"How can we manage the culture of our schools to prepare for change?..."
This seminar comes at a moment of significant change for me as I step into a new leadership role, but I've spent most of the day thinking about the equally momentous change facing the faculty of my program. Listening to Pat Bassett's presentation on "Change Agency" tonight, I've begun to shift my attention from my personal transition, as I become the interim head of semester school, to the faculty's challenge of accepting a new leadership structure under a somewhat unknown entity. It helps that I've had a year with them to get acquainted, but none of us have yet experienced the arrangement in which I'm steering the ship. The difficulty of this task has been on my mind for many weeks, but today's discussions have allowed me to begin reframing this idea in my mind.
The most powerful takeaway for me today is: not only do I not need to steer this ship on my own, but embarking on our voyage with this belief would prove disastrous. Like most independent schools, mine has deep familial ties among staff and faculty. I've already seen the fear of change this transition has generated: how will our lived experience change with a new head, how will the program be different, will I still have a voice? And a question that resonated deeply from a member of our cohort tonight: how can we manage the culture of our schools to prepare for change? It's clear that I must first understand the culture before me and identify those who can help me carry the torch. We'll get there with eyes open, striving to hear the needs of our faculty, and the recognition that many hands are needed to keep this ship afloat. Perhaps not "all hands on deck": but as Pat Basset told us tonight, those first followers will generate initial momentum. With good management and compelling leadership, more and more will rally to join the cause.
Mike B. - ISANNELEADS 2016