Creative Destruction

Creative Destruction

Process Design Workshop facilitated by

Di Fleming ( and Max Dumais (

In 25 words or less, describe your view of ‘Creative’? What are the key elements?

  • Using your imagination, current skills, using knowledge to make something new in order to
    learn something new.
  • Using imagination and skills to be original and to make something – maybe an idea, a
    painting, a building…
  • Open-mindedness, imagination, flexibility, being unafraid of judgment, going with an idea.
  • Generating ideas – not caring what others think, risk- taking, being brave.
  • Looking outside the square, optimistically, challenging.
  • Taking risks, knowing that it is okay to fail.
  • Being original, imaginative, taking risks, in touch with feelings, being positive and
  • Looking at ideas from all angles, to turn stuff upside down, to create the unexpected from
    the ordinary.

Themes: imaginative, originality, flexibility, risk taking, looking outside the square, being brave,
challenging, optimism, translate skills in one area to another, disturbing, thinking of failure in a
positive way, unexpected, individuality, spiritual, intuitive, tenacity, renewal, learning by doing.

In 25 words or more describe your view of ‘Destruction’? What are the main effects?

  • Not letting others grow, hindering. No consideration for individual values and differences.
  • The ruining and ending of something so it can’t be rebuilt with the same elements.
  • Disassembling, breaking down, making something useless, negative, fragmenting to see
    parts individually.
  • Stopping growth, breaking down, undermining, creating chaos, stifling creativity, stopping
  • Pulling apart, ending up with the essential elements standing alone, exploding a construct,
    creating chaos and letting it settle to rebuild
  • Liberating, wasteful, segmenting, often creative in itself, creative breakdown, ignorance.
  • Destroying, wilderness, chaos, pulling apart, taking perverse joy,
  • Breaking down, wrecking, removing, dismantling, exploding, wearing away at something.

Using metaphors or word pictures, what is ‘Creative Destruction’?

  • Chopping the legs from under someone to create something better.
  • Analyzing separate components, eliminating unusable parts, refining others to create an
    improved model.
  • Renovation – incorporating what was there, but renewing.
  • Plowing the fields, preparing for new growth or pruning for reforestation.
  • An `extreme makeover’.
  • Nature’s disaster turned to human advantage.
  • Tidying, spring cleaning, soul work!
  • Graffiti art.
  • Ripples in a pool.
  • Implosion – taking away the old.
  • Selective culling – creative destruction for the sake of the species
  • From a fire, a phoenix arises!
  • Imaginative dismantling, breaking down to allow a new form to develop, exploding current
    thinking to stimulate new thinking.
  • Using one big breath to blow down a house of cards and then to rebuild, using the same
    cards but creating a different house.
  • Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Ending things in an original way – like the most beautiful, colorful, firework that wipes out
    everything to start afresh.

How would you set out to destroy something `creatively’? List the steps….

Version 1.
  1. Use visuals and examples
  2. Pair up and share the exercise
  3. Gather all information available and collate
  4. Try and discover if something similar has been done before
  5. Challenge, by thinking on the edge
  6. Ensure that all players are involved in the process
Version 2.
  1. PMI’s, Consider the Positives, the Minuses and what’s interesting.
  2. SWOT analysis, looking for opportunities out of the weaknesses.
  3. Professionally rewarding a new concept,
  4. Quality learning circle discussion of the concept.
  5. Relate it to classroom practice discuss,
  6. Share suggestions
Version 3.
  1. Revisit core vision and purpose,
  2. Ensure a culture of continuous improvement exists,
  3. Reflect and examine the strengths and weakness of current systems and processes,
  4. Decide which processes are most in need of destruction,
  5. Brainstorm alternatives
Version 4.
  1. Where are we now?
  2. What are we trying to change?
  3. What do we need to destruct?
  4. What is our ideal/where do we want to be at the end of this process?
  5. What are our first steps forward?
  6. What roles will each of us take so we’re all owning process.
Version 5.
  1. Relate the need for change to the big picture – the core business.
  2. Always ask yourself, “Will this benefit the kids?”
  3. Build a sense of urgency, a shared vision or solution then an action plan.
  4. Ongoing reflection on progress needed.
  5. Make use of the creativity of children in helping solve adult issues.
Version 6.
  1. Use visuals to elicit knowledge,
  2. Identify aspects using Yellow/Black hats,
  3. Use a Venn diagram to identify differences/commonalities
  4. Articulate something general about creative destruction,
  5. Walk around to find examples to implement
Version 7.
  1. Identify the issue,
  2. Put some challenges,
  3. Outline the outcomes,
  4. Pick the ideas to keep and what needs to go,
  5. Use a SWOT analysis to identify the issues.
Version 8.
  1. Spell out the challenge,
  2. Identify and focus on the creative elements and
  3. Outline the incentives (gain over pain)
  4. Agree in collaboration rather than autocracy and a tunnel vision hierarchy
Final version:
  1. Establish the purpose, vision and the context, 
  2. Identify issues and analyse options,
  3. Prioritize the options
  4. Collaborate and communicate to reach consensus
  5. Identify benefits and incentives
  6. Look for opportunity to trial the solution

Use the new method to `creatively destroy’ the concept of ‘homework’.

Step One: Establish purpose, vision and context

  • Use it to reinforce prior learning, practice, good habits, routines.
  • Child minding, keeping children out of their parents hair, satisfying parents perception that
    their child is working hard, extending learning, practice and reinforcement
  • Study skills, reinforcing concepts, involving parents, massaging parental anxieties and
  • To value the learning of the classroom,
  • Takes away from the valuable learning that happens at home that isn’t school based
  • It is a parental value. Meets parental expectations but giving teachers stress,
  • Extends learning time. Continuous learning. Practice, revision and reflection.
  • Challenging the parent’s ability. Really finds out what the parents know on any given
  • Revision and extension of classroom practice. Embeds best practice and showcases learning
    to the parents.
  • Keeping parents happy. Keeps parents up to speed on what is happening in classroom.
  • Rote learning, mindless, busy work. It is destructive and challenges family time.
  • After hours drudgery. Robbing teachers of their off time, creating more stress.

Step Two: Identify issues and analyse options

  • Marking! Is it useful? Optional and/or contract based.
  • Authentic learning where children are so engaged in inquiry that they want to voluntarily
    extend it in collaboration with their family.
  • Child care, family unity, etc the children play, online work…
  • Time wasting, rote learning, additional stress for teachers, stressful to families, change the
    notion, name structure.
  • Preparation for learning at the next level. Opportunity to practice independence. A social
  • Doesn’t recognize the changing nature of our culture such as working parents and single
    parent families.
  • Incentive for learning possibilities.
  • Recognize clubs and other options they may have outside of school hours.
  • Reinforced learned concepts and skills.
  • Use homework as a communication tool and change the name.
  • Encourage reading and give kids choice.
  • Reduces down time, separates children from family while locked in rooms studying. Takes
    away family time from social interaction.
  • Individual approach – student’s self-initiated extension of learning if required.Extending
    school hours – only if extra academic learning is needed.
  • Accept that school doesn’t provide all learning – acknowledge the valued learning that
    happens in the home without a worksheet.
  • Assigned work.
  • Authentic learning.
  • Physical Education, sport etc are also homework.
  • Communicate with families on reading what they normally read together.
  • Change the name. For example, call it `prep’ for the next day’s work.
  • Set up an online help system.
  • Book club and round table approach.
  • No homework. Abandon some of the curriculum to make time.
  • Let the kids plan and choose what they learn at home, self-directed homework.
  • Continuous learning, activities which is project based and research.
  • Explain and communicate with parents of why it should be abolished.

Step Three:  A priority listing of the issues to consider:

  1. Change ‘homework’ to becoming a communication vehicle with parents.
  2. Identify alternative ways of achieving the same ends.
  3. Explain and communicate with parents on why it should be abolished.
  4. Use to extend school hours – only if extra academic learning needed.

Step Four:  Collaborate for a consensus solution

  • Argue the fact it takes away family time from social interaction.
  • Explain and communicate with parents on why it should be abolished.