Fitting Into the Same Standardized Hole

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein

I was having a really interesting conversation with a parent about technology and the thought that it is leading to the decline of intelligence.  She shared with me her belief that many students struggled with reading and writing because of a dependence of use on things such as spell check, and that kids just didn’t seem as “smart” as we were in our youth.  Then she asked me about where she could learn more about this idea, and I simply said “Twitter”.  She responded that she had no idea how to use it, to which I asked her, “Do you think some kids could show you?”  Obviously she responded with the answer “yes”, to which I replied, “to some of those kids, they would think you are the dumb one.”

I didn’t say this to berate her in any manner, but to challenge her thinking that sometimes we base someone’s intelligence on the information we value, not necessarily on what they value and/or know.  To the person that can fix my car, I see them as a genius.  I honestly don’t know if they finished high school or what their grades were, but looking at them as someone who is expert in an area that I have no clue.  Because you know something that I don’t doesn’t make me less intelligent, and vice versa.  We all have different strengths and knowledge, but the question we should focus on is how do we tap into people, instead of trying to fit different shaped pegs into a single standardized hole?

That’s why I look to people like Chris Wejr, who not only focus on developing strengths into students, but also in staff.  Staff that are recognized and encouraged to develop their strengths, also treat their students with the same regard.  So instead of focusing on what people don’t know, schools would benefit from focusing on what they do know and helping them develop those strengths as long with their weaknesses.

It is easy to constantly focus on what is lacking, but it also loses people along the way who do not feel valued.  Knowing and tapping into someone’s strengths often leads to the confidence and competence to learn in other areas.  As learners, we are individuals, and should always be treated as such.

Empathy for the Learner as a Learner

Empathy is the characteristic where innovation begins.  It is crucial to put yourself in the place of those that you serve if we are going to create something that is better moving forward. This was highlighted in a great article I recently read titled, “Innovation, Empathy, and Introspection” (it is really an interesting read). I loved the part about “novelists” being masters of empathy.

Novelists are the world’s masters at empathy. We can learn a lot about empathy by looking at their work.

In a long novel, published in 1951, entitled Memoirs of Hadrian, the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar set herself a huge task around empathy. She wanted to write not simply about the Roman emperor Hadrian, she wanted to write from his point of view. And to do that she’d have to enter imaginatively into what it was like to be him. She was a woman, living in a small flat in New York, used to taking taxis and boiling the kettle, whose direct experience of power might have been limited to hiring someone to repaint the bedroom. Hadrian was master of the known world. 

She did lots of research. She found out about Roman history, she read up on their religious assumptions, the background horizon and politics, the structure of family life, what they had for dinner, how the postal-system operated and how many slaves an emperor might have. But she wasn’t only trying to find out about Hadrian’s world. She was asking a more radical and creative question: what would it be like actually to be him?

This really pushed my thinking on the importance of subjects like english, that have a focus on developing empathy, being crucial to innovative pursuits for students.

It also pushed my thinking on the notion of not necessarily separating students from teachers, but seeing everyone as “learners” (although we obviously have different functions within the organization of schools). When educators view themselves in the same light as a student (as a learner), this practice is not only crucial, but necessary to innovation in teaching and learning.  I have noticed in my workshops lately, when asked by educators about the concerns of some things that we might be able to do with students, I often answer the question with a question; how would you feel as a learner in that same situation?  We often say things like,  “kids can share a device amongst three of their other peers”, while having 2-3 devices sitting in front of us at a professional learning opportunity.  Our mindset becomes different when we put ourselves in the place of “learner”, as opposed to separating student from teacher.

I remember once doing an activity with students where I asked them to write down on a whiteboard all of the ways they wanted to be perceived “offline” by others.  When they wrote all of the attributes down (respectful, kind, helpful, humorous, etc.), I then asked them to write how they want to be perceived “online”.  Their answers (obviously) were the same, although the reason the activity happened in the first place, was at the time, their actions did not align with how they said they wanted to be perceived.  What if we wrote down what we wanted for ourselves as learners on one side, and then followed it up with what we want to create for the learners we serve (our students).  Would those answers be any different?  What do our actions say?

Only when we look at it from the point of view of those we serve, can we truly be innovative in teaching, learning, and leadership.

Unexpectedkindness is themost

What Innovation Is and Isn’t

presenting (1)To simplify the notion of innovation, it is something that is both new (either invention or iteration) and better. Innovation is not about the “stuff”, but about a way of thinking.

For example, it is not the iPhone that is innovative, it was the thinking that created it in the first place.   Innovation is about mindset more than anything. In fact, if you made an iPhone that looked more like the first version than the current one, it would no longer be innovative, but simply replication.  There is no new thinking, nor is it better than what we have now.

Yet often, innovation is often used as a synonym for technology (which it is not), or to describe something that is simply “new”.  Innovation can happen in all areas of our world today, both inside and education.  There are many people that are designing assessment practices that extremely innovative, because they are both new and better in the way they improve learning. The ideas behind these innovative assessment practices also start from the viewpoint of the learner, not the teacher.  In fact, sometimes the newer assessment practices, although better for students, are often more work for the teacher.  It is simple to throw a subjective grade on a report card comparatively to the rich type of assessment teachers are helping to develop students to drive powerful learning.

Think about the idea of the “flipped classroom”.  Many would say this is an “innovation” in the world of teaching and learning, but if this new practice truly is, what makes it “better” (for the students)?  To understand that, what “better” means (is it test scores, student engagement, deeper learning) has to be articulated as well.  If it is just a new way of teaching, without the “better”, it is not innovative.

Here is an example of a new practice that is happening in health that may not be innovative, at all. Many schools are wanting students to eat healthier, so they are taking their current vending machines, and replacing “junk” food with healthier options.  The hope in this case in many places is that the lack of the option of the unhealthy food in a vending machine, will give students no choice but to eat healthy.  What this has done in many cases is actually not led students to eating healthier food, but actually sometimes leaving school and choose unhealthier options at things such as convenience stores, that actually have larger portions of the unhealthier food.

Although this is a new idea, if kids are actually eating less at school and still making unhealthy choices, is it better?  The voice that has often been missing in these health initiatives is that of the students.  To help people change, it is important to understand what drives their habits in the first place.  Simply replacing “A” with “B” is sometimes not only NOT innovation, it could actually lead to something worse then what we had before.  Designing solutions with the end in mind (the person/people you are serving), is crucial for any innovation to be successful.

Innovation is about a way of thinking, and if we do not design something that is both new and better, we are not thinking with an innovator’s mindset, but simply different.  The idea that Apple is famously known for of  “Think Different” was a start, but not enough. Different for the sake of different is not only something that could eventually be a waste of time, but could sometimes even leave us worse off from where we started.

3 Questions Crucial to Creating the Conditions for Change

Change

Frustration is an easy emotion when you either see opportunities for change in our work, but don’t see others moving to the point that you have envisioned.  In one day, I remember talking to a group of administrators, teachers, and parents, and I noticed something amazing.  When working with the teachers, there was a comment that they wanted change, but were blocked by their administrators and parents within the community, some of the administrators said they were slowed by the teachers and parents, and then the parents said (I bet you can see where this is going) said they wanted something different but the schools (educators and administrators)  were not making it happen.

The mindset was that was change was something in the control of others, when reality states that we are often our own barriers to the change process. If we want to create conditions where others see the importance of and are willing to embrace change, is does not start with giving answers, but asking questions, listening, and understanding.  Change is not something you do to others, but something we experience ourselves.

With that being said, if we get to the point in leadership that we are frustrated that others won’t change, we are missing the point of why we are in leadership in the first place.  Simply telling someone to change will not work, but helping to create experiences where people make emotional connections where they see their own change is imperative is crucial.  Showing someone that something is “better”, does not mean they will embrace it.  People are often more comfortable with a known “average”, than an unknown “good”.  Helping others get to a place where they are willing to risk trying something new is crucial, and modelling that we are willing to take risks ourselves is crucial.

Here are a few questions that I think are imperative to creating the conditions for change to not only happen, but to flourish:

1. How do I continuously model that I am willing to grow to those that I serve?

Asking people to take risks does not happen without leaders that openly model taking risks.  Leaders continuously learn and grow, but if it is hidden in a space where those we serve cannot see, then their reluctance to change is warranted by the lack of change happening from the “top” of the hierarchy.  Many feel, “Why would I change, when those above me are not willing to do the same?”

2. Do people have an emotional connection to why change is imperative, not just what change looks like?

Leadership is about heart and mind; both elements need to be focused upon.  If we are not able to connect on a deeper level or feel why change is imperative, others will not be compelled to try something new, especially without the guarantee of immediate success.

3. As leaders, have we removed barriers that help us to unleash talent, not control others?

People always want better, but they often not only deal with their own reluctance, but sometimes page after page of policies and procedures, or structures (both physical and organizational) that are barriers to change.

As mentioned earlier, we can only control the path and direction that we decide to go in, not that of others.  What is important is creating the conditions where people are not only willing, but even feel compelled to move forward in a safe environment where risks are not only tolerated, but encouraged.

How do we make “great learning” go viral?

A question that has been burning in my mind lately is “how do we make great learning go viral?

Many want positive change to spread quickly, but often we create conditions that limit ideas to a small community that can often be contained or die off together.  For example, seeing great practice in a classroom from an educator and asking them to talk about the practice weeks (or sometimes month) later, ensures that this great practice will not spread at a rate that we would like, whereas tweeting or blogging about it could make it visible immediately.  Not only is it visible immediately, but it can now change the conversations amongst staff immediately because seeing something great should spark curiosity and conversation.  Making something go “viral” and keeping it offline, seem counterintuitive in our world today.

Another practice that I have seen that keeps great ideas hidden is when we use “closed groups” online as opposed to opening things up.  For example, in a closed group, you may start with ten people having a conversation, but often, that group is the largest it will ever be.  At any point, two of the people in the group may be busy with something and have to check out for awhile, leaving eight left.  The posts become less, and the interest often decreases, and the group can become smaller and smaller.  There is obviously benefits of using closed groups (appealing to different comfort levels, privacy in conversations), but they are often not conducive to making great learning go viral.

Start with the same group of ten in an open environment, and you see the same two people drop out.  If the information is group is great, others might see it, and jump in whether it is through something like a hashtag or a Facebook group.  Although the original “ten” might not still be in the group, the idea lives on and grows with others, and might actually bring many from the original ten back at different dates.

The visual in my head is of the old notion of a fish in a bowl (which I learned in researching this that you should not do). The fish is limited in growth to the size of a bowl, but when the fish is an open stream, there is much more opportunity for growth based upon the environment.  Sometimes the environments we create are the exact reason that great ideas don’t spread.

What is the environment you create to make great learning go viral?

Adjusting to the Room

(I was asked about the thinking behind how I design my workshops so I thought I would just write it down for others to see a process.)

As someone who does a lot of professional workshops, I am often asked for an agenda ahead of time.  Although I do have some objectives in my mind of where the group could go, I usually send a rough itinerary to the organizer on a google document.  The reason I share it specifically on a google document is because I know that I won’t be sticking with it, whether it is the time or the activities.  How could I organize the learning for the day for a group without actually meeting the group?

Here is how I usually set up my day for a “new” group, no matter what the objectives are for the day.  The first thing that I do is give some kind of content that I am going to share.  It is important to start with some content, even if it is something that some people “know in the room”.  To make sure I tap into those that “know”, I always use a hashtag so that they can share their ideas with groups, or even challenge some of the things that I am saying.  This helps because it lends to collaboration through a backchannel, as opposed to only learning from the person in the front.

After content is given, what I do is try to give a “reflection break”, where I actually give time to share their ideas on a simple google form, and also connect with people in the room.  I have been in sessions where content is given, and then people are asked to immediately share their ideas with people near them, and for many, this isn’t working, because they need time to process.  Giving them a space not only gives them an opportunity to put their thoughts together, but it also allows other to see their thoughts.  Although I do this in a shared google form that everyone can see, it is not mandatory as some are not comfortable sharing their thoughts openly immediately, and honestly this is fine.

Why I call it a “reflection break” is that I usually give people 25-30 minutes to take time to reflect but to also connect with others in the room informally.  A few years ago when I was in Australia, I noticed that in workshops, there were no breaks that were shorter than 30 minutes in the day, which at first I thought was strange, but then saw the types of conversations that were had during the break that were crucial to the learning.  For years, I have been used to a North American version of professional learning where you grab a snack, go to the bathroom, and are ready to go.  Connecting with people in the room ensures that even if the presentation isn’t meeting the needs of some, the people in the room can fill those voids.

One of the key components during the reflection process is that I either ask participants to share what they would want to learn during the day, or ask them, “What is one big question you have moving forward regarding today?”  The opportunity for participants to share a question, helps me to shape the rest of the day based on the people of the room and their thoughts.  We often learn more from a person’s questions than we do their answers. After I read these results, the rest of the day is shaped based on this feedback.  So basically, the first 1-2 hours have a plan, and after that, we are going with the needs of the people in the room.

Here are some keys to this for a presenter that are almost in contradiction.  First of all, to be able to “go with the room”, you have to know your content area in a very deep manner and be able to push learning on the fly, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, you also have to be comfortable with not knowing everything and learning from the room.  As a teacher, if you want to truly create a “learning community”, you have to create opportunities for others to learn from others, not only the teacher.

As we continue on with the day, I leave spaces that I will add resources I know of, or the participants suggest.  This way, there is time for people to explore after the fact, and to be honest, use the work that we do with others.  Although I have started the day off and again, had some ideas of where we could go, it is great to be able to co-create the day with participants, and I am hoping that they used what they have learned with others, both the content and the process.  Obviously, all of this is happening through a google document so I always make sure to share a shortened link at the beginning of the session (bit.do has become my favourite URL shortener because of the immediate need to customize the link).

Here are a couple of things I think about this process and how it ties to the work we do in the classroom:

Are we comfortable with this same format in a room of learners where learning goes with the ebb and flow of the room, not the teacher?

There is an importance in being knowledgeable and flexible as a teacher.  I don’t understand how people create a year plan for a group of learners that they haven’t even met that is strict dates attached.  The learning in the room should adjust to the groups and individuals.

This would be extremely hard to do with a group of students that didn’t have access to devices of their own.  It does not mean that they will use the device the entire time, but a google document is much more flexible than a piece of paper.

I have usually between 3-6 hours with a group so that we can go deep into the learning and have lots of opportunities for questions and exploration.  Although it would be tougher in a class of 60 minutes, there are definitely variations that could be done.  But, if our schedules are in 60-80 minute chunks, we need to really rethink those time frames and how it lends to deep learning.

I know of one school in Norway that has “all-day” classes and I was told that simply adjusting that schedule created transformational opportunities.  Innovative thinking is needed to create environments (which doesn’t just mean space, but also time) where we can go much deeper with our learning.

This isn’t meant to be life changing learning process, but just a different view of the type of learning that can happen in a day when we have access to tools that allow us to adjust so quickly to the room.  The more I have done this, the more I have realized the importance of focusing on the people in the room, and adjusting to them, as opposed to them adjusting to me.  It is something I constantly tweak and think about, but it looks a lot different from the type of learning that used to happen in my classrooms.

There Should Be More than One “Lead Learner”

(Note…based on the first few comments I wanted to update the post to reflect my VERY strong belief that principals/superintendents should model their learning.  It has been updated below and I appreciate the pushback that helped me to communicate my thoughts!)

The term “Lead Learner” has been one that has been thrown around a lot by superintendents, principals, and other people at the top of the traditional hierarchy, mostly in reference to themselves.  As a principal, I actually used the term referring to myself in a blog post I wrote in January 2011, and am not sure where I heard it, or just used it on a whim.  What I do know now though is that I am reluctant to using the term when talking about a principal or superintendent, and I rarely (if ever) have heard someone else call their principal or superintendent the “lead learner”.  Does that say something about the term?

I do however, understand why it is being used so often though.  Principals, superintendents, and other traditional “bosses” see their roles changing, and see this as part of flattening the organization, or at least that is how I saw it when I first used it.  I wanted to model that I was a learner just like everyone else in my school, and, as Chris Kennedy would say,  I wanted to be “elbows deep in learning” with them.  The reality though is that the term still refers to one person being in an authority position, and for me now, evokes the ideas that the principal is seen as the “holder of all knowledge”.  This was not how my school worked at all.  There were not only people who knew a lot more than me in many areas, but they were also more passionate about going deeper in the topic.  I was definitely not the “lead learner” in many areas, nor did I want to be.  If you think about it, in any school a “lead learner” could be in any area, and can be any person, and is often our own students.  In a culture where “everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner”, the term “lead learner” could and should be applied to many.

The role of principal is evolving, but I also know that some people need the principal to be the principal.  There is a point where people need to know that in tough situations, they can count on someone to back them up and be there for them.  I had many principals step in for me when I didn’t know what to do, or supported me in tough situations.  I didn’t need them to be the “lead learner”, I needed them to be the principal.  Great leaders don’t get consensus on all decisions, but sometimes have to make the tough ones on their own.  This comes as part of the role and sometimes it is important to know who to go to when there is a struggle.

The title does not necessarily make the role, only how you do it.  

Yet words mean something and if we are truly to create a culture where all people can step up and explore their passions and we believe that everyone has the potential to lead and bring out their best, the term “lead learner” should never be reserved for one person.

Should the principal/superintendent still openly share their learning?  Absolutely.  With technology now, that is easier than ever, but note I used the term “model” their learning.  Administrators have been learning forever but it was hard to communicate and share their learning on an ongoing basis.  That being said, there is a difference between a “leader that learns” and a “lead learner”, as one creates the notion that there is a “top learner”, where we should create an environment that in organizations, both inside and outside, learning by all is essential to success.

The Impact of a Teacher

It has been hard watching the news and hearing about strike action and funding cuts to education in so many provinces around Canada.  Being a part of education, I am not only seeing educators go out of their way to do more for their students, but also continuously tweak and innovate their practice.  Of course, as in every profession, there are weak parts, but I have been lucky enough to travel around the country and see so many dedicated educators that go above and beyond what is expected of their profession.

This made me think of my own teachers and their impact on me.  There are so many different stories I could share that go way beyond one teacher.  Like my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Stock who was one of the most kind and caring people I have ever known, sending me messages 30 years later congratulating me on becoming a principal.

Or my grade 3 teacher Mrs. Penrose who sparked a love of drama and “being on stage” as an eight year old, that has never left me, who wrote on my report card, “You can achieve any dream you want if you put your mind to it”, and constantly pushed me throughout my entire time in elementary to love music and acting.

Or my grade five teacher Mrs. Sloan who had my class run a business at our school and taught us about “entrepreneurship” long before it became a “21st century competency” and was just the best teacher ever.  She even made lawn bowling seem amazing.

Or my grade eight teacher Mr. Hill, who is the principal of my former elementary school, who made a bet with me that his Seattle Supersonics would beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs one year, and had to wear a Lakers sweater I gave him in 30 degree celsius temperature for the entire day.

Or Mr. Bellamy in grade 10 who inspired us to create commercials in class that I can still remember to this day and wish YouTube had existed because I am sure ours would have got at least 100 hits.

Or the countless coaches that put in so much of their own time to help me explore my passions and teach me way beyond any game.

Or Mr. Steele, my high school principal, who didn’t judge me by the kid I was, but treated me like the person I could be, and believed in me even though I was huge brat for many years in high school.

Or the huge group of teachers that came to my father’s funeral to support my family even though I was the last of my family in school and it had almost been 20 years since that time.

I could go on and on about my teachers that made such an impact on me, and the current educators that I serve every day that make such a difference.  This is not meant to be a political statement at all, but more just showing gratitude to the many educators who have made such a difference in the lives of so many.  I have often said, “if we only teach the kids the curriculum, we have failed them.”  This is something that was not told, but has been shown to me by so many educators throughout my time in school.

Thank you.

(I encourage you to share your stories about your teachers to the #EDUin30 hashtag, as this week’s question asks for that.  My 30 second story is below.)

Drown or swim?

As always, it is an honour to work with schools and school boards to share my learning with them, and in return, learn from their ideas as well.  I always encourage push-back in my sessions because I want to create an atmosphere where we all get better, including myself.  The challenges are crucial to our development as learning organizations.

Recently, I worked with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and we talked about changing learning and learning environments. What was really special about this day was that there were several high school students in the room as part of the day.  During the first part of the morning, I went and talked to the students and asked them on their thoughts about different things (should teachers use twitter with them, ideas on snapchat, what their learning looks like) and the conversation was so amazingly rich.  As I talked to them, I shared some of the ideas that I was going to present on, but asked them to think critically about what I shared and challenge me after in front of the group.  If I am talking about opportunities for students in learning, it is imperative that I ask them about their opinions and pushback.

What was really inspiring to me was one of the students talked about how it wasn’t really a great idea to use Twitter with students before I talked.  By the end though, she was advocating it’s use to her teachers, because she had seen used in a different way.  I was almost in tears listening to her as she was open to learning and new ideas, and then advocated for herself for something new.

Another amazing moment was when a student advocated that we spend more time on “life” and less time on school (I almost cheered out loud!).  The analogy that he used for the idea of social media was pretty profound.  He said (paraphrased),

“Social media is like water because it is everywhere in our life.  We can ignore it and watch kids drown, or we can teach kids how to swim.  Which way are you going to go?”

Wow.

I was deeply moved by this experience and I thought to myself, why do we not do this more?  We are talking so much about “what is best for kids”, without any kids in the room.  Innovation has no age barrier, and it is important we not only bring them into the conversation, but tap into their brilliance.  How often are we asking kids to be a part of our workshops or “talks”, and not only telling them to be a part of the conversation, but openly telling them to challenge us?  This should be the norm, not the exception.

If any of those students are reading this post, I just want to thank you for your inspiration and ideas.  I hope you know how much your words were appreciated.

(P.S. Here is my #30SecondReflection on the day below.  I am wanting to do this more to push my own learning.)

Inconceivable Learning?

While flipping back and forth between playoff basketball and hockey last night, some things popped into my head that I tweeted out.  As I thought about them, the two tweets are actually correlated.

Here is the first one:

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post talking about “8 Things to Look for in Today’s Classroom“, and why I mention that is I used the term “today’s classroom”, because those were/are things that I see as crucial today.  I am actually currently in the process of writing a short book  on the topic to go deeper into the learning.  There is a reality of what I know now, and what could change in the time of publishing a book, could change.  I would love the opportunity to share with a different audience that may not read a blog, but I believe it is also important to being open to being challenged in what is written in a book.  Learning is not linear or stagnant.  It is something that is constantly in flux and ever-changing . That doesn’t matter whether it is written in a book or a blog. We have to be open to ideas being challenged and growing as educators.  Things change and we need to be willing to adapt and learn. Here is another tweet that I believe has a correlation in thinking:

The conversation that this sparked really pushed my thinking.  For example, if a child comes into school and creating and sharing videos is the norm to them, would this be considered “redefinition”, and if it is, is it to the learner or to the teacher?

Is “substitution” sometimes transformative to a student?  If I can write with a pencil but prefer to write with a mobile device, even if I don’t want to share it with others, but for my own thinking, is it considered “less”?  If a learner publishes a video at school, but has done it for years on their own, is that still considered “redefinition”? Being transformational to the learner is much more important than being transformational to the teacher.  What technology really empowers is personalization, not standardization, and what learning looks like to any person is a very individual process.

When I looked at the idea of “redefinition” and what it means in the SAMR model, one of the definitions that I saw was, “tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable“.  What I started to wonder is how time sensitive is this?  For example, YouTube is over 10 years old, so is publishing a video and sharing it with the world something that we think of as inconceivable, or is just something that we haven’t embraced in schools?  Is the ability to have the conversation on Twitter to discuss this tweet was pretty amazing and pushed my thinking, but I have been doing that for five years now. Is it still “inconceivable” or does it at some point become just what we do?  What was interesting was that I received a tweet from someone in Switzerland who shared a quote from one of my blog posts and it was still amazing to me, and something that I try not to take for granted.  It’s incredible and awesome (to me), but not inconceivable.

Here are two things that I have heard (paraphrased) lately that have pushed my thinking;

Technology is not technology if you were born when it existed.

and…

The technology that you experience today will be the worst it will ever be from this day forward.

This makes me think about a couple of things…

Is the technology we make a big deal of the norm for the students, just like a television was the norm for me when I was a kid? And, when does “inconceivable” become our new norm, and how do we react when the next “inconceivable” opportunity comes along? That is why I have been focusing more on the notion of the “innovator’s mindset“, because the one thing I know for certain, is that things will change (in technology, learning, life, everything).  How we deal with and embrace change is more important than ever, because of the rate that change happens, and we will need to become comfortable with what we know continuously developing and changing over time.  What is “inconceivable” now, will become our “new normal”, meaning there will be a new “inconceivable”.  How we deal with these shifting paradigms is more crucial than ever.