• Gene Tavernetti, Ed.D.

Abandoning the prescribed plan is dangerous to your health, and success

If you have ever been prescribed antibiotics you have read the following warning on the prescription package:

. . .It is important to finish your medicine even if you feel better. If you stop treatment too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you. . .

If you have ever trained for some physical event such as long distance running, swimming, cycling, or weight training, you know the real benefits of training occur after you are tired. If you only train to the point of being tired, you do not improve. True gains in our endurance, or our strength, occur after we work our muscles to exhaustion.

In the case of the antibiotics people tend to stop the treatment too soon because they are feeling better. In the case of training, people tend to stop because they are feeling worse. The paradox, in both cases, people are stopping the proper course of action just at the edge of achieving their true desired results.

How often does this happen in schools when implementing new initiatives? Work either stops too soon because everything seems to be going fine. Or, the initiative is discarded because it seems just too difficult.

The major difference between taking a prescription, training to exhaustion, and implementing a new initiative, is that in the first two cases a professional is guiding you. A medical doctor is overseeing your recovery from an infection. A performance coach is overseeing your physical training. Both the doctor and the coach have been through the improvement processes before. They both have the experience to know when you may be very close to success.

In the case of school initiatives there is rarely an expert that has shepherded schools the entire process before. Consultants move on. Funding priorities shift. Key personnel leave. The results of the hard work never pay off.

What makes this worse is that you were so close.

No wonder staff can be cynical when the next new thing is introduced. The cynicism is well founded. Remember:

. . .It is important to finish your medicine even if you feel better. If you stop treatment too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you. . .

#prescriptionforsuccess #runthewholerace #implementationfatigue #youweresoclose

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