Sunday, 3 March 2013

Leadership, Change Management and Organisational Development

I have just spent a few hours at the NGA Regional Conference listening inter alia to Les Walton speaking to the title "Governance Effectiveness - A Model for Development". In setting up the need for development, he outlined some of the Political, Economic, Social, Technical, Legal and Environmental factors driving increasing accountability in governing bodies. Ofsted are already putting more focus on the adequacy of governance. Like it or not, the world is changing around us and the pace of change is not slowing down.
He suggested that, in exploring how to develop leadership and governance in schools, we need to pay attention to four areas:
  1. Policy Development
  2. Organisational Effectiveness
  3. Leadership climate and competence
  4. Quality standards and wider management context.
Now is not the placed to go into those four areas in detail, mostly because what I really want to talk about is how these issues form the core of my 'day job' in which I help leaders, managers and organisations meet the challenge of major change.
The surprise is that I have NEVER heard any school leader or governor talk in terms of change management or organisational development. Does the NCSL offer courses in change management? Do governor development programmes emphasise the skills needed to ensure effective and lasting organisational development?
Organisational development is essentially a humanistic 'discipline' about the systematic improvement of an organisation using the resources available from stakeholders; it's about building the capability of an organisation to deal effectively with its changing environment; it is an ongoing, systematic process of implementing effective organizational change. Exactly what we need in the current climate!
So, how often has your governing body or head discussed the implications of John Kotter's 8-Steps, or Chris Argyris' ideas or those of Peter Senge? OD and Change Management are highly skilled specialist disciplines and unlikely to be available in your average school. Can your LA help?
The very essence of good leadership is the development of the organisation to meet current and future contexts, so my challenge to you is to think about how you bring the appropriate skills to bear on your fundamental role.

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