You are a change agent and go to a school to discuss with the administrator how the teachers are going to change the way they teach. You think you and the administrator are talking the same language and design the professional development program. In reality, the change that the administrator has in mind might be completely different than what you had in mind. That administrator might have already made a decision on what they expected for their teachers — no matter what you and the administrator agreed upon. Same with the teachers. Let’s say you are a coach and set up a coaching agreement with a teacher. That teacher comes to the table with their own expectations on what they want to learn. However, they don’t express those expectations and just agree on what you decided on together.
I read Seth Godin’s blog The Decision before the Decision where he states “The decision before the decision is the box. When you think outside the box, what you’re actually doing is questioning the decision before the decision.”
Being a change agent means that you are questioning the decisions you believe have already been decided on and bring to the table strategies on why you and the administrator or teacher need to rethink those decisions.