g (^) i
Everyone in the Education Lab faces these questions and has to decide, over
and over, whether to keep showing up for the project. Each member of each project
team has a different type of contribution to make and has different availability,
working styles, access to resources, and freedom to maneuver. The project team
leaders, who have no actual authority over their members, have struggled to keep
their teams together and moving forward. Those who have been most successful
have been able to harness and steer the diverse voluntary energies of their team
members to achieve the big goals that none of them would be able to achieve alone.
The inner struggle is real
For the Avengers to overcome Thanos, they must overcome their own hesitations,
weaknesses, and emotions. This inner struggle is most visible in Bruce Banner,
who for most of the movie is unable to transform himself into Hulk, whose
superhuman strength the team needs.
So it is for the members of the Education Lab. The system transformation
projects they are trying to implement are ambitious, but their biggest challenges
lie within themselves: their ability to pay attention, listen to feedback, work with
others, and act, pivot, and act again. At the end of their first year working together,
one education ministry official said: “I entered this lab believing that I was flexible
and open and able to get to agreements. But I have found that I wasn’t as good as
I thought I was, and that for us to make progress I needed to change.”
Continuing the fight
Over and over, the Avengers battle Thanos with great teamwork. But in the end,
he overwhelms them and destroys half of all life in the universe, including many
of the Avengers. The others live to fight another day.
The Mexican education system is dynamically complex, meaning cause and
effect are far apart in both space and time. Changing this system requires a
systemic approach. It is generatively complex, meaning the future is unfamiliar
and unpredictable, and so requires an experimental approach. And it is socially
complex, meaning different stakeholders have different perspectives and interests,
and so requires a collaborative approach. There is no quick or easy way to transform
such a system.