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Guest Thinkers

Mac and cheese

I have three young kids, so macaroni and cheese is a staple in our household. But the box drives me bonkers.

To open, push here.‘ Are there any more dreaded words for mac and cheese lovers? You know it isn’t going to work. You know you’re going to have to rip the entire top off the box, and yet you try it anyway, hoping against hope that this time the little cardboard button will work the way it’s supposed to. But of course it doesn’t and you have to rip it open with your bare claws, or use kitchen shears, or a chainsaw…

To open, push here‘ is a classic example of design getting in the way of purpose. I mean, let’s face it, the mac and cheese box only has three purposes:

  1. to entice us to buy it,
  • to protect its contents while shipping, and
  • to allow us access to its contents so we can eat them.
  • The box fulfills the first two functions pretty well, but fails miserably at the third.

    Now, let’s extend this metaphor to our own technology (and other) initiatives in our schools. Like the mac and cheese box, what elements of our design and delivery get in the way of us achieving our purpose(s)? Lack of adequate training? Insufficient support? Failure to allocate appropriate time? Unreasonable expectations? As school leaders, if we don’t want our initiatives to fail (‘To open, push here‘), we have to attend to these issues if we want to get to the yummy goodness inside.

    Is your school organization aligned to get the results it says it wants to achieve? If not, what’s getting in the way and what are you going to do about it?


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