In the fall, I began to post a blog series around “What does your mission require of you (students, faculty/staff, parents)?” Entering the spring semester of the school year, this is a great time to reflect on the question. If you missed any of the series check out…

Start with a powerful question
Serve the team
Never create for today

Your mission/destination/desired result is a non-negotiable imperative. It is why you exist, what you do, how you behave.


The fourth installment of this series focuses on shipping ideas. Inspired by Seth Godin and his work–Purple Cow, Linchpin, Icarus Deception, Poke the Box, shipping ideas is about making it happen, launching something, taking initiative, being bothered by something, not worrying about perfection. Shipping is about paying attention to your intention.

What ideas are we trying to ship? They are built around three critical commitments:

1. designing and demonstrating 21st century learning

2. connecting and collaborating locally and globally

3. investing and impacting the future

To ship requires you to think about the destination (mission), driver (student), routes (learning outcomes), mode of travel (approach, method, process), and navigation system (assessments).

To ship requires partnerships. Partnerships are central to the future of any school’s ability to transform learning in a relevant and applicable educational experience; to amplify and accelerate growth from innovative experts in the business community, nonprofit organizations, and the education sector; and to be a contributor in strengthening the local community and assisting in global needs.

To ship requires imperfection. So many times in the education sector, we feel compelled to ship perfectly designed, well packaged ideas. Anything less than this, we drop it and move onto another idea we will never ship. As Seth would say, “In a long distance race, everyone gets tired. The winner is the runner who figures out where to put the tiredfigures out how to store it away until after the race is over. Sure, he’s tired. Everyone is. That’s not the point. The point is to run.”

How might we impact our students today? Ship now, ship again, ship with them, ship tomorrow, let students ship, ship again…keep shipping.

Glad the Wright Brothers shipped an idea. Saved me a great deal of time traveling from Georgia to Texas over the holidays.

Happy shipping in 2014.