Is Understanding System Tolerance Essential for School Change?

When we look to accelerate change, (normal change is always happening), there comes a time when the system that we are trying to change reaches a point of tolerance that only leads to negative results. This tolerance is the variable that we are all trying to move. It is the one that we talk about when we call for risk taking. It is the one when we talk about branding and communicating with our families and community. It is the one that we are talking about when we talk about professional learning and time to grow. Tolerance in a system is the true variable that dictates short and long-term success. Inching tolerance further and further out requires building an endurance for change that includes celebrating small wins, experiencing new things and then trying them in classrooms and schools, and thinking beyond the current possibilities with a series of positive professional conversations. Systems that aren't conditioned to a point of greater tolerance for change begin to get solid. They lose agility. They lose flexibility. The new year is a new chance for deeper change, but it requires an attention to the tolerance of the system because pushing a system off the cliff isn't the solution, but neither is allowing change to happen at the natural pace and rhythm that school change has traditionally happened. Let's not accept the current tolerance of the system, but instead be intentional about moving this variable for the good of all.