What are your Non-Negotiables – The Myth of “Too much Change”

Today’s post is focused on my third “non-negotiable” and that is a commitment to continuous improvement. “As effective teachers and leaders it is imperative that we are constantly reflecting on our practice…therefore change is a constant.”

I am very comfortable in embracing change as a constant, and I believe that this stems from a strong “growth mindset“. Interestingly, it may also be strongly influenced by my INTJ personality type. However, I am increasingly hearing a number of colleagues talking about there being:

Too much change.”

My thinking around this was really challenged when I attended a Change Management workshop at the start of the year. Unlike a number of “Education Centric” sessions that I had attended, this session presented a business perspective. In particular, they challenged with the following question:

What is the difference between Change Management, and Project Management?

I believe that in an educational context, the change work we are doing is moving a workforce, a community and all the people within it from an industrial culture and fixed mindset, to a growth mindset founded on responsible risk taking, fail fast and continuous improvement mindsets. The project work we do is the Implementation of a new curriculum, new LMS, changing the reports, writing new courses, a gifted and talented program, improving the outcomes for male students.

In my experience it’s very easy to implement some innovative projects, that have some amazing results and improve educational outcomes for the full range of students. But, without the cultural change work, once key personalities leave, the system returns to the industrial status quo and the 25 year old lessons re-appear.

Maybe the “too much change” comment is an indicator that there are too many projects, and not enough change. I’m certainly looking at it this way this year…less “projects” and more focus on real cultural work – investing in the people who make a difference.

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