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IMPROVING SCHOOL BOARD RELATIONS THROUGH THINKING STYLES Scott Childress, Ed.D. New Mexico Association of School Boards LEADERS RETREAT CLOUDCROFT, NEW MEXICO JULY 17, 2009.
Scott Childress, Ed.D.
New Mexico Association of School Boards
CLOUDCROFT, NEW MEXICO
JULY 17, 2009
This session will introduce participants to a key explanation on how School Boards can work together. Thinking styles are the way individuals solve problems. Everyone uses creativity in problem solving, but how they use their preferred thinking style can be a source of conflict. The Alamogordo Board of Education will demonstrate how this can be used in conjunction with Five Stages of Board Development.
Five Stages of School Board Development
Results of Alamogordo Board Teamwork Survey
Adaptor or Innovator
Results of Alamogordo KAI Questionnaire
Kirton Adaptation-Innovation Theory
Board PresidentDr. Allan Rickman
Board Vice President
Board SecretaryRhonda Cross
Board MemberDavid Ceballes
Superintendent of Schools
This information is essential so we can get to the Performing Stage as quickly as possible.
PEOPLE DO NOT SOLVE PROBLEMS THE SAME WAY
Adaptor - Innovator
What is your approach to Problem Solving?
WHAT IS YOUR THINKING STYLE?
Could be said to discover problems and discover avenues for solution
Seeks solutions to problems in tried and understood ways
Queries problems' basic assumptions; manipulates problems
Reduces problems by improvement & greater efficiency, with maximum of continuity and stability
Is catalyst to settled groups, irreverent of their consensual views; seen as abrasive, creating dissonanceADAPTOR OR INNOVATOR
Is catalyst to settled groups, irreverent of their consensual views; seen as abrasive, creating dissonance
Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, cognition (THINKING) and personalitytraits.
Is readily apparent in young children?
Can be reliably measured in teenagers?
Does not changewith age or experience?
Can be validated with a reliable instrument?
Scores can be normalized on a bell curve?
Problem-Solving /Thinking Style
Team collaboration and the reduction of conflictfigures largely in everyone’s life.
For you to have an efficient Board team you need everyone to spend the greatest effort on the problems at hand (PROBLEM A) ,
rather than spending a great amount of time & effort (ENERGY)on problems raised in collaborating!(PROBLEM B).
KAI will help you to achieve this, by exposing, and not allowing a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect while understanding and working with differences in thinking style in a group setting (‘cognitive gap’).
Management of Change: We are problem-solvers and we do not resist change. We may resist a specific change, but this has more to do with a lack of information or a lack of shared understanding of the problem. "Resistance to change" can often be explained by the pain of having to let go of an old structure, field, domain or paradigm while still unsure about the validity of the new one. Where people do openly resist a changeit is usually because they perceive it as someone else's change, not their change and that someone else is usually of a different creative or problem-solving style. Using the KAI, Superintendents and Board Members can learn how to work successfully with different-thinking colleagues during times of planned or unplanned change.
Management of Diversity: Board training and individual development in personal awareness is very successful in working with diversity of thinking styles.
Only certified users may administer and interpret the KAI.
The resistance to change does not depend on abilities, knowledge and intelligence of individuals involved;
however it is related to the creative styles of individuals and differences in thinking styles.
KAI is extremely useful in compressing the time it takes for individuals and teams to shift perspective.
KAI defines and measures your and your fellow board members characteristic and preferred style of decision making and problem solving.
Kirton Adaptation-Innovation Theory
How easy or difficult do you find it to present yourself, consistently, over a long period as:
Hard Hard Easy Easy
A PERSON WHO IS PATIENT.-------------------------------------------- * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This Continues for 32 Questions and a Total Score is Calculated
AGENT OF STABILITY
AGENT OF CHANGE
Agents of Chan
2% 14% 34% 34% 14% 2%
See the definition as part of the problem
Doing things differently
Accept and work within the problem definition
Doing things better
High I’s see High A’s as:
High A’s see High I’s as:
Good coping is active problem solving that has:
OPTIMISM or an expectation that positive change is possible
PRACTICALITY about the kinds of solutions that are feasible
FLEXIBILITY in approach to any problem
RESOURCEFULNESS in finding support or additional information that helps
With good coping, you do not feel helpless or hopeless.
Better managers of resources and time and money
More supportive and accepting
Better at synthesis
Possible less frustrated in fulfillment of long term life goals
Lack of imagination, innovation
Less long-term viability
Cannot function in unstructured situation
Probability of Success
Versatile – see both points of view
Set goals for adaptors and innovators
Calculated risk taker
Does not fit it
Determine own agenda which may not be relevant to the organization’s agenda
Difficult to communicate with people at both ends
Extra energy required to fit
Only person in office with a messy desk with practical applications
Low tolerance of adaptors
Can adapt to both ends
Can manipulate an adaptive structure
Can be perceived as a tem member and slip in innovations
Can bridge between people at both ends
High probability of innovative ideas
Hard to get positive recognition in big organizations
Hard to get along with people
Get stuff stolen by bosses
Will work day and night on problem
If “controller” above us, he makes life miserable
Too many of us do nothing
Not interested in small tasks
Stops once end is seen
Hates to translate thoughts into words
Easy to get noticed in big organizations
Easy to get along with people
Can amuse self
Will work day and night on a problem
Necessary for big changes
Starts many projects
Life is not boring
Too much variety
Bored too easily
Taking on too much
Contempt for bureaucracy
Fun and adventurous
Sense of humor
Laugh at themselves
3 Credit Hours (CEC) – Team Building