Read by Example
Read by Example
Organizational Culture and Intelligent Failure: A Conversation with Isobel Stevenson

Organizational Culture and Intelligent Failure: A Conversation with Isobel Stevenson


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On Monday, December 19, Debra Crouch and I spoke with Isobel Stevenson.

Isobel is the author of The Coaching Letter, a newsletter that is about “organizational culture and intelligent failure”. She is also the author of multiple books, including Making Coaching Matter: Leading Continuous Improvement in Schools, with Sarah Woulfin and Kerry Lord (Teachers College Press, 2023).

In our conversation we explored a number of questions around continuous school improvement, including:

  • You promote “intelligent failure” as an organizational disposition, where teachers and leaders are intentionally making mistakes. This feels counter to most school cultures. What conditions need to exist for this to be a reality?

  • Is a “culture of coaching” the answer to the problem of the status quo? If not, what else?

  • If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about schools as they currently are, what would it be?

Listeners will walk away with a better appreciation for the complexities of school improvement, along with clear action steps for engaging in this work.

Take care,


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Take care,


P.S. No post/newsletter next week - 🎁enjoy the holiday break!🎄

P.P.S. In addition to live professional conversations with educational experts like Isobel, full subscribers also have access to the video archive of the Zoom chat plus the discussion guide. See below. You can use these resources to support professional learning in your context.

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