The most watched Ted Talk is by Sir Ken Robinson entitled Do Schools Kill Creativity? Sir Ken’s suggests that to attend the first schools was very expensive so the only people that could afford to attend were in business in some way or another, hence the important lessons were English and Mathematics. Art and music were much further down the list and the structure is still the same today.
Brazilian entrepreneur Ricardo Semler has set up several schools in his home country called Lumiar that are different from the normal. His goal is to create an environment for wisdom he says not to do specific things that are available in 30 seconds from Google. The process works on threads how do we express ourselves? How do we change? How do we measure ourselves? What don’t we know? They have one person who is a teacher who knows the children their interests their culture, they make sure they find masters from all walks of life it may be a painter a violinist and has them teach the children. Because these masters are passionate about their subject and the children are interested in the subject the learning is very effective. If you were learning about brick laying then you would have to include mathematics in the lesson because it is relevant and the child can see that. Measured against the other schools in Brazil the schools get almost double the national average in results.
County Battery Services run a system of continual improvement called two second lean. The system promotes quality and efficiency and the system develops people. The directors of the company have recently toured Japan on a study mission as the experts in Lean Manufacturing are in Japan to help the company move into the manufacture of Lithium Batteries in the UK. Whist there a school was visited the children were at lunch. They ate all the food they had been given there was no waste. We were told that they should not take the food if they did not want it. The older children served the younger ones and the whole room was tidied and cleaned by the children. After lunch the children cleaned the school with mops and brushes, they all cleaned the older children supervised the younger ones. The older children were learning to be leaders they were all learning respect.
One of the great minds of lean was W Edwards Deming Educators look at Deming’s 14 points and think they only apply to business I believe it applies to all organisations.
- Create constancy of purpose. Develop a mission statement and make sure that everyone in the organisation knows how they contribute to the mission
- Adopt the new philosophy. Make sure that there is quality in everything from teaching to exercise books. To achieve this quality a greater cooperation is needed ask questions like what can the teacher and students do to make the learning experience better?
- Stop depending on mass inspections. Exams and tests should be kept to a minimum the quality should be built in. Tests only stop bad quality product from hitting the market. The focus should be on getting the process and the product right. Having a student study then fail a test is a failure by all parties
- Do not conduct business on cost alone. Make sure that in all areas quality products and services are procured.
- Improve constantly and forever. Are your customers (the students) happier than they were last term if not find out why and fix the situation. If the answer is yes, then look at the process and find what made it so then encourage innovation but incremental improvements
- Training. Quality management training is essential but CPD is necessary to continue the improvement in quality
- Implement leadership Not management leadership be a coach and a teacher not a judge or overseer
- Eliminate Fear in an educational setting fear is often a big factor in performance, If the organisation is filled with fear suggestions for improvement will not be suggested, problems will not be reported
- Break down the barriers between departments encourage cooperation not competition between departments there is only one team and that should be working together
- Get rid of unclear slogans. Remember that people are not the problem the process is if the process is wrong you will get defects
- Eliminate management by objectives KPI and management by numbers is detrimental to quality. Under this type of management, the focus is just targeted at those few outcomes sacrificing others and often taking shortcuts to achieve targets
- Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. Pride is a strong motivator giving students a say in how things are run or asking their opinion will help grow that pride
- Implement education and self-improvement An organisation needs good people to make the organisation improve the people need to improve
- Make transformation everyone’s job. To implement a Lean system it should come from the top down if the CEO MD or Head Teacher is not interested then the project will fail.
In our school system we have a MP who will be Education Secretary in 6 months he could be transport secretary, mostly they have only ever done politics I don’t think most of them know a lot about either business or education I would like them to keep out of it.
What do we want at County Battery Services, respectful young people who are happy to make change for the better, who aren’t afraid to fail admit that failure learn from the failure and have another go, who want to improve and develop that one day they can with our help become tomorrow’s leaders