Intentional Change<br />A Strengths-Based Perspective to Move Your School to the Next Level<br />Colorado League of Charte...
The “Problems”<br />We can’t find enough high-quality teachers.<br />I have a good staff, but the school isn’t getting the...
Session Objectives<br />Define Intentional Change<br />Explore Why Typical Change Efforts Fail<br />Provide Evidence of th...
What is Change?<br />If you want to make enemies,  try to change something.<br />- Woodrow Wilson<br />Change is the essen...
Intentional Change<br />Making an effort to understand and close the gap between the “real” school and the “ideal’ school....
Why Change Matters<br />Your school is perfectly designed to achieve the results it’s getting right now.<br />
Change done poorly<br />We would rather be ruined than changed,<br />We would rather die in our dread<br />Than climb the ...
Change Done Poorly<br />Cultural Factors<br />Source: The Performance Culture Imperative, McKinsey & Co.<br />
Change Done Poorly<br /><ul><li>Schools are problems that need to be solved
Language reflects (and sustains) culture
Loss of power to inspire
Breakdown in relations / Fear
Less creativity/innovation
A vague image of the future
Focus on processes; people left out
“The experts must know”
Increased hierarchy
Fragmentation / winners & losers
Sisyphus Syndrome -- exhaustion</li></li></ul><li>Strengths-Based change<br />“The task of leadership is to create an alig...
Behavior (a.k.a. Culture) Change<br />The most powerful lever for transforming performance.<br />Co-created<br />Influence...
The Clock Is Ticking<br />“In order for GE to succeed with speed, the company needs to create a culture that breeds an end...
A Strengths-Based View of Change<br />Normative Momentum<br />Normative Momentum<br />Dynamics of Reaction<br />And Restor...
A way Forward:Strengths Based Change Steps<br />“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”<br />-- Mahatma Gan...
Appreciative Inquiry Change Map<br />Imagine a time when we’re <br />at our best…<br />How can this change endure?<br />Af...
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Intentional Change: A Strengths-Based Perspective to Move Your School to the Next Level

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Your school is perfectly designed to get the results it’s getting right now. So, expecting different results by doing what you are currently doing isn’t likely to work. This session, designed for school leaders, explores a strength-based approach to analyzing and transforming your school and its culture. Whether you are implementing a new assessment system, revamping your recruitment and selection process, or simply need to get the 'mojo' back, we know school leaders struggle with implementing changes in their school community. Participants at this presentation -- delivered at the 16th annual Colorado Charter Schools Conference -- left with a better understanding of a process that supports intentional change to get clear results while building a stronger culture among the adults.

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  • Change is difficult. I found a quote where someone said, “Change has a bad reputation in our society.” Actually, it has a bad reputation everywhere. If you take Woodrow Wilson’s view, change is right up there in popularity with death and taxes. Why would anyone do anything so foolish as to try to change anything? Wilson, of course, didn’t take his own advice and recognized the courage needed to make change. Similarly, Peter Senge in his quote here implies that change is actually a renewing activity. One that gives life to people and organizations. Peter Senge is the author of The Fifth Discipline and one of the founders of the idea that organizations should think of themselves less as machines (full of replaceable parts) and more like gardens (full of interdependent living things).
  • The sum total of everything that happened in your school – everyone’s decisions and behaviors – generated the results you’ve got now. That is, it’s not simply the new computer system or new curriculum, it’s how people used those things that gave you your results. Further, it’s not simply the existing employee handbook or student discipline code, its how people interpreted and implemented them that gave you your results. This is difficult, because you chose the curriculum because “the most successful schools use it” and you have written your student discipline policy based on a “proven model.” Let’s take a quick look at why schools sometimes fail to achieve good outcomes even though they emulate (or replicate) what they’ve seen work elsewhere.
  • Intentional Change: A Strengths-Based Perspective to Move Your School to the Next Level

    1. 1. Intentional Change<br />A Strengths-Based Perspective to Move Your School to the Next Level<br />Colorado League of Charter Schools 16th Annual Conference<br />Denver, CO<br />February 25, 2009<br />
    2. 2. The “Problems”<br />We can’t find enough high-quality teachers.<br />I have a good staff, but the school isn’t getting the results we’re hoping for.<br />Student behavior?!? I can’t take the grown-up behavior!<br />We’re too busy to implement that time-saving solution this year.<br />How can I think about hiring when I have to set-up chairs for lunch?<br />
    3. 3. Session Objectives<br />Define Intentional Change<br />Explore Why Typical Change Efforts Fail<br />Provide Evidence of the Value of Intentional Change<br />Offer a Way Forward for Schools to Realize Sustained, Positive Change<br />
    4. 4. What is Change?<br />If you want to make enemies, try to change something.<br />- Woodrow Wilson<br />Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.<br />-Peter Senge<br />
    5. 5. Intentional Change<br />Making an effort to understand and close the gap between the “real” school and the “ideal’ school.<br />
    6. 6. Why Change Matters<br />Your school is perfectly designed to achieve the results it’s getting right now.<br />
    7. 7. Change done poorly<br />We would rather be ruined than changed,<br />We would rather die in our dread<br />Than climb the cross of the moment<br />And let our illusions die.<br />-- W.H. Auden<br />
    8. 8. Change Done Poorly<br />Cultural Factors<br />Source: The Performance Culture Imperative, McKinsey & Co.<br />
    9. 9. Change Done Poorly<br /><ul><li>Schools are problems that need to be solved
    10. 10. Language reflects (and sustains) culture
    11. 11. Loss of power to inspire
    12. 12. Breakdown in relations / Fear
    13. 13. Less creativity/innovation
    14. 14. A vague image of the future
    15. 15. Focus on processes; people left out
    16. 16. “The experts must know”
    17. 17. Increased hierarchy
    18. 18. Fragmentation / winners & losers
    19. 19. Sisyphus Syndrome -- exhaustion</li></li></ul><li>Strengths-Based change<br />“The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths…making a system’s weaknesses irrelevant”.<br />Peter Drucker (in an interview with Dr. David Cooperrider)<br />
    20. 20. Behavior (a.k.a. Culture) Change<br />The most powerful lever for transforming performance.<br />Co-created<br />Influenced by leaders<br />Learned (not dictated)<br />Generative (can grow in any direction)<br />Dissonance is the default setting<br />“Fixing culture is the most critical – and the most difficult – part of organizational transformation.”<br />- Lou Gerstner<br />Retired CEO of IBM<br />
    21. 21. The Clock Is Ticking<br />“In order for GE to succeed with speed, the company needs to create a culture that breeds an endless search for ideas that stand or fall on their merits rather than the rank of their originator; a culture that brings every mind into the game.” <br />Jack Welch’s Final Letter to Shareholders.<br />
    22. 22. A Strengths-Based View of Change<br />Normative Momentum<br />Normative Momentum<br />Dynamics of Reaction<br />And Restoration<br />Dynamics of Pro-Action<br />And Extension<br />Fix Problems<br />Build Capacity<br />Source: Lecture by Dr. Ron Fry<br />
    23. 23. A way Forward:Strengths Based Change Steps<br />“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”<br />-- Mahatma Gandhi<br />
    24. 24. Appreciative Inquiry Change Map<br />Imagine a time when we’re <br />at our best…<br />How can this change endure?<br />Affirmative<br />Topic<br />What would the school <br />look like if…<br />What should be the ideal …<br />Source: Appreciative Inquiry Commons<br />
    25. 25. 1) Choose Topic (Carefully)<br />Topic Selection<br />Task force or strategic group with leadership support<br />Fateful. Schools move in the direction of inquiry<br />Frame it positively<br />Reduction of lost bags vs. Outstanding arrival experience<br />Why is morale low? vs. What makes the team fully engaged?<br />Pay attention to the words you use<br />“no not woods” vs. “fairway”<br />
    26. 26. 2) Discover Strengths<br />Create interview questions that elicit stories of when the school was at its best.<br />Positive questions will yield richer stories<br />Interview the “system”<br />Inclusion gives you an accurate picture<br />Anyone impacted by the change effort <br />How you ask is important <br />Authenticity matters<br />
    27. 27. 3) Build Ideal Future Vision<br />Interviewees imagine what their ideal school looks like<br />Engagement and support rises<br />Future begins to seem possible<br />What is one thing that we can do today that will get us closer that vision?<br />Documenting suggestions and action steps<br />
    28. 28. 4) Co-Construct / Design<br />Analyze interview data<br />Identify consistent themes<br />Each theme on it’s own poster<br />Vote with your feet<br />Committed teams are formed<br />Groups meet to consider action steps and develop provocative propositions<br />Groups present bold ideas to whole school<br />
    29. 29. 5) Sustain Your Efforts<br />Support Ongoing Learning and Innovation<br />Continue to think in terms of the positive future<br />How will we make change stick<br />Focus on Commitments Made<br />Person and organizational<br />Welcome the Change Cascade<br />Change in one area affects other areas<br />
    30. 30. Call To Action & Conclusion<br />"If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." <br />--Thomas Edison<br />
    31. 31. Likely Outcomes<br />Higher Engagement of Staff<br />Tighter Connection to Mission of School<br />Higher Job Satisfaction<br />Likely to Work Harder and Stay Longer<br />Better Sense of “What It Takes” to Succeed<br />And Who Would Be a Good Fit<br />Greater Openness to New Ideas & Feedback<br />More Resilient Organization<br />Higher Student Achievement*<br />
    32. 32. Go Back And … <br />Look for Ways to Use Intentional Change<br />Consider it an investment in sustainability<br />Leverage Strengths<br />Change the conversation to change the culture<br />Take Action<br />Don’t just change, use an intentional change process<br />Think Bigger<br />Don’t get stuck “fixing problems” <br />Persevere<br />Change is messy, frustrating, rewarding, and important<br />
    33. 33. Questions? Comments?<br />Thank You!<br />Paul Thallner<br />pthallner@gmail.com<br />267-566-8985<br />Intentional Change for Leaders<br />Strengths-based Change Initiatives<br />CMO & School Growth Strategy<br />

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