A journey

I’ve been on a journey to a magical land where the world is positive, the weather is always 72 degrees, and the food comes at you in loads that you don’t have to pay for. You may think- is this Heaven? Or is this a scene from Albert Brook’s underrated comedy “Defending Your Life”?

No Meryl, this isn't heaven, it's Cupertino

No. This is Cupertino, California. The words “yes, but” never enters their vocabulary. The phrase “you can’t do that” doesn’t ever weed it’s way into the vernacular here.
I was recently honored to be part of a select group of 15 administrators from 11 different states picked to be a part of “Apple Academy”. I know what your thinking – there goes Carl taking big gulps of the Apple Kool-aid again. Normally, I’d agree with you. Or worse – say “yes, but”. However the enlightening part about this trip has nothing to do with Apple products or their world of 350,000 apps (over 20,000 in education alone).
It’s in their attitude.
It’s in the people they hire.
It’s absolutely contagious.

I came away with greater knowledge of how Apple will improve our education, but more than anything else I wanted to bottle their “Yes, and” attitude and feed it to my staff.
While Apple didn’t develop the mantra “Yes, and”, it’s certainly a part of their life’s blood.
We in education become too hung up on the “Yes, but’s” in the world. We use as a way to scapegoat to avoid change.
Yes, but we have state testing to worry about.
Yes, but we have too much distraction in the classroom already.
Yes, but what will the community think about all of this change?

These are all things I heard upon return from my journey. While it grounded me quickly and forced reality on me in a way that almost made me hurl, I could now palpably taste the negativity in the air. We’ve grown so adapted to the extra burden of “yes, but” that we are accustomed to carrying the extra weight.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

My journey to Apple-land freed me of those weights.

And while I will try my best not to put them back on again, I also want my co-workers to experience the freedom of living in a “yes, and” world. Life becomes so much more livable. Work becomes so much more enjoyable. You just have to commit to it.

And a journey to Cupertino wouldn’t hurt either. 🙂

Editor’s note: This article posted from my iPhone.

About MrHooker

Director of Innovation & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD, "Godfather" of iPadpalooza, National speaker and consultant, CEO of HookerTech LLC, Zombie-enthusiast, 2014 T&L Leader of the Year, 2016 Thought leader of the year, author of the 6-book series "Mobile Learning Mindset" and father of 3.

Posted on May 26, 2011, in Techy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Carl,

    I like the “yes” attitude too. This is why I started reading the book on Gamestorming. It is about putting that sense of creativity and fun back in the workplace to make it a place where saying “yes” is common.

    When we look at these companies like Apple, Google, Adobe, etc. and see the creativity that they produce, we wonder what it is that lets them be so creative. And then you see offices that don’t look anything like our offices. We have file cabinets. They have Xboxes!

    So by visiting these places and seeing how they infuse a “yes” culture; I think we should all spend more time looking at how we can make our work areas more aligned to allow this type of creativity.

    We don’t need Xbox to do it either (but maybe once a month we do a network game!).

  2. Carl,

    Well-said. Yes, but is a Gremlin that sits on our shoulders and does weigh us down.

    I’ll stand with you on working on “yes, and….”

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