Tom Schimmer. He is from Penticton, British Columbia (Canada). After spending several years as a teacher, he then became an administrator. He has also been a vice-principal and a district principal. All of this combined, he has spent 20 years in the education system. He is the author of Ten Things that Matter from Assessment to Grading. He is now an independent education consultant.
Mr. Schimmer has been posting several blog posts on the idea of "implementation plans and why some are successful and why some are not". This week I have commented on the post Implement THAT! (Part 6) – The Acceptance of a New Idea. This is his first audio podcast.
This podcast is about leadership for the acceptance of a new idea. He uses something from the book Virus of the Mind by Richard Brodie to help us visualize how ideas spread. They spread like viruses by penetrating a weak spot, duplicating itself, and spreading. This sounds like something not good, but it is used in positive ways also. There are four stages to accepting a new idea: marginalization (people don't really pay attention), ridicule, criticism, and acceptance. But the idea isn't the one doing the moving, it's the people moving in relation to the idea. He gives guidelines for leaders for each of these stages. At marginalization the leader needs to keep the new idea up front and center. At ridicule the leader needs to respond with respect. At criticism the leader doesn't need to match the level of intensity as the people. This will only cite confrontation. At acceptance the leader needs to support, support, support.
"Mr. Schimmer, My name is Carly Willoughby, and I'm a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I will be posting a summary of your podcast on my blog. This is the first blog post I have been to that is an audio podcast. It is more personal this way because I can listen to you, but I have ADD and wish I had something to read along with it. It's like when I'm in church; if I don't have something to look at and read along with the pastor, I get side tracked by what's in front of me and end up not paying any attention to what's being said. On the topic of your podcast, I really liked what you had to say. Most people don't know how to accept a new idea. They decide to respond in ridicule, making fun of it and the people who came up with it. This is the stage I see the most for new ideas. I like how you said that an idea doesn't move in stages, but rather the people move in relation to the idea. This caught my attention because I usually think that it's the idea that moves into different categories (new, gaining interest, popular, etc.), but it's really the people who are in different categories. I also love that you gave guidelines for the leaders for each stage. I really enjoyed this podcast! Thank you for allowing me the pleasure of listening to it! Sincerely, Carly Willoughby"
In Mr. Schimmer's most recent post Implement THAT! (Part 7) – Take YOU off the table, he talks about challenges for new ideas. The biggest challenge is the way they are being brought forward. The problem wasn't the idea, it was the messenger. This is where "take YOU off the table" comes from. There are two ways to make issues with a new idea: discredit someones experience and put people on the defensive. When a leader hears someone else give their experience, they need to just realize they are sharing a new idea with them. Don't tell them they are wrong. Find common ground and discuss how they are different. New ideas already put older ideas on the defensive, but getting personal doesn't open people's minds. One thing Mr. Schimmer said was, "telling people they are wrong doesn't make you right." I love this quote because my fiance and I always argue over who is right. I will argue with him until he proves me wrong or vice versa. Sometimes we come to find out we are both wrong, and that makes us feel like jerks. We thought we were right because we thought the other was wrong. These ideas can kill great ideas. He said these ideas reminds him of a quote, "if you have to be an ass to get things done, then you're not a leader, you're just an ass."
"Hello Mr. Schimmer! I will be publishing my post about your blogs on my blog as soon as I publish this comment if you would like to take a look at it. I listened to this podcast twice so I could really pay attention to what you were saying, and I have to agree that sometimes I don't like a new idea because of the way they are being brought forward. I don't like pushy people, so if someone tries to push me to look at their new stuff, I tend to not care about it. I have to say my favorite part of your podcast was when you said, "telling people they are wrong doesn't make you right." I love this quote because my fiance and I always argue over who is right. I will argue with him until he proves me wrong or vice versa. Sometimes we come to find out we are both wrong, and that makes us feel like jerks. We thought we were right because we thought the other was wrong. I will most likely think about this quote the next time we start arguing over something. Thank you again for your wonderful podcast! Your blog is being added to my PLN (personal learning network) so I can follow your posts and find new things to think about in the future. Carly Willoughby"