Gradually then suddenly

I attended San Diego Design Camp on Saturday and I was in a session on designing a future narrative (this in relation to our organizational and individual lives). On building a story that drives us in the direction we want to head.

There was a lot of conversation around the disruptive influence of technology.

The phrase “gradually then suddenly” came up in reference to the influence of technological innovations. The idea that certain changes build gradually, drip by drip, hardly noticeable. And then all of a sudden, everything changes. A few early adopters becomes full-scale adoption, seemingly overnight.

The examples are endless – the iPhone, Facebook, Uber. The list goes on.

Culture

Since helping to found our Personal Learning Academy in 2015, I’ve been engaged in the effort to transform public high school. Years on the front edge of that work is incredibly humbling. And frustrating. And I’ve found myself on many occasions loosing hope. Feeling like the culture of this school is simply not suited for the kind of transformation I’ve been working toward.

But maybe culture is like technology. Maybe it shifts gradually, drip by drip, hardly noticeable. A few early adopters becomes full-scale adoption, seemingly overnight.

Yes, overnight.

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