It's time to chase Innovation instead of reacting to the status quo.
What Ikea Furniture Taught me
I have come to enjoy assembling furniture
especially from Ikea!
Who needs written directions that tell you the description of each little screw or dowell that you use! Pictures say 1000 words, though for many Ikea's pictures say about 17.
Recently, we transitioned our girls into new loft beds and when the haul of boxes came from IKEA, my wife and I dove into the challenge. Furniture is easy, line up the holes, tighten the screws, and you have a new piece of functional furniture!
However, this time around we were working with metal from IKEA and that made all the difference. I kept seeing this image on the instructions.
Here's my translation: "Don't tighten the screw, it would be bad and make things a lot harder when you get to the end of this build. Whatever you do...DON'T. TIGHTEN. the SCREW.
Being a student of IKEA I followed said directions and the process of building a bed that many complained about on social media came together. There were points of taking pieces apart, looking at the directions over again, but the consistent message came through the entire build. Don't tighten the screws.
Finally the time came when the instructions showed an image sharing the good news. It was time to tighten the screws! (To clarify, no I did not use the allen wrench provided...my power drill worked wonders!)
As I was finishing up the first bed (because go big or go home, let's get two!) I realized how this process is an illustration of so many teachers that I work with. So often, the screws are made tight right away, not allowing for the flexibility needed to build the structure higher and stronger. Ideas quickly set into opinions and there isn't an opportunity to take 2 steps back, re-evaluate, and come up with a better plan.
All in all I think about my experience with the furniture as a reminder that in everything that I do (work, family, fun) there has to be a flexibility so that the structure I am working with can grow.
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Taylor currently serves as a Coordinator of Innovative Learning for a mid-sized school district in Texas. He is a speaker, writer, and coach for all who are in conflict with the status quo.