"You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems."
Clear, J. (2018). Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Avery.
THE MEAT (The Main Idea)
James Clear, author of the popular book "Atomic Habits," emphasizes the importance of developing effective systems and habits to achieve success. According to Clear, rather than simply setting goals, individuals and organizations need to establish and follow a reliable system of processes. By doing so, they can work more efficiently, make progress towards their objectives, and ultimately achieve success. This lesson is especially relevant for businesses and schools, which often rely on goal-setting and measurement to track progress. If you find yourself falling short of your goals, Clear suggests looking at your systems and processes and making adjustments as needed.
THE CHEESE (Added Depth)
So what does this look like in real life?
Data meetings are an important aspect of improving student achievement, but they can become ineffective and a waste of time without effective systems in place. James Clear's quote highlights the importance of having effective systems in place to achieve our goals. In the context of data meetings, this means establishing clear goals, developing an agenda, and creating action plans based on data analysis. Without a clear plan, data meetings can turn into unproductive venting sessions, and teachers may leave feeling frustrated and discouraged.
Research from Park, S. W., & Datnow, A. (2017), shows that effective data meetings can have a positive impact on student achievement. They found that when data meetings are done "right," they can be used to create a shared understanding of what student achievement should look like, which can help to align instruction and assessment across classrooms and grade levels. However, for data meetings to be effective, they need to be structured and purposeful. This means establishing clear norms and protocols for data meetings, including guidelines for discussion and decision-making. The use of a shared document or platform, such as Google Sheets or Google Docs, to track progress and document decisions is a simple yet effective way to share data. By establishing these systems, data meetings can become a valuable opportunity for collaboration and improvement, rather than a source of frustration and wasted time.
THE OLIVES (A Surprising Element)
Let's bring it back to something near and dear to my heart, THE BUFFALO BILLS. There is no better example, however, I may be a little bias.
Professional sports teams like the Buffalo Bills know the value of effective systems in achieving success. In recent years, the Bills have emphasized a process-focused approach, famously coining the phrase "Trust The Process" as their mantra. This means prioritizing the development and implementation of effective systems both on and off the field, from coaching and player development to team management and scouting. By building and following a set of effective systems, the Bills have been able to consistently improve and achieve their goals, including making it to the playoffs for the past three seasons. The James Clear quote on systems emphasizes that we cannot rely solely on our goals to achieve success, but rather on the systems we put in place to help us achieve those goals. The Bills' success serves as a prime example of how prioritizing effective systems and processes can lead to improved outcomes and success.
Let's Go Bills :)