I have been remiss in my blog posts for several days; I am deep into writing, re-writing, and re-re-writing chapters of my book. I wrote a summary of my chapter on leadership, and though I am not a “cookbook” kind of person, I do believe the following to be true:
When it comes to paradigm-level changes, schools don’t start with a good hand, which makes change leadership all that more critical. Leading change requires a particular combination of skill and charisma. By the end of my trip I put together a simple three-step road map that is absolutely critical to schools that want to successfully innovate. Effective school change leaders need to link three elements:
Articulate your vision based on the future, not the past.
Systematically and sustainably align your resources to the core of that vision.
Communicate the differentiated value your new vision provides your customers.
Many educators ask me, “Now that you have seen a lot of schools, where do we stand? Are we good innovators?” I never give a straight answer to that question because there are too many variables. But clearly successful innovation is measured in how well a school directly, visibly, tangibly, sustainably links those three steps.
It is a good time to write; schools are ending the year and I have a bit of a break before working with the outstanding faculty and leadership team at Polytechnic School in Pasadena next week, and then off to the Martin Institute Summer Conference. As I Tweeted out today, I still can’t get over the line-up at the Martin; it is like Woodstock for classroom innovation. (Now there is a thought to ponder for us old folks: if you could be any act at Woodstock, who would you be?!)