Datapulted

Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership

Teamwork, prototyping, and the Marshmallow Challenge

I was reflecting yesterday about issues around problem solving in teams when I recalled this TED video about the Marshmallow Challenge.

Some of my immediate connections:

  • This is a real life way to demonstrate how complexity theory can illuminate certain dynamics in teams and organizations (and dissertation writing). If you’re trying to deal with a changing, sometimes ambiguous world, then it’s important to prototype what you do. We often want to plan things perfectly from the get go, but sometime that’s just hubris.
  • Here is an oldie but goodie on the importance of prototyping and communication among leaders by Brown and Eisenhardt (1997) about work in ambiguous environments. I think anyone who has ever dealt with a room full of middle schoolers can attest that there are sometimes ambiguous, chaotic, and nonlinear cause-effect dynamics in education.
  • Sometimes innovation and problem-solving are about trying out new ideas, even if they seem goofy or “unreasonable.” It’s no surprise that kindergarten students are good at this, but how can we help teacher teams look at achievement data or culture data (or whatever data) and still feel comfortable testing out creative solutions together?

Yet again, something to be learned just by watching our own students.

Advertisements

One comment on “Teamwork, prototyping, and the Marshmallow Challenge

  1. Pingback: Managing Complexity & Tech Implementation | Datapulted

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on August 17, 2012 by and tagged , , .