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Dealing With Change: Lessons for Leaders Marilyn Astore May 11, 2005 California Preschool Instructional Network Sacramento County Office of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Dealing With Change: Lessons for Leaders Marilyn Astore May 11, 2005 California Preschool Instructional Network Sacramento County Office of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dealing With Change: Lessons for Leaders Marilyn Astore May 11, 2005 California Preschool Instructional Network Sacramento County Office of Education

2 Discuss with your partner a recent situation involving change in your program: What was the issue involving change? How did you handle it?

3 Who wants change? Things are bad enough as they are. --Lord Salisbury in Fullan, M. (2000), p.1

4 Why do you think systemic changes fail in education? Discuss with your partner.

5 Why is Systemic Change so Difficult to Implement? You Cant Mandate What Matters The more complex the change, the less you can force it. Change is a Journey, not a Blueprint Change is non-linear, loaded with uncertainty and excitement; and early difficulties are guaranteed. Problems are Our Friends Problems are inevitable, and you cant learn without them. Only by tracking problems can we understand what has to be done next. Vision and Strategic Planning Come Later Imposed visions and strategic plans command compliance, not commitment. Productive change is very much a process of mobilization and positive contagion. - Fullan, M. (1993), pp. 21-22, 25-26, 28,31

6 Why is Systemic Change so Difficult to Implement? ( continued) Individualism and Collectivism Must Have Equal Power Productive educational change is a process of overcoming isolation while not succumbing to groupthink. Neither Centralization Nor Decentralization Works Both top-down and bottom-up strategies are necessary. Centralization errs on the side of over-control; decentralization errs toward chaos. Connection with the Wider Environment is Critical The best organizations learn externally as well as internally. Every Person is a Change Agent It is only by individuals taking action to alter their own environments that there is any chance for deep change. - Fullan (1993), pp. 33, 37, 40

7 Dealing With Resistance: Approaches That Wont Work Ignoring Resistance Assuming that if we just keep moving forward, others will join in Using Relationships to Get Others to Agree to Our Plan Counting on our friends to go along because they owe it to us Making Deals If you ______, Ill _______ Killing The Messenger Getting rid of anyone who questions us Giving in too soon Abandoning plans as soon as the clouds begin to darken - Fullan (2000)

8 Why These Strategies Dont Work (and May Escalate and Strengthen Opposition to Your Goals) They increase resistance. The win might not be worth the cost. They fail to create synergy. They create fear and suspicion. They separate us from others. - Fullan (2000)

9 What Approaches Can Help Us in Dealing With Resistance? Persevere Focus turned to perseverance keeps you from turning back when the going gets tough. Embrace Resistance Let down your guard, and enter the world of those who resist you. Listen With Interest Showing respect requires that you listen deeply with an open heart and mind. - Fullan (2000)

10 What Approaches Can Help Us in Dealing With Resistance? (continued) Tell The Truth Resistance can melt for no other reason than the person responsible for change continually tells people the truth. Stay Calm to Stay Engaged As the other person attacks your position, you listen, you draw her out. Know Their Intentions Learn what causes others to resist. - Fullan (2000)

11 What Approaches Can Help Us in Dealing With Resistance? (continued) Strengthen Your Skills as a Nondefensive Listener and Speaker Avoid ignoring or immediately rebutting a complaint. Edit what you may hear-- the nasty tone, the insult, the contemptuous criticism--to hear the main message. See negativity as an implicit statement of how important the issue is to the other person. Be empathetic: hear the feeling behind what is being said. When you hear a complaint, repeat it back in your own words, trying to capture both the thoughts and feelings underlying the statement (mirroring). - Goleman, D. (1995) pp.145-147

12 What Approaches Can Help Us in Dealing With Resistance? (continued) In short, open communication has no bullying, threats, or insults. Nor does it allow for…excuses, denying responsibility, counterattacking with criticism, and the like. Here again, empathy is an important tool. Practice making productive responses during encounters that are not stressful so that they have a better chance of being utilized during moments of anger and hurt. - Goleman (1995) pp.145-147

13 Deep Transformational Reform - Where Are We? No one is there yet. Some are poised to try. -Cooper and Ruiz-Van Vleck (2005)

14 What Are the Needed Change Forces for Systemic Change in Education? 1. Moral Purpose and Passion Moral purpose, defined as making a difference in the lives of of students, is a critical motivation for addressing the sustained tasks of complex reform. Reducing the gap between high and low performers…is the key to system breakthrough. -Fullan (2003) p.18

15 What Are the Needed Change Forces for Systemic Change in Education? (continued) 2. The vast majority of people in the system must end up owning the problem and be agents of its solution. 3. Look for and replicate promising patterns. 4. Work on forces that bring greater results over time. -Fullan (2003) p.23 -Cooper and Ruiz Van Vleck (2005)

16 Eight Complex Changes Lessons 1.Give up the idea that the pace of change will slow down.We need to increase our capacity for coping with the messiness of complexity. 2.Coherence making is a never-ending proposition and is everyones responsibility. Dont compound the problem through piecemeal reforms. 3.Changing context is the focus--change it, even in small ways, to get new results. Reorganize and reinforce what you want. 4.Premature clarity is a dangerous thing. In order to effect transformational reform, we need to change peoples hearts and minds. - Fullan (2003), p. 24

17 Eight Complex Changes Lessons (continued) 5. The public thirst for transparency is irreversible. We need the collective capacity to: Gather and access student performance data. Critically analyze (disaggregate and interpret) the data. Develop action plans for improvement. Publicly discuss and debate the meaning of the data. - Fullan (2003), pp. 24, 31

18 Eight Complex Changes Lessons (continued) 6. You cant get large scale reform through bottom-up strategies, but beware of the trap… You can get away with top-down leadership under two conditions: It turns out you had a good idea. You invest in capacity building from Day One. You realize that changing the system requires ownership at all levels. -Fullan (2003), p. 24 - Cooper and Ruiz Van Vleck (2005)

19 Eight Complex Changes Lessons (continued) 7. Mobilize the social attractors-- moral passion, quality relationships, and quality knowledge. People need to believe that they are doing something worthwhile. Quality relationships require us to draw on the valid critiques and skepticism of those who oppose us. Content matters. There is no point in having moral purpose and quality relationships without research-based content. 8. Charismatic leadership is negatively associated with sustainability. The strongest leaders build enduring greatness in an organization. They develop leaders at every level. -Fullan (2003), p. 24 - Cooper and Ruiz Van Vleck (2005)

20 - Fullan, M. (2003), p. 93 Leading in a Culture of Change

21 Moving From Good to Great Avoiding the Doom Loop - Cooper and Ruiz Van Vleck (2005)

22 Moving From Good to Great (continued) Building Motivation With The Fly Wheel - Cooper and Ruiz Van Vleck (2005)

23 What Does This Mean For Leaders? Be steadfast. Appreciate our gains. Continue to refine and persevere. Think long term-- What capacities do we need to build? - Cooper and Ruiz Van Vleck (2005)

24 References Cooper, K. and Ruiz Van Vleck, S. (2005) Change… Where Are We? Paper presented at the LEA Workshop, Reading First: California Technical Assistance Center. Fullan, M. (2003). Change Forces With a Vengeance (pp. 18, 23, 24, 31, 93). New York, NY: RoutledgeFalmer. Fullan, M. (2000). Change Forces At The Millennium. Paper presented at the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA. Fullan, M. (1993). Change Forces (pp.21-22, 25-26, 28, 31, 37, 40). Bristol,PA: The Falmer Press. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence (pp.145- 147). New York, NY: Bantam Books.


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