Sunday, March 6, 2016

The six secrets of change

Michael Fullan is, in many ways, an oddity- an educator who has written a book about business management. He draws on both his experiences in the Ontario (of Canada) department of education and research in business practices. The Six Secrets of Change: What the Best Leaders Do to Help Their Organizations Survive and Thrive is all about how to enact transformations for improvement of an organization.

His secrets are:
  1. Love your employees- employees (in education-teachers), customers (in education- students), shareholders (in education- parents) and the community all need to be treated with care and respect. If you only focus on one of these elements, you will not be successful. You need to attend to the entire group and you need to love them. Employees need to "find meaning in their work, their relationships with coworkers and to the company as a whole." p 12
  2. Connect Peers with Purpose- "The job of leaders is to provide good direction while pursuing its implementation through purposeful peer interaction and learning in relation to results." p 12
  3. Capacity building prevails- This is all about ongoing development of employee skills. Training, either formal or informal, in workshops, with mentors or in classes builds capacity to successfully adjust to meet the needs of the organization.
  4. learning is the work- Learning in workshops is one thing, but as any teacher will tell you, much of what you learn in in-services is forgotten within minutes. We learn as we work. Coaching and mentoring are essential.
  5. transparency rules- "clear and continuous display of results, and clear and continuous access to practice" p. 14. This could be examining data. It cannot be humiliation; that detracts from secret one.
  6. systems learn- The organization needs to learn and grow. We are not on a set path that cannot be altered, it is a path that is going to grow as we learn. Risk taking is essential to growth.

I find the idea of coworker relationships to be interesting. My current boss is very committed to building relationships among a group of itinerant teachers who rarely see each other. This is not an easy task. I see where she is going- trying to build the team into a group that works together to be bigger than each individual. It is a huge challenge.

Dr. Fullan's book is an easy read. Digesting the contents is what takes more time.

1 comment:

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