Being a fish is a hard existence. Living in a fishbowl offers no privacy. People peer into your world unless the lights are out.

Fishbowls also work in leadership.

To inspire massive change, influence the biggest fish, not all the fish.

We used this strategy at Brooks College Prep.

When our school shifted from a traditional model of teaching to a responsive model of teaching, the shift looked like this:

“I taught it. The student didn’t get it. Time to move on …” ➝ “I taught it. The students didn’t get it. How can I reteach those that didn’t get it?  How can I inspire those that did get it to go deeper?”

Every week the admin team and department heads would meet as the building instructional leadership team.

There, department heads would present unit plans and assessment data. Next, these leaders would explain how they adjusted instruction and how that ultimately impacted student learning (for the better).

Department heads did this in front of their peers. It was an equal process for all. This was not about shaming but radical candor and exploration into what was working, what didn’t work, and why.

Learning from each other in this transparent, “fishbowl,” experience made us all better.

It made us better because we didn’t hide anything.

We didn’t cover up mistakes we made; we learned from them.

We didn’t keep our “best” ideas in silos; we shared them across the organization.

From this meeting, department heads brought the process to the front lines of their department. It was accountability, reflection, and growth for all.

It worked because of transparency. There was no guessing about what worked and what didn’t. We all got better together.

That same “fishbowl” magic will be utilized in this summer’s live event. We’re taking the hard work of crafting a meaningful vision and making it easier.

Vision work will always be hard work, but it is easier when the process is transparent, the template provided, and the community there to cheer you on.

What would you dare write on paper if you stood shoulder-to-shoulder with other leaders dreaming BIG about the next 3-years?

Imagine how far you’ll be willing to leap over the next 3-years by crafting that plan this summer at “Bollingen Tower” alongside an inspiring group of peers?

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