FedEx Days in Education

Creating meetings that people want to attend and allow for real change.

Photo of Ben Hommerding
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Daniel Pink describes FedEx days in the talk I shared above and many of you have probably seen before. FedEx days are a 24 hour period where employees try to come up with solutions to problems that they see as important at their workplace.  

So what if we used even one meeting time each year and allowed Teachers to group think some great ideas to solutions they are passionate about.  What do you think would happen if we allowed teachers to do something like this? 

Evaluation results

5 evaluations so far

1. Potential for Impact: Imagine this solution had near perfect implementation. To what extent would this solution bring about a culture of innovation within a school or classroom?

A lot! This solution would greatly bring about a culture of innovation in schools or classrooms. - 60%

Somewhat. This solution would somewhat bring about a culture of innovation in schools or classrooms. - 40%

Not much. This solution might help with other things, but I don't see it really bringing about a culture of innovation within schools or classrooms. - 0%

2. Feasibility and Fit: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: If this solution were available to me right now, I would be able to use it with relatively low investment. (i.e. money, time, or skills).

Strongly agree (this solution strongly aligns to my/my school's current capacities). - 40%

Agree. - 40%

Neutral. - 0%

Disagree. - 0%

Strongly disagree (this solution would take a big lift in resources to pull off). - 20%

3. Adaptability: I could imagine this solution working well in a variety of school and classroom contexts across a diverse set of needs.

Absolutely! I could see this working for a variety of schools and classrooms with different or unique needs. - 60%

Somewhat. I could see this working for many schools and classrooms, but it might need some adjusting to fit a broad diversity of contexts. - 40%

Not a lot. This seems like it might be better suited to only a few contexts. - 0%

4. Scalability: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: This idea could be adopted by an ever-growing number of teachers or students without requiring significant changes.

Strongly agree (this solution could easily scale without any significant changes). - 40%

Agree. - 40%

Neutral. - 0%

Disagree. - 0%

Strongly disagree (this solution would require significant changes in order to properly scale). - 20%

5. Desirability: Do you wish this solution were available to you right now?

1 - Not a lot. There's not a big need for this right now and/or we use something already that fulfills a similar purpose in my school or classroom. - 0%

2 - 0%

3 - 20%

4 - 40%

5 - A lot! There's nothing like this already and I'd love to have it in my school or classroom. - 40%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Tom Sayer

Hi Ben,

I really like the idea of making meetings about proactive involvement and problem solving rather than passive information transfer.

How would this actually work though? If I were a principal and wanted to try this, what steps would you recommend I take?

And I agree it would need to be sold to staff. Myron, and thoughts on how you did it / would do it?


Photo of Myron Williams

Great question Tom. When we began working with the university faculty we asked a couple of questions to begin: Is what you are currently doing working and how do you know? What do you see as the needs of students when they graduate?

Then we talked about closed systems - which produce limited answers - verses open systems - which explore all possible answers, then selecting the best. We found this discussion on these two systems generated a lot of debate since historically they operated from a closed system. that debate alone began to open the possibility there was a better way to achieve the desired outcomes, and that opened the door for us to present PBL.

Photo of Ben Hommerding

Hey Everyone,
I have been in the middle of buying/selling a house and a new job.
Anyway, I think you could do a little leg work ahead of time by using a Google form or survey to get staff to start spitballing ideas of things that need to be addressed beforehand and then letting them think about it some beforehand too.
I also think that you really need to set the idea up before the meeting and maybe try to give them some guidelines for how the process might look or work. Maybe share the Pink video with them ahead of time.

As a principal you also have to not only show support for this idea, but then you also have to back up it up by following through on the solutions that faculty come up with. This will only make the process stronger next time too.
What ideas to you all have?

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