The Superintendent's Report: I Fired Ben Doing
Posted by Daniel Seamans on 9/9/2019 9:00:00 AM
Dr. Jerry L. Oates, Superintendent of Schools
It has been said that we are creatures of habit. Typically, we go through the same routine to get ready for work, take the same route, and oftentimes, we do the same things everyday. There is really nothing wrong with that. It’s comfortable, easy, and familiar. However, when we think about what we do each day as it relates to our students, we have to be able to think “out of the box”. However, we never really think about why we are in that box in the first place.
In our recently held administrators’ retreat, I challenged our principals, assistant principals, directors, supervisors and senior leadership to strive for continuous improvement. As mentioned earlier, thinking out of the box has been a buzzword for some time, but it is my belief that we have been “confined to the box” because we continually do what we have been doing. In an attempt to have others join this belief, I introduced “Ben Doing” as an employee that we should rid ourselves of. Ben Doing is comfortable, easy to get along with and always there when you need him. We also call for him when we are making decisions. I am sure at some point when making a decision you have asked, “What have we been (Ben) doing ”?
It is so easy to look for Ben Doing instead of looking for ways to be creative or innovative. I will be the first to admit that I have relied on Ben for a while. However, I have decided as a leader that while what we have been doing may not necessarily be bad, it can be better. There is always room for improvement. That is what the #IFiredBenDoing movement is about. It is not just for us a school system, but it is for anyone who wants to depart from our comfort zones. I have decided to fire Ben Doing because our students deserve the best creative and innovative educational experience we can offer.
I now challenge you, the wonderful citizens of Brunswick County, to Fire Ben Doing!