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Humanizing the Education Machine by Brian Cahill, Bill Latham, Rex Miller

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Chapter 3MindShiftWe Didn't Seek Permission

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

—Margaret Mead

The MindShift model is a twenty-first-century form of barn raising. It is a volunteer cohort of stakeholders and thought leaders who come together to collaborate on solving large and complex problems. A MindShift group no longer believes that business as usual, including the usual calls for “change,” is effective or sufficient.

Like a lot of breakthroughs, we simply stumbled into the idea. This happened a decade ago, when I facilitated a meeting of architectural firms, construction companies, corporate realtors, and others who were tackling a huge problem in that industry. As we worked together, I saw that everyone was addressing the problem from his or her unique perspective. Everyone was locked into his or her viewpoint. But then, in an almost magical moment, one man began to speak. Candidly. Very candidly. He almost groaned his despair with the typical patterns in his industry. And we all saw how the system was designed to create distrust.

From that moment, we began asking brand-new questions, like:

  • What would a trust-based system look like?
  • Is anyone doing that?

The beauty of new questions is that they change the framework of our thinking; they also take everyone beyond their own wheelhouses. And that tends to make people less rigid, more respectful, and more cooperative.

That was the ...

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