Celebrate the small victories en route to the big goals
Celebrate whenever you can.
Why don't we make time to celebrate our small victories? Why do we feel that those small steps are not worth being showcased? We only want to highlight the big goals we have achieved. Somehow we believe that those breakthroughs are the only ones worth celebrating. I suppose others can see the fruits of our labour because the final product is there visually. But,what about those smaller, significant steps of success along the way that made the big dream come true?
Organisations that integrate celebrations at all levels of achievement as a cultural practice, maximize the spin-offs. Staff morale increases because they can see their efforts are being acknowledged. There is also renewed energy to accomplish the bigger goal. They can see the progress. They also get a better understanding of how goal-setting activities scaffold one another. If other stakeholders are invited to these occasions, they too feel valued, energized and driven to work harder. In all, there is usually a greater commitment from all parties to make things work.
The need to celebrate smaller victories struck me when I attended the re-launch of the CAT laboratory at Ocean View High school. The school's computer lab has been kitted out with a new suite of desktops and it received a facelift as well. I suppose you would think that an event to celebrate the upgrade of the computer lab is a bit far- fetched. Granted, equipment becomes aged and thus replacement pieces can be expected over time.
Ocean View High School
Not so for Keith and his staff. Keith saw the upgrade of the computer lab as an opportunity to remind all the role players at the school - the parents, staff, learners, district and NGOs- about the school's integration of technology to improve classroom learning. The school already has 23 interactive white boards but these have not been fully maximized by teachers yet. The school has created a facebook page,but this social medium is also underutilised. The technology infrastructure is there, but the challenge is for the school to see how they can use digital technology meaningfully. How can e-learning be infused to improve teaching and learning as well as deepen the communication channels between the school and parents?
The re-launch of the CAT lab was used as a medium to recommit to the school's e-learning journey. This event was used to deepen the discussion of optimal learning conditions at the school. This was the key message. By hosting the re-launch of the CAT lab, Ocean View High shared the vision of transforming the school into a 21st century school with the broader community - the learners, staff, parents, district and NGOs.
I ended my keynote with a challenge to the staff of Ocean View High school: maximize the use of the use of the interactive whiteboards they currently have and re-activate their facebook page as a powerful communication medium with their parents and learners. At the end of the wonderful celebration, Keith Klein, the Head of school said: " I shall take up the challenge and we will evaluate sometime how far we have progressed."
My turn to celebrate
Now, who wouldn't want to be a cheerleader of a school head who knows how to lead a school in such challenging times? And, who has found the secret to keeping communication alive by creating moments to celebrate those little victories?