Whenever an organization wants to conduct initiatives or projects with the aim of improving the performance, address critical issues or seize an opportunity some changes must be effected. Changes might be on the structure of the organization, processes, usage of technology and even the job role (Newton, 2016). Ultimately the employees are the ones who will effect change; therefore they should be fully involved from the beginning. If the employees do not embrace the changes or they become ineffective in the implementation of the changes, then the initiative will fail. The moment the employees welcome the initiative and willingly effect the changes and deliver the results expected then the changes will be successful (Fareeha, 2019). However, for members of staff in a school setting to be entirely successful in the implementation of the changes they must have the necessary competencies, be motivated and have the required resources. Different education management scholars and practitioners have various suggestions backed with research on how change should be introduced in educational institutions. According to Michael Fullan, there are six secrets of change which are:(1)Systems learn(2)Love your employees(3)Transparency rules(4)Learning is the work(5)Connect peers with purpose(6)Capacity building (Fullan, 2008). In this essay three of the above-listed guidelines to the effective change will be discussed. These 6 sections are crucial to the management process of effective change in any entity and the management should consider following them to achieve the desired results.
Love Your Employees
According to Fullan (2008) human being averagely inherently dislike working and will do anything to avoid working. Therefore, due to their dislike for work, there must be mechanisms on how to control them so that they can work. He further elucidates that averagely human beings prefer to be directly and they do not like responsibility and need security more than other things (Fullan, 2008). However, if the job environment is conducive and satisfying then will be committed to work and the school. He explains that creativity, imagination, and ingenuity can be essential in solving the problems at work. The teachers and other members of staff and the school leadership should have mutual respect. The leadership should respect the teachers and the junior staff, and they should also reciprocate (Kotter, 2012). One should not feel better than the other, and one another's views and suggestions should be respected.
The teachers should not feel that they are more important than the support staff and the leaders should not regard their juniors as inferior. When all the members of staff in a school feel appreciated and valued they are likely to support the leaders with any changes they bring about. Communication should also be timely and accurate. When the teachers and other staff members are not adequately communicated, there is a likelihood of having a communication breakdown which will make the members feel that they are not valued and that is why they are not informed when decisions are made. It is, therefore, important that before any changes are made, communication is done correctly so that all the members can feel part of the transition from the beginning (Fullan, 2008). Finally, whenever a problem occurs, it should be solved promptly so that it does not get out of hand and cause serious problems.
Patricia (2017) argues that sometimes change is very threatening. Individuals have evolved to a level where they can notice and spot when things are out of the usual. Whenever things change in the environment, the primitive human mind starts to panic. Therefore any change in an organization can create a real threat. Some employees will fear that they are going to lose their jobs. When significant changes occur in a school, some teachers will start wondering what else is likely to change. Some will consider themselves too old to learn the new systems, and they, therefore, fear that they are likely to be replaced (Patricia, 2017). These kinds of anxieties can lead to resistance to change from all the members of the school including non-teaching staff.
Connect Peers with Purpose
Newton (2016) posits that peer to peer interaction in a school environment is essential. When the students work in an environment where teachers work in unity and community with good support from the school leaders, their achievement will be high. All the members of staff more especially the teachers should and consult each other for the common goal of helping the school. Peer to peer connection can be made possible if the teachers and other team members have everyday activities together such as competitions and other outdoor activities (Newton, 2016). Team building activities are also crucial in connecting and bonding the members so that they can be free to each other. When there is a connection among the team members in a school, there is a flow of knowledge because the members are continuously pursuing what works best for the school. Peer to peer connection breeds creativity amongst the team members in a school. According to Fullan, the initiative can only work if the broader goals of the organization and those of the individuals merge; when the knowledge and information are openly and shared widely by all the team members and when there are effective mechanisms of monitoring the effectiveness of the actions (Fullan, 2008). The peer interaction can be used as a social tool which acts as an intellectual bond more especially if the school is using the collaborative method of administration.
When change is introduced in a school where the peers connect, the initiative will be useful because the team members can consult and share their experiences. Connected peers are also ready to seek assistance when they encounter problems in the course of implementing the new initiatives. The school leadership through the overall leadership of the principal needs to ensure that the team members can connect to ensure the success of the initiative. For peer to peer to be successful the role of the leader is important because he/she is the one who will guide the process and offer direction (Fullan, 2008). Is also the one who needs to intervene when things are not flowing as expected.
The peer to peer connection should be purpose driven for it to be successful such that when a change initiative is introduced the peer connection will act as the driving force towards the effective implementation of the change process. School leaders are expected to fully invest in the teachers and other members in the school c fraternity so that they can have a total commitment towards their work. Since creativity is crucial when change is introduced in an educational institution, peer to peer connections then comes in handy by creating a good environment for change to take place (Fareeha, 2019) effectively. Peer connection substantially drives change.
Capacity Building Prevails
Capacity refers to equipping the school leaders, the faculties and the staffs with the necessary skills so that they can offer services effectively. The team members need to have the prerequisite abilities, competencies, and skills so that they can effectively be part of the school improvement. The building of capacity entails having the necessary competencies, motivation and the resources (Newton, 2016). The capacity of an individual to complete specific tasks effectively and lead to the improvement of the quality of education and other services offered at school is essential. When the leaders in education introduce new changes that require new skills or new ways of doing things, the whole fraternity in the school needs to have the capacity so that they can contribute effectively towards the implementation of the changes. For instance, if the new changes involve the change of curriculum, the schedules in school and at the class level, then the teachers need to be trained on what the curriculum entails (Fullan, 2016). It will also be prudent for the teachers to be capacitated on the pedagogical skills required for the implementation of the new curriculum.
There is a requirement for the use of the new methods of technology in teaching then the teachers will be trained on how to use it so that they can effect the changes well. Class schedules teachers also need to be trained on how to formulate and manage them for the active learning of a school. It is therefore essential that the capacities of teachers are built before the new changes are introduced (Fullanl, 2008). They should be communicated before their introduction so that they can be psychologically prepared for the training.
The capacity building process becomes more comfortable if the teachers and other staff members are aware of the new changes before their introduction. For the teachers to deliver their services effectively, they need to be masters of the content. The teachers who are not highly competent in what they teach will not be effective in class. Apart from the skills in the classroom instruction, the teachers and the principals also need to be trained on how to manage change so that they can have the necessary skills for managing the change process in a school (Newton, 2016). For the students to achieve the best results, the assessment for learning is critical so that the data on learning can be connected to the practices on instruction in the classroom.
Fareeha (2019) explains that the other aspect of competencies involves having the necessary resources required to effect change. Therefore the school leadership needs to ensure that the teachers and other members of the faculty have the necessary tools and resources which are required to introduce and implement the changes (Newton, 2016). For instance, if the curriculum has been changed, then the school leadership should ensure that the teachers have the required teaching and learning materials such as books. If the resources are available coupled up with the competencies of the members of staff, the implementation of the changes will be useful. Finally, the members of staff who are going to implement the changes in a school need to be motivated so that they can wholeheartedly implement the change process. The motivation can be borne out of involving them from the initial stages of the initiative (Fareeha, 2019). Besides constant communication will motivate them because they will feel valued and therefore want to be part of the process.
The Change Initiative That I Was Involved
In the school where was the principal, I introduced a new way of doing things by changing the schedules. The schedules involved the duration of the class lessons, breaks, the time the learners reported to school and the time they left in the evening. I also introduced a new method of disciplining students called love and logic which was developed by a renowned educationist called Jim Fay. I fully employed the four strategies discussed above. Firstly, I showed love to the teachers by effectively involving them from the initial process. Even before I introduced the changes, I called a meeting whereby I sold the idea to them and gave them an opportunity to give suggestions and input. Later I convincingly explained to them on the need of making the changes was proposing. They bought the idea and offered to help me in its implementation. When the schedules were being adjusted, I included their input. I also communicated continuously to them in the process of implementation. I ensured that all of them were on board before as the process went on. Before the implementation of love and logic method of discipline, I made sure that the capacity building was done first.
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