By Christian Talbot
When I read Michael Horn’s From Reopen to Reinvent recently, my first reaction was, “Yes! Finally!” Better than any other education book I’ve read, From Reopen to Reinvent maps the terrain of the change journey.
To extend the metaphor, it is like an atlas for de-risking school transformation. Horn lays out an “order of operations” school leaders ought to consider, starting with the imperative to view the COVID-19 pandemic not only as a threat, but even more so as an opportunity—hence the book’s title, which names the choice before us: merely reopen or bravely reinvent. And while each chapter of the book uses different language, it seems to me that Horn’s argument follows a similar pattern:
From threat rigidity → to opportunity;
From zero sum → to positive sum;
From everything-to-everyone → to Jobs To Be Done;
From hygienic factors → to motivational factors;
From cognitive biases → to new narratives;
From waterfall planning → to discovery driven planning; and
From uneven levels of agreement → to tools of cooperation.