The following graphic was shared with me last year by a valued colleague from the Student Achievement Division (she is now a director of education – Alexa), and since that day, I have used it regularly to engage in assessments of our work at the district level; work that is characterized by the notion of change…defined for me as work that involves enhancements to our current practices (not the notion of throwing away the baby with the bathwater!). It has helped me to understand the response that we receive to some of our initiatives – confusion, anxiety, resistance, frustration, treadmill and yes, when done correctly, even positive growth, enhancement and change!
The framework has provided me with a guidance system that I now use when I engage in planning a change initiative – each element must be considered and addressed explicitly in the plan. Here are just a few of the questions that I wonder about when I am planning.
- What is the overall vision for the change and how are we explicitly communicating this vision in multiple ways to ensure that all stakeholders have a voice in the vision and fully understand it?
- What are the necessary skills that the stakeholders require so that they are successful in achieving the vision? Which stakeholders already possess the skills? How can they take on more of a leadership role in this change initiative?
- WHY? How does this change positively impact each of the stakeholders so that they see the reason for adopting the change? What is the incentive for the change? Where is their mindset about change/enhancement of current work? How are we “honouring the past” by connecting this work to the already impactful work that is taking place in our schools?
- What and who are the resources to support this change? How are we making these resources readily available to the stakeholders? How can we ensure that we don’t overwhelm them with resources? Are we giving them time to work with the resources?
- Do we have a clearly communicated action plan whereby stakeholders can see the pathway to achieve the vision? So that they can enter into the learning journey at the appropriate point? To allow for them to measure their progress?
Take a moment and think about some of your “change” work; what was the resulting reaction? Which elements were in place? What was missing?
Until Next Week…As always, I encourage you to consider our Board Learning Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being. Are the stakeholders in your school experiencing any of these emotions? If so, how can you close that gap to alleviate those emotions and positively support your stakeholders in increasingly moving towards the desired vision of student centered learning environments and pedagogy? What supports do you require to engage in this work?