Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Dr Elizabeth Eppel - workshop presentation

281

Published on

How to lead in the face of uncertainty and surprises presented by Dr Elizabeth Eppel, (PhD) Research Fellow, School of Government, Victoria University and education and public policy consultant. …

How to lead in the face of uncertainty and surprises presented by Dr Elizabeth Eppel, (PhD) Research Fellow, School of Government, Victoria University and education and public policy consultant. Creative Commons copyright which acknowledges Dr Eppel authorship of this presentation.

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
281
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide
  • In the blurb for this session I said you would find out why stories, theatre sports, crowds, tipping points and trajectories are relevant to your leadership thinking. In this workshop, I am going to talk about where change comes from and present some ideas about managing change in a complex world in which much is unknown.The goal is to give you some ways of thinking and tools which might help you and your organisation to be more adaptable and resilient in the face of unknowns and surprises.
  • Introduce self and backgroundI want to begin by you taking a few moments first introduce yourself to your neighbour.Then I invite you to reflect upon a typical incident/story that illustrates your everyday leadership experience and then tell your neighbour that story and why it is typical. You can obscure details wherever necessary to protect the innocent and the guilty!And in 5 minutes, I am going to ask some people to share some stories with all of us.
  • Is it that what we are trying to do in our various education leadership roles is just complicated? In that case we might strive to become more expert ourselves and employ more experts who know how to do things.Or is it that it is complex?Becoming more knowledgeable yourself and gathering more experts around you are both good things to do but ultimately they are not enough.The reason they are not enough is that the real world is complex, and no one person or organisation has sufficient resources or information/expertise to fully understand it.Let me take a few minutes to describe what I mean by complex and why the difference matters.We are talking about the difference between building a jet engine and raising a child or being an education leader.The first is complicated – if you want to build a jet engine you simply go looking for experts who know about jet engines. Generally speaking, once you have found the parts you want and put them together they stay where you put them and behave the way you expect them to. In the latter case, there are so many actors and so many human and context variables, that there is no one set of experts with enough knowledge or resources to do the job alone.Education leaders operate in an environment where much is unknown and the only constant is change, much of which you probably did not instigate. How then can leaders be effective when you cannot be certain of what lies ahead? When uncertainty and the odd surprise is part of your real world?What are some ways of thinking and working fitted to dealing with the complexity of many diverse people and many perspectives on problems and solutions? How do you cope with uncertainty and surprises?
  • Does this sound like the world you live in?Many interacting actors students, teachers, principals, parents, employers, other education institutions,government agencies, ministers, and moreInterdependent each actor makes decisions and acts on their own interpretation of the actions of others, what is happening now and what they think will happen next(it can be a bit like theatre sports – each actor does not know what the other actor is going to do or say next, and the whole story takes many unexpected turns)Unpredictable responses to actions unpredictable and sometimes way out of proportion to the initial action sometimes nothing seems to be happening no matter what you dosuddenly things take off by themselves, and not necessarily in the way you expectednew stuff just happens What happened in the past matters and keeps affecting what happens todayAll of these things are hallmarks of complexity – and this is a world in which working harder and having more expertise does not cut the mustard.
  • Illustrate with tertiary education storyFamily violence story
  • So what are some rules of thumb about what you need to do routinely Keep testing all assumptions – that is remember that your real world is complex and that you and those around you have drawn boundaries and simplified it to make daily life easier, but that doesn’t actually change the reality that the real social world is still complex.Expect the unpredictable – Interactions between human beings can have unpredictable results. Actively monitor for signs that assumptions are flawed- As humans we tend to classify situations and experiences – it saves time and resources. It is easy to go – oh yes this is a case of such and such. If you approach situations this way you might be right most of the time, however, when you are wrong you will be egregiously wrong because the situation will grow because the interactions that are occuring internally cause it to growIndulge in sensemaking about now and the future with diverse groupsListen to the stories others tell – listen for the bits that are different and disturb your own understandingUse any the other tools that are consistent with a complex world e.g. appreciative enquiry
  • .
  • Transcript

    • 1. Do you ever find yourself
      Are you sometimes surprised by changes that happen in your world?
      Things you had never thought about before because they were unknown until they happened?
    • 2. Let’s start with a story that illustrates your
      everyday professional world
    • 3. Is it just complicatedor is it complex?
      Do we just need more experts?
      Or is it something else?
    • 4. Does this sound like the world you live in?
      • Many interacting actors
      • 5. students, teachers, principals, parents, employers, other education institutions,
      government agencies, ministers, and more
      • Interdependent
      • 6. each actor makes decisions and acts on their own interpretation
      of the actions of others, what is happening now and
      what they think will happen next
      (it can be a bit like theatre sports – each actor does not know what the other actor
      is going to do or say next, and the whole story takes many unexpected turns)
      • Unpredictable
      • 7. responses to actions unpredictable and sometimes
      way out of proportion to the initial action
      • sometimes nothing seems to be happening no matter what you do
      • 8. suddenly things take off by themselves, and
      not necessarily in the way you expected
      • new stuff just happens
      • 9. What happened in the past matters and keeps affecting what happens today
    • Implications of complexity for leaders
      Talk with lots of different people
      Value difference and diversity
      Talk about visions, goals and directions
      engage with others who might share them
      Create narratives (stories) of what you think could be
      Indulge in sensemaking about now and the future with diverse groups
      Listen to the stories others tell
      Use any the other tools that are consistent with a complex world e.g. appreciative enquiry
    • 10. Kurtz and Snowden (2003)
    • 11. Forget about detailed plans
      – they are never going to turn out exactly the way you intended and something better is likely to emerge from your interactions with others
      Beware of boundaries
      They are constructed by you and others
      They can be moved (carefully)
      Allow space for others to contribute and lead
      Complex ≠ despair, do anything or, do nothing
    • 12. Guide to action
      Keep testing all assumptions
      Expect the unpredictable
      Actively monitor for signs that assumptions are flawed
      Indulge in sensemaking about now and the future with diverse groups
      Listen to the stories others tell
      Use any the other tools that are consistent with a complex world e.g. appreciative enquiry
      Be prepared to, and help others, reframe issues
      Know when to ‘fast fail’ and change tack ₌ disrupt changes that are going in the wrong direction, early
      Sometimes you just need to encourage the actions that others are taking
    • 13. Some things to remember:
      The number of actors is large, and constantly changing.
      Actors other than the formal decision makers influence processes.
       Each actor brings his or her past experiences and perceptions of what is or is not, and should or should not occur.
       Each actor also brings a prior knowledge, and expectations of other actors. This knowledge affects how the individual acts and responds to others.
       The experiences and perceptions of actors can be as varied as the number of people participating.
       Some individuals act as ‘policy entrepreneurs’ – creating arranged marriages between problems and solutions – but their effectiveness is constrained by their understanding of both the public management world and the policy-in-action world.
      Common ground and agreement are subject to ongoing reinterpretation.
       
    • 14. 2
      Actors interact with each other in (policy) processes in ways that could not have been predicted at the outset, and they modify each other in the process. Changes result from of this interaction (without any exogenous cause).
      The interactions between actors, and the change dynamics they trigger, are ongoing.
      The individuals in each organisation are only loosely bound together.
      There is some shared sense of mission and purpose through which the people in a particular organisation, and those outside it, create the boundaries of the organisation.
      Although there might be some common aspects of mission and purpose shared with other organisations, each organisation tends to emphasise the differences between their organisation and others, thereby strengthening the artificial boundaries between the organisations.
      10
    • 15. 3
      The people inside each organisation appear shaped and bounded by their organisational context and therefore approach policy processes from organisational perspectives rather than a problem solving perspective. These organisational perspectives help shape policy processes.
      There is an interplay between the rule or policy setting processes of government decision making and the organisation; also between the operational level of the organisation; and the organisation’s management and governance frameworks. All of these levels and the interactions between them affect policy processes.
      Organisations expend more energy and time emphasising differences of view or perception than breaking down those differences and working together towards common goals.
      Any one idea usually has multiple forms, and means different things to different participants.
      The ideas (and assumptions) influencing (policy) processes change over time. 
      Problems and solutions are also understood in different ways by different actors.
       
      11
    • 16. Some references:
      Eppel, E. (2010). The contribution of complexity theory to
      understanding and explaining policy processes: A study of tertiary
      education policy processes in New Zealand.
      Unpublished PhD Thesis, Victoria University Wellington.
      http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/1202.
      Eppel, E., Turner, D., & Wolf, A. (2011). Experimentation and learning
      in policy implementation: Implications for public management.
      http://ips.ac.nz/publications/publications/show/317
      Kurtz, C. F., & Snowden, D. J. (2003). The new dynamics of strategy:
      Sense-making in a complex and complicated world.
      IBM Systems Journal, 42(3), 462-483.
      Weick, K. E. (1995). Sense making in organisations. Thousand Oaks, CA:
      Sage Publications.
      Weick, K. E., & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2007). Managing the unexpected:
      Resilient performance in an age of uncertainty (2nd ed.).
      San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
      Westley, F., Zimmerman, B., & Patton, M. Q. (2007). Getting to maybe:
      How the world is changed. Toronto: Vintage Canada.

    ×