EDD8102--Foundations of Leadership and Management II
Establishing a disciplined, repeatable, and scalable innovation process, creating organizational and funding mechanisms that support innovation, and demonstrating the kind of leadership necessary for profitable top-line growth as well as cost reduction is essential for sustainability. Whether in the business arena or the world of education, life as an organization depends on the people that are served by the organization. Teachers need to be providing each individual student with opportunities for relevant and rigorous academic growth based on their abilities--this is why the student is boss. A students needs, abilities, and prior knowledge will dictate to a dedicated teacher how and what they need to teach. Administrators are there to ensure teachers have the resources they need, but also to pacify unsatisfied or belligerent parents.
The P & G principle of “Customer is Boss”
Gone are the days of selling by yelling and distraction over attraction. The challenge of today’s organization is to be connecting and be connected with emotion. It’s not enough to embrace or touch – that’s a one way street. An organization has to cross the center line now and go deep. One will have to live with consumers. At P&G, “Making the consumer the boss is a promise to identify with her, to respect and serve her, and to take her needs and wants seriously.” (Charan, R., & Lafley, A.G. 2008)
At P&G they are not just conducting “bubble in the circle that best reflects how you feel” surveys. The folks at Proctor and Gamble are stepping outside of their lives and comfort zone to experience the reality of their consumer. Often times, this means going to a different part town or of the world and going into a lower socioeconomic class to discover the consumers wants and needs. Advertising is a small part of schematic—making the product appealing to the consumer is important, but P&G is moving beyond that to create new products especially for the needs of the consumer. This concept of molding to the needs of the consumer, is what effective teaching with differentiating strategies is all about.
“Customer is Boss” in an educational setting
Teachers have a professional responsibility to identify their learners' needs and develop appropriate pedagogical responses. Pedagogical responsibilities require teachers to have the necessary professional knowledge and skills, and teachers are also accountable to their students. That accountability is inherent in the teacher/student relationship. Some teachers are, no doubt, unskilled and uninformed. Some may abuse their power; however, that is not because they have students and not clients. Calling students "clients" will not change in any way the relationship they have with their teachers. Teachers have power. How they wield it has nothing to do with the label attached to all those faces in front of them.
Teachers must insist on learner-centeredness. The educational organization must insist on qualified and effective instructors using current methods and materials. Regular monitoring of learner progress and regular feedback to learners on their progress is essential to growth and serving the student. The public school as an organization takes learners the community, and does not make decisions on the basis of their ability to pay. Nor can they "cream" and select only the best students.
Challenges and risks
If the “Consumer is the Boss” is really an organization’s mantra, how can they be challenged to think ahead? Breakthrough innovation would not happen. Customers, and students, are thinking about “now”--the problems they are experiencing on a day to day basis. Indeed that is important for companies and teachers to think about, however the “Change the World” opportunity of breakthrough innovation stems from idealizing customers and envisioning problems and...