Establishing a disciplined, repeatable, and scalable innovation process, creating organizational and funding mechanisms that support innovation, and demonstrating the kind of leadership necessary for profitable top-line growth as well as cost reduction is essential for sustainability. Whether in the business arena or the world of education, life as an organization depends on the people that are served by the organization.
Teachers need to be providing each individual student with opportunities for relevant and rigorous academic growth based on their abilities--this is why the student is boss. A students needs, abilities, and prior knowledge will dictate to a dedicated teacher how and what they need to teach. Administrators are there to ensure teachers have the resources they need, but also to pacify unsatisfied or belligerent parents. The P & G principle of “Customer is Boss” Gone are the days of selling by yelling and distraction over attraction. The challenge of today’s organization is to be connecting and be connected with emotion.
It’s not enough to embrace or touch – that’s a one way street. An organization has to cross the center line now and go deep. One will have to live with consumers. At P&G, “Making the consumer the boss is a promise to identify with her, to respect and serve her, and to take her needs and wants seriously. ” (Charan, R. , & Lafley, A. G. 2008) At P&G they are not just conducting “bubble in the circle that best reflects how you feel” surveys. The folks at Proctor and Gamble are stepping outside of their lives and comfort zone to experience the reality of their consumer.
Often times, this means going to a different part town or of the world and going into a lower socioeconomic class to discover the consumers wants and needs. Advertising is a small part of schematic—making the product appealing to the consumer is important, but P&G is moving beyond that to create new products especially for the needs of the consumer. This concept of molding to the needs of the consumer, is what effective teaching with differentiating strategies is all about. “Customer is Boss” in an educational setting
Teachers have a professional responsibility to identify their learners' needs and develop appropriate pedagogical responses. Pedagogical responsibilities require teachers to have the necessary professional knowledge and skills, and teachers are also accountable to their students. That accountability is inherent in the teacher/student relationship. Some teachers are, no doubt, unskilled and uninformed. Some may abuse their power; however, that is not because they have students and not clients. Calling students "clients" will not change in any way the relationship they have with their teachers.
Teachers have power. How they wield it has nothing to do with the label attached to all those faces in front of them. Teachers must insist on learner-centeredness. The educational organization must insist on qualified and effective instructors using current methods and materials. Regular monitoring of learner progress and regular feedback to learners on their progress is essential to growth and serving the student. The public school as an organization takes learners the community, and does not make decisions on the basis of their ability to pay. Nor can they "cream" and select only the best students.
Challenges and risks
If the “Consumer is the Boss” is really an organization’s mantra, how can they be challenged to think ahead? Breakthrough innovation would not happen. Customers, and students, are thinking about “now”--the problems they are experiencing on a day to day basis. Indeed that is important for companies and teachers to think about, however the “Change the World” opportunity of breakthrough innovation stems from idealizing customers and envisioning problems and better solutions. Place the customer center stage, but stretch your imagination about making them stars.
The “school grade” method of accountability has led to increasing commercialization of the educational undertaking which is also reflected in the culture at large. Allowing parents to remove a student from their designated school because of a low school grade and enroll them into another was supposed to be a way to motivate teachers and administrators into doing a “better” job. Instead, this competitive component has added a level of paperwork, stress, and mandatory extracurricular for instructors handed down by stressed out administrators that do know how to solve the problem.
In most contexts, the learners lack power, because of age or socioeconomic status. In state or private educational institutions, parents pay the state (through taxation) or the private school, which then pays the teachers - making it difficult to connect learners with the pay check. The state system in particular creates the illusion of free education - which takes even the parents out of the financial-transaction picture. Because of this, teachers may feel that they are answerable only to the school or the educational system, and in some cases they may even feel free to pursue their own personal version of 'education'.
In the same contexts, teachers have the power to award grades, write reports and pass/fail students. The view of learners as clients radically re-adjusts the balance of power. For those who have had freelance experience and have taught professionals, either one-to-one or in-company, this view is self-evident. For those with school-type experience, the shift in balance may come as a shock. The potential risk arises, just as some teachers have abused their power, so will some learner-clients.
But this doesn't change the fact that teachers provide a paid service, which makes the recipients of this service, and their 'sponsors', clients. The way to go about it is for some sort of contract to be drawn, so that both sides can assume their responsibilities and exercise their rights. Opportunities and rewards At P&G, employees take the opportunity to live with the consumer. From an educational point of view, knowing your customer intimately is essential to classroom success and can assist a teacher with creating an appropriate, holistic academic plan for each student.
Effective teachers scaffold students reading and writing (Tompkins, 2010) comes from the idea there are different support levels that teachers offer to students. This support is based on the individual student’s zone of proximal development. In interactive writing, the teacher helps groups of students compose and write text together. With guidance from the teacher, individual students take turns writing, as classmates offer ideas and suggestions. Students practice writing strategies and skills modeled by the teacher, including letter formation, phonemic awareness and phonics, and concepts about print.
One reward of creating a differentiated academic plan based on student need is watching their growth and success rates accelerate as they can handle more challenging content without getting frustrated. Another reward of having intimate knowledge of a student’s life is knowing how to help them. Is there violence at home? Is the student responsible for taking care of younger siblings? Is English the primary language spoken at home? Does the student have access to homework/study help?
Also, there is a difference in the teacher that is a parent who has lived through homework on the same night at the kids’ ballet or baseball practice than the teacher who is single and wondering why Wednesday night’s homework was not done and the student is sleepy at school on Thursday. Letting the student’s abilities and prior knowledge guide how and what you teach them, will reduce a lot of frustration for both the student and teacher. Giving a student work that is too challenging or beyond them will create tension and feelings incompetency. Keeping a student appropriately engaged and challenged will allow them the most success.
I am the first teacher that students meet when they are ushered into the public school system. I personally feel that it is my job to catch the lower students and close the achievement gap before it becomes an overwhelming problem in later years. Purpose and Rationale As a new teacher, I would like to take this opportunity to research different teaching methods and techniques and the impact on my students. This is a great time to conduct such research because I will have a fresh batch of students waiting for me to excite and inspire them. I will collect data such as a beginning assessment and monitor progress, keeping a log of how students respond to different interventions. Part of the process will be to research what interventions are available to me.
Charan, R. , & Lafley, A. G. (2008). The customer is boss. Tn The Game-changer: How you can drive revenue and profit growth with innovation (pp. 33-68). New York, NY: Crown Books. ISBN: 9780307381736.
Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed. ). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.