small moments matter

As I work with leaders, teachers and learners across multiple networks and contexts it has become clear that #smallmomentsmatter.
The small moment when a leader asks “good morning, how are you….and follows up with “and how is your wife/husband/family/dog/goldfish….”…the small moment that sees a teacher ask the ungoogleable “how did that feel for you….” …..the small moments when feedback is more than “good job” or “well done…”.

BIG DATA – massive amounts of information that takes tremendous processing power; inaccessible to you and me in our moment by moment lives….but what about small data? Those in-the-moment-observations and chances, in a volume and format that is accessible, informative and actionable. Big Data helps us in analyzing the past, but may have nothing to do with the future. Small Data is personal, actionable and about Presence.*

Small data; small moments go hand-in-hand with the “e” word: explicit.
Explicit intent.
Explicit focus.
Explicit sensitivity and connection to context.

For Leaders, small moments build relationships.
For teachers, small moments allow us to personalize learning design.
For students, when small moments matter, learning is connected to who they are, where they are, and makes learning authentic, purposeful, engaging and challenging.

Small moments are woven into the fabric of every day, every hour.
Pursue them, recognize them, embrace them…..big change starts with small moments.


* Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future. Peter M. Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers. A great read!

Also see our bestseller Deep Learning – engage the world change the world for vignettes and illustrations about how #smallmomentsmatter

Leapfrogging Good

One of the most frustrating and limiting factors teachers, schools and systems can encounter is legacy thinking that isolates aspirations, resources, teachers and students.

Legacy thinking that frames these aspirations, resources, teachers and students as “Mine or Yours”.

Legacy thinking that reinforces silos and perpetuates the myth that he who dies with the most toys wins….

Why wouldn’t we, as Will Richardson advocates in 19 Bold Ideas for Change in Education, Share Everything.


Imagine the power of a collective, a community that begins its life by leapfrogging good, and starts at great. A collective in which practice is amplified and accelerated by the need to be excellent, just to get to the starting line.

In a post creative commons era, “Mine and Yours” legacy thinking not only loses relevance, but shackles us to prevailing practices.

In pursuit of excellence, would you consider giving away your best ideas?




Acknowledging, with respect, the thought leadership of the late Greg Butler.

November 2013, NPDL Hong Kong “Legacy thinking will hold us back”

change is messy

“The more accustomed one becomes to dealing with the unknown, the more one understands that creative breakthroughs are always preceded by periods of cloudy thinking, confusion, exploration, trial and stress; followed by periods of excitement and growing confidence as one pursues purposeful change, or copes with unwanted change.”


Michael Fullan. Change Forces: Probing the Depths of Educational Reform. p17

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