pithy take homes from Daniel Pink’s ‘The Flip Manifesto’

July 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Daniel Pink writes about motivation, leadership and learning.

I’ve noted a few of his quotes and my thoughts on implications for teaching, learning and schools.


‘Identify the actions, behaviours and obligations that sap our energy, distract our attention and therefore ought to be avoided.’


Daniel suggests that one of the most important lists to keep is a ‘to don’t list’. Having spent quite a few years working in schools now I can testify to the constant stream of distractions and diversions that come up each day. I could work more effectively if I didn’t check emails each time they arrived in my inbox. I also need to spend some project time away from my staffroom each week in order to maximise productivity.


‘Abstract thinking leaders to greater creativity’


The starting point for innovative thinking is the abstract. Pink suggests that we need to stand back and take in a bigger picture rather than just focusing on our specific  industry/area/movement. For teachers and teacher leaders I believe this means developing  a Professional Learning Network that is broader than just education circles. While focusing on learning, we need to keep our finger on the pulse with regard to: leadership, technology, politics, innovation and learning sciences. I personally benefited taking a study tour with a colleague who is the Creative Arts Learning Area Manager at NBCS. It meant that as we visited universities, schools, libraries, cafes and museums I was able to glean a whole new perspective that was very different to my view point.


‘ What’s the purpose of this organisation?’


Daniel tells a great story where a group of workers were divided into two groups. One group was assigned their given tasks for the day and got started while another group was told inspirational stories of the long term impact that their work had before they started on their tasks. The increased outcomes that were achieved by the second group was three times that of the first group. Having a purpose, seeing the bigger picture and knowing that your work matters has an enormous impact on productivity. Can you clearly articulate the purpose of your team/department/organisation?

You can download a copy of the eBook by subscribing here. Also, check out Daniel’s TED talk.


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