Managing your School

LEADING AND MANAGING CHANGE IN SCHOOLS

Let’s face it, no one likes change but working with schools for over 15 years to help introduce different waves of technology initiatives I have found that there are three different reactors to change.
  1. Drivers – the people who will grab onto the new technology with both hands and work hard to successfully implement it.
  2. Majority – the people who won’t be as quick to embrace the change as drivers but will go with it and get on board.
  3. Resistors – the people who reluctant or fear change of any kind.

The secret to success is to plan for each reaction and have a support system in place to help everyone through the change process.

While it is tempting to avoid the resistors and give your time and energy to the drivers in the hope they will bring them along in implementing the change; it is important not to ignore the resistors but rather understand their concerns. The most common concerns being;

  • They may feel that the way they have been doing things for years is good enough – if it’s not broken don’t fix it attitude.
  • They may have seen other technologies brought into the school that failed.
  • They may not fully understand the need for change or the full benefits of the new technology.

Here are some lessons I have learned to help everyone overcome these fears and resistance to change;

  1. Clearly define the reasons for change and the benefits.
  2. Share your vision of what success looks like with everyone.
  3. Listen to any concerns and remember the resistors will be the ones who ask the difficult questions. If you cannot clearly answer them you may need to rethink your plan. These questions are validation of your plan!
  4. Gather your core team of drivers from across all departments so the change is seen as a school wide initiative and not just for the technology departments.
  5. Clearly set out defined milestones so everyone knows they are on a considered journey and not expected to adapt overnight.
  6. If there have been previous failures discuss them openly, show you understand why they failed and that you are putting the steps and support in place to make sure it does not happen again.
  7. Most importantly, keep everyone motivated by celebrating each milestone!

Including everyone in open discussions, listening to their concerns along with a clearly defined roadmap is the best way to ensure successful implementation of new technology in your school.

If you would like to see a presentation on managing change take a look here