Byron's Babbles

Iterate, Don’t Change!

Mark Twain once said that the secret of getting ahead is getting started. But it’s often hard to get started. Why? Because we know we could fail, and many times that fear hinders us from even starting. We don’t have to get things right the first time, however. We can allow ourself multiple iterations to succeed. It could take many iterations to succeed, so the sooner we start the better. Don’t wait until everything is perfect before you start. Iteration works because it gives you the permission to fail. You don’t have to succeed right away, so you won’t be afraid to start.

Iteration is also different than change. To me, change means a reset and starting over. Iteration means you are changing and creating in real-time as we go. Iteration gives an organization agility. This agility is valuable and an agile organization will not only suffer less when hit by unpredictable external shocks, but will also be able to exploit unforeseen opportunities. True iteration should also include teams working together to channel their creative genius.

In education we are immersed in a world that is constantly trying to create and recreate. I am such a believer in the power of iteration. It adds layers of meaning to what it really means to be an educational leader. It is becoming clear to me that the power of iteration transcends the concrete and physical: The power of iteration is a driving force of creating a culture of excellence. 

Iteration is really somewhat of a repetition with tweeks as we create and recreate. Computers are often used to automate repetitive tasks. Repeating identical or similar tasks without making errors is something that computers do well and people do poorly. Repeated execution of a set of statements is called iteration.  iteration, useful in slightly different circumstances. After an iteration, we should  always ask: how can we make improvements next time? Find the lessons and apply them to your next iteration.

I strive to create an environment where innovation is welcome, mistakes are appreciated, and all are accepted and actively included. The power of iteration allows us to make something out of nothing, it allows us to make greatness out of challenge, and it allows us to build something we never thought we could build.

It means that instead of trying to be perfect the first time you do something, you simply aim to get better over time. You want your second try to be better than your first one, your third try to be better than your second one, and so on. We need to iterate quickly. The faster you iterate, the better. If it takes too much time between iterations, your progress will be too slow. So, do your next iteration as soon as possible.

The power of iteration can help you and your organization achieve your goals. Keep learning. Keep improving through iteration. You will eventually succeed.

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