education Summit is a one-of-a-kind event
where Educators from around the world come together
to share their best insights on the technologies, methodologies, and philosophies
they use to teach and inspire the next generation of amazing humans.
Jump to another article
1. Silke Bethke, John Nyagah And Catherine Squire Blatti: Supporting Families Of Young Children Through STEM Education
2. Dr Peter Ellerton: Critical Thinking In STEM
3. Celinda Corsini: Am I Teaching Robots Or Humans?
4. Prof John Fischetti: Co-Constructing The Learning Journey With Our Children
5. Dr Ken Dovey: Leadership In Education, A Collective Achievement
6. Seven Vinton: Strategies For Extending Student Logical Reasoning
7. Alain Pannetrat – Building A Wired IoT Platform For Makers
8. Karsten Schulz – Making A Computer Processor With The B4 Kit