Chaos, complexity and pedagogy SEEKING SEEKING NEW NEW BEACHES BEACHES
New Leadership Themes Perceptions Complex organisational systems Complex adaptive systems Complex processing systems LIVING ORGANISMS FRACTAL-LIKE CREATURES
Traditional models of organisational change A nd the implications for educational / pedagogical leadership Traditional models of organisational change A nd the implications for educational / pedagogical leadership Few variables determine outcomes The whole is equal to the sum of its parts Direction is determined by design and power of the leaders Individual or system behaviour is knowable, predictable and controllable Causality is linear: Every effect can be traced to a specific cause Relationships are directive All systems are essentially the same Efficiency and reliabilty are measures of value Decisions are based upon facts and data Leaders are experts and authorities
Complexity In a world where many players are interacting, many contexts are intersecting and multiple causalities is the reality; where the emerging future is extremely difficult to predict; what strategic thoughts and actions should you take as an educator/leader ?
Complexity can be harnessed- As managers, leaders, principals, teachers, change agents, catalysts We need to be withit in our perceptions of the structures and cultures of systems we call educational organisations: As educators We must be in the business of shaping of evolutionary processes rather than just observing and explaining; As teachers We need to realise that we deal with humans, not cogs in wheels, living organisms, moving life forces in schools, not leggo blocks. As principals in complex adaptive realities of schools We deal with our staff and communities and students who are intelligent individuals with complexities of language and culture We therefore know, for example as a result of complexity that there are different measures of success
Complexity paradigms Systems of people with long and rich histories in which costs of trials and innovative happenings needed for adaptation and successful fit into the changing world are measured in terms of efforts and lives not just simplistic numbers Problems in CAS happen and are resolved in unison with universal forces of change and adaptation in which the preferences and identities of participants can evolve over time Problems in CAS occur in a culture of systemic and fractal-like differences within generalised principles and wholistic similarities which require leadership thought that is based upon differentiation and decentralisation which is good, is promising but can be problematic in old traditional controlling systems.
Three key processes- for harnessing complexity in organisations Variation Interaction Selection Complexity deals with systems of many interacting agents- difficult to predict futures benefit from thoughtful, strategic interventions
Situations- How can we approach these challenges keeping in mind complexity principles within chaos ? Obtaining cooperation from your work team Engaging your school community Focussing on innovative, productive pedagogy for students
Can we approach these varied problems in a common way? A computer program scans the internet seeking helpful sources The United States wants to foster among nations goals it cannot impose by force, such as human rights, nuclear free Iran, Australians try to ensure openness to international trade, The coalition of the (un) willing try to enforce a peaceful resolution of the Iraq conflict, The feds try to establish democratic governance in local Indigenous communities, The World bank tries to initiate market economies in Pacific nations.
Basic Concepts of complex systems in your organisation Population Agent Strategy Measures of success Copying Variation Interaction patterns System Selection Adaptation Difference Container Connectivity
In your organisation Change management Results important Theories important Practice important No wizards- no magic potions Learn from others
A changing world where vision and values are important The above lead to discussions which can glue peoples purposes and passion, courage, togetherness and action Connections Conversations
Your role as a leader in a school for pedagogical change is to press Refresh strategies Change agentry Intervene Caress Massage Walk with Facilitate Lead
What is your definition of change ? Active Reactive Responsive Dynamic Fluid Static Challenges and Resistance What are change and leadership models and strategies for you ?
real Ephemeral Policy to real practice What for? Who are we? Where to? Respond to environment Governance is important no blame culture, forgiveness culture a learning organisation People first People first Nature of the task and the project Nature of the task and the project Implementation processes Implementation processes
Implementation Cynicism Communication Measurements Relationships How can we make communication work? Icon project/s- Winners
Implementation Reduce staff uncertainty- connections- morale-needs Communicate re- change Participation of all Principles of Operation Communication is the key Remove all barriers of concern so we can focus on change
Success depends upon: Concentration upon employment matters and needs first- address fears Deal with the transitions, then later the actual change Ensure we attend to basics first Balanced approach Risk analyses What about those that are left behind? Change is not just KPIs How do we actually make change happen in reality? How do we ensure individual impacts happen? Leadership support, vision, goals and tools are important Connectivity Amplification of differences Container-ing
Complex adaptive systems How hits happen Forecasting predictability in a chaotic marketplace
Discovering complexity A different approach to growing organisations in a rapidly changing landscape Like a bicycle race Like surfing…. Principles Time matters- More is different- Learning is living
CAS Models Responses of players in the market to certain factors Hidden order within outward chaos Patterns Power laws and fractal landscapes Complexity as competitive advantage Lets go surfin now
Complex adaptive systems behaviour Three key principles: Order is emergent as opposed to hierarchical Systems history is irreversible Systems future is often unpredictable
Most powerful processes of change occur at micro-levels Relationships Interactions Small incidents, projects, inter-relationships, experiments Simple rules shape emerging patterns Interconnections Large scale change occurs through integration of small changes Organisation change emerges from interactive complex adaptations and evolution of individuals and groups Changes are not always incremental, as sometimes there is a system shift
New pictures for your thinking Jazz metaphor Autonomous musicians No formal conductor They interact as they play They bring their own intents, biases, levels of interest, experience, and aesthetics Minimum specifications of space, time, duration of musical presentations, melodies, roles, and general rules have been set
System agents- in summary ContainerSignificant differences Transforming exchanges Emergent Patterns
Newtonian methods- Traditional change Systems are slow Change is slow Interdependencies are low Certainty is high Variability is low
Traditional models of Organisational change Few variables determine outcomes The whole is equal to the sum of its parts Direction is determined by design and power of the leaders Individual or system behaviour is knowable, predictable and controllable Causality is linear: Every effect can be traced to a specific cause Relationships are directive All systems are essentially the same Efficiency and reliabilty are measures of value Decisions are based upon facts and data Leaders are experts and authorities
Complex Adaptive Systems Innumerable variables determine outcomes The whole is different from the sum of its parts Direction is determined by emergence and participation of many people Individual or system behaviour is unknowable, unpredictable and uncontrollable Causality is mutual: Every cause is also an effect, and every effect is also a cause Relationships are empowering Each system is unique Responsiveness to the environment is the measure of value Leaders are facilitators and supporters