Command and control versus key principles and autonomy

In Leadership and the New Science, Margaret Wheatley noted:

Scientists now describe how order and form are created not by complex controls, but by the presence of a few guiding formulas or principles repeating back on themselves through the exercise of individual freedom. The survival and growth of systems that range in size from large ecosystems down to the smallest microbial colonies are sustained by a few key principles that express the system’s overall identity combined with high levels of autonomy for individuals within that system. (p. 13)

In the rush to serve children and families and create new modalities of learning and teaching during the coronavirus pandemic, I wonder how many school systems gravitated toward greater ‘command and control’ and how many embraced ‘a few key principles … with high levels of autonomy for individuals within that system.’ I also wonder about the organizational contexts and leadership mindsets that fostered one or the other, as well as which approach worked better…

Thoughts? Experiences?

One Response to “Command and control versus key principles and autonomy”

  1. Ctrl + O = open minded organisation granted teaching and support staff autonomy to innovate and adapt

    Ctrl + B = bold leadership trusted the members of their organisation to trial, make mistakes, adapt and improve

    Ctrl + X = key principles of Love, Listen, Learn, Respect and Enjoy helped the organisation to decide what innovations to cut and what to keep through sharing of practice and discussion

    Ctrl + F = finding new ideas outside the organisation when needed

    F5 = first inset back will refresh these ideas as we move forward determined to dream ( and enact) a better way of learning for our students.

    Happy New Year and as always, looking forward to more thought provoking blogs, Scott, in 2021.

Leave a Reply