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Exploring organizations in education, business, and sport that perform

beyond expectations (PBE)

Beyond Expectations

An international research project conducted jointly by Boston College & Institute of

Education, University of London

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We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint

A PowerPoint diagram meant to portray the complexity of American strategy in Afghanistan certainly succeeded in that aim. (New York Times, April 26, 2010)

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Tower Hamlets

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Research StaffCo-directors: • Andy Hargreaves, Boston College • Alma Harris, London Institute of Education

UK Team Alan Boyle Kathryn GhentJanet Goodall

US Team Alex Gurn Lori McEwen Michelle Reich Corrie Stone-Johnson

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PBE Criteria

• Better than you did• Better than your peers• Better than you’d expect

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F1: The Fantastic Dream

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F1: The Fantastic Dream

Organizations that perform beyond expectations aspire to and articulate an improbable, collectively held fantasy or dream that is bolder and more challenging than a plan or even a vision. Martin Luther King had a dream, not a strategic plan - still less a set of key performance indicators.

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F2: The Fear

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F2: The Fear

The experience of success is often heightened by the emotional memory of a previous failure, or the fear of one that lays in wait. Organizations that perform above expectations often confront failure, humiliation, ridicule and even extinction in a way that galvanizes their commitment to change. An improbable dream begets an apparently impossible challenge.

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F3: The Fight

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F3: The Fight

The impossible dream and improbable challenge of surmounting failure or avoiding extinction produce a response of fight to overcome or avert obstacles, instead of flight to avoid them.

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F4: CounterFlow

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F4: CounterFlow

PBE leaders of organizations that perform expectations are prepared to run against the mainstream, and to move ahead not by going with the flow but against or around it. These leaders are courageous, creative and counterintuitive.

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F4: CounterFlowI liked to bowl uphill, into the wind

Malcolm Speed, former CEO, Cricket Australia

It’s still this fun, funky thing that people just gravitate to. People gravitate towards things that are different because there's intrinsic value in being different.

Executive Leader, Dogfish Head Craft Breweries:

We continue to work with the Year 7s in a competency-based approach rather than saying we’ll fit the Year 7 National Curriculum to these year 7s.

Senior Leader, John Cabot Academy

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F5: Flair, Flow & Flexibility

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F5: Flair, Flow & Flexibility

It is not just teams and teamwork that keep these organizations aloft; it is the vibrant nature of the teamwork itself. Organizations that perform beyond expectations have cultures of creativity and risk-taking. They allow and encourage workers to have freedom and flexibility to innovate and play.

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F5: Flair, flow and flexibilityWe try to be inclusive in the games that are being developed. And we get to form games at the club where everyone plays. There are no subs. Twelve lads play. That’s it. They’re not sitting on a bench on a freezing morning hoping they might get on. I think that’s been a great innovation by the GAA. They realise that children should play the game and enjoy playing the game because the memories you have when you’re that age will always stay with you.

Brendan O’Sullivan, Minor Selector, Kilkenny Hurling

If I can say anything it’s that in 14 years of business the thing I've done best, in terms of leadership, I've been able to find people who are really strong at the areas that I suck at so I can focus on the areas that I’m strong.

Sam Cagalione, owner, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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F6: Fast and fair tracking

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F6: Fast and fair tracking

Organizations that perform above expectations mark, monitor and manage their progress towards success. They use indicators and targets of progress and performance that are personally meaningful, publicly shared and demonstrably fair measures of what leaders and followers are trying to achieve.

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F6: Fast and fair tracking

‘We’ll take [the results of the inspection] and then the staff will say, “What are we going to all do to try to improve it? We’ve all got responsibility to complete that target in whichever way we can, whether it’s in your subject, whether it’s in your classroom or whichever way”. So everyone has got a part to play in this target. You feel you’ve actually made a difference because you were always involved in those targets so it works quite nicely to feel part of the school.

Sally Stanton, Headteacher, Kanes Hill Primary School

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F7: Feasible growth

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F7: Feasible growth

Beyond the swift actions necessary to counter any initial crisis, organizations that perform beyond expectations do not try to expand as quickly as possible and take off too fast. They are built on sustainable growth.

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F7: Feasible GrowthEvery year the Board is just trying to win the league. It’s almost like the Lemming Race. You start off with a Lemming Race and as you get to the end of the season a big golden eagle picks up three of the lemmings and carries you off to paradise. A couple of them go over the cliff. They don’t get back. Leeds United went over the cliff a few years ago. Sheffield Wednesday went over. These were big clubs.

Paul Fletcher, Chief Executive, Burnley Football Club

It’s almost like brainwashing them into believing in themselves because it’s just constant, constant, constant. Deep down, they’re just being built up all the time.

Assessment coordinator, Limeside Primary School

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F8: Friendly rivalry

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F8: Friendly rivalry

Collaboration and competition are often seen as opposites. Leaders that perform beyond expectations go beyond these ideological oppositions and creatively combine collaboration with competition.

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F8: Friendly rivalryThere’s competition but there’s co-opetition. There’s cooperating with your competition to your benefit. From a media perspective, stronger contests, closer contests make more compelling viewing. No one wants to see a complete, one-sided, foregone conclusion.

Snr leader, Business and Media Dept, Cricket Australia

Our schools work very well together and they work really well with us. There is a real commitment to joint working and working through problems in a collaborative way.

Senior Leader, Tower Hamlets

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1: The Fallacy of Speed

2: The Fallacy of Replacement

3: The Fallacy of Numbers

4: The Fallacy of Prescription

5: The Fallacy of Competition

Five Fallacies of Leadership & Change

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So Remember

F1: The Fantastic DreamF2: The FearF3: The FightF4: CounterFlowF5: Flair, Flow & FlexibilityF6: Fast & Fair TrackingF7: Feasible GrowthF8: Friendly RivalryF9: Fusion Leadership

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“People of accomplishment rarely sat

back and let things happen to them.

They went out and happened to things.”

-Leonardo Da Vinci

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“Without stones, there is no arch.” – Marco Polo

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“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” -Niccolo Machiavelli

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The greatest sign of success for a teacher, is to be able to say “the children are now working as if I did not exist.” -Maria Montessori

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