When I worked in education there was a general disdain for the “education thought leader.” These were people who no longer worked in classrooms or schools, yet they spoke on stages at education conferences, gave workshops to teachers, and claimed to know the most effective ways to make learning happen.
They would often speak about education in a “perfect world.” Designing projects and experiences that felt completely out of reach to 95% of the teachers who were listening in the room.
A teacher’s reality is full of constraints – time to prep, time to execute, budget, willingness of the administrators, location, state testing and more. The thought leader talks about the perfect world. When in fact, the real work is innovating within the constraints.
And this is true across all fields and industries. The perfect world scenario is well documented in textbooks, podcasts and twitter threads. But the challenge is understanding the specific situation you’re in, and working within what’s possible with the given constraints. The reality of executing any idea is messy, and that’s what the thought leader so often forgets.