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Future Focussed Schools

Future Focussed Schools

Term break has just started in Victorian schools in Australia. Are you on holidays or about to be soon?

I get it! You teach and/or lead in a very busy school and you’re bombarded with urgent tasks and challenges every day. You’re exhausted and feel overwhelmed. How can you cope? Doesn’t the world understand just how busy you are?

Well, here’s my take on our complex world and the action we can take to not only cope but thrive now and into the future.

Our world is changing. Actually it has always been changing, but now the changes have been extreme and we can no longer slip back into our comfort zone. It’s time to embrace change and see it as exciting, exhilarating, and a catalyst for learning and growth. It’s time to create future focussed schools.

Futurist James Canton talks about the five factors that will affect our future over the next 20 years. Speed, complexity, risk, change, and surprise. He claims that the rate of change will be rapid and will touch every aspect of our lives.

People today are constantly distracted by technology and an unrelenting urge to multi-task to get more and more done. In fact, what we really need to learn is how we can focus.


Focus is one of the most important skills to develop in ourselves and in our students. Unless you can master the skills required to focus, your day ends up out of control and you waste your precious time and energy doing things that are not important, valuable, or enjoyable. I often remind myself to “Focus! Focus! Focus!” throughout the day. It’s my mantra!

I heard Douglas Reeves speak at a conference a few years ago, and he claimed that focus is the forgotten skill of the 21st century. He firmly believes that focus, not technological manipulation, is the most important skill in the decades ahead, and I agree with him.

The ability to focus is a leadership skill that we must develop in our students and ourselves as a life-long discipline if we are to succeed in life and sustain purpose and happiness.

21st Century Learners and Focus

Think of all those Generation Alpha students who started school in 2015. Born in 2010, the same year iPads and apps were released. Social demographers are predicting that Generation Alpha is likely to have a life span of 97 years and to be the first generation to see in the 22nd century. They are destined to be smarter than Generation Z (born between 1996 and 2009), and much smarter than their teachers, their parents and grandparents.

Growth Mindsets

You see we’ve transitioned from a concrete world and fixed mindsets of the Industrial Age, to a very complex world requiring growth mindsets today. We have a much higher percentage of the population gaining a tertiary education than ever before and the working world requires higher cognitive functioning and increased cognitive flexibility.

Opportunities and Possibilities

We need new habits of mind for the 21st century. We need to develop problem solvers who see problems as opportunities and seek out new possibilities to innovate, disrupt, and change.

What are you doing to prepare for your future and, more importantly, what are you doing to prepare your students for their future?

Why not attend the next Think Strategic 21C Leadership Workshop Innovative 21C School Leadership this coming May in Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney?  These workshops have received rave reviews and have helped hundreds of teacher leaders, principals, aspiring Principals, curriculum coordinators, team leaders and department heads see the opportunities and possibilities in leading future focussed schools. BTW there is a fabulous Early Bird Offer too!

Click here for more information and to register.

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