hack the ministry

peers . mentors . sages . redeeming the "M” word

(206) 383-9078

There's ministry, and there's The Ministry. We always knew that. 

Now we're learning it again....

October 12, 2017—a Thursday—a network of peers, mentors and sages gather to tell stories, ask questions, and connect with others who are redeeming, reclaiming, and reframing the M word.

Coarser is better

“Is this going to be on the test?”

Even if you're done with school, you ask this question.

  • Do I have to go to that meeting?
  • How important is this?

All of these are variations of “Is this going to be on the test?”

It’s a damned important question. Because if this is going to be

  • on the test, I better pay attention.
  • if not, no biggie.

Let’s take a different tack,

what if the test is only pass/fail?

It changes the question doesn’t it. You already know it (whatever it is) will be on the test, but the test itself is pass/fail. So, you only need to know enough to pass. No A+ or C-, just pass/fail.

Turns out the coarser the grade, the more information it provides. It's counter-intuitive. How can a 77% give me less information than a P or a F? Turns out the 77% implies specificity – it sounds like I know all I need to know - when I don't.

What about the P/F?

  • Pass? I get curious. How close was I to failing? 
  • Fail? obviously I want to know how to pass.

Many moons ago I was in a math-teacher workshop (I know Nerd-ville). Our homework one evening was to take a single student’s exam and grade it. 10 problems, you (the teacher) decide how to allot the points, 100 points total.

Guess what the scores were? Same test.

  • Highest score given was a 92,
  • lowest was a 63.
  • Same test, same answers from him.
  • 30 point difference – and we were all math teachers.

Grading's a myth. Accept it and interesting possibilities open up. When people ask you how they’re doing do you give them the 77% answer or something coarser?

It’s coarser if they ask for more – what did you mean? What do you see? Etc.

Hacking the ministry involves people and excellence.

  • Just excellent and nobody following, game over.
  • Have a group but the work isn’t excellent or improving, game over (eventually).

Are you communicating with people in a coarse enough way? Do your grading conversations lead to further refinement, curiosity, depth? Or are they in the 77% variety?