Our school boards are embarrassing. I work with them everyday (my company
sells products to schools). The culture of "I can't" is saying it
Michael: I know your board colleagues and superintendent. They are good people,
working together to make a difference. It's hardly leaderly to single them
out for public criticism in a letter to the newspaper. If your goal is truly
effective change, I bet you'll have better luck with collaboration. Give it
I know how this school board member feels. However, we/I have in the last few
years figured out how to make things work better. Sometimes culture
of "I can't" means more than the connotation given here. Here the
connotation seems to be "I can't" because "I won't spend
the time to figure it out". It's a lack of will or even laziness.
However, often "I can't" means much more than that. For instance
it might be "I can't see how this would work because...." or "I
don't think this is a good idea because...." and this is usually
followed by reasons that the person who says it believes in, sometimes deeply.
Success is more about collaborating, valuing others core beliefs
(if you can help each other really elaborate them), and finding win-win
situations. It is not compromise where some one loses, but win-win. A book
about how to make meetings work really help our group turn it around.