Here’s an activity you can do with school administrators and teachers (and maybe school board members?). Total time: about 45 minutes.
Set-up (about 5 minutes)
Whem most folks think and talk about organizational change, they envision it in linear terms:
In reality, change in organizations looks more like this:
In other words, change occurs more gradually, particularly at the beginning as employees spend time wrapping their minds around desired changes, how to fit those changes into existing practices, what they need to get rid of or substantially alter, what they still retain, etc. Change always starts slow and takes a while to (hopefully) gather steam.
I heard a presentation by IBM a few years back in which managers explained that, as much as possible, the company tries to frontload a heavy dose of resources toward any new change initiative. The resource allocation curve essentially is a mirror image of the change curve, allocating heavy amounts of training and training time, money, support structures, etc. up front and then tapering off closer to the end once the desired change is well-established.
The goal is to actually shift the change curve to the left – accelerating sooner to the desired outcome – by allocating large amounts of resources up front.
Few schools have the resources of IBM, of course. As a result, the resource allocation curve looks more like this in most school organizations:
In most schools, then, we have a resource allocation gap of sorts, between what we typically provide and what we perhaps should provide:
This is one of the reasons that change in schools thus looks more incremental / evolutionary / linear rather than revolutionary / exponential.
Group work (about 40 minutes)
Obviously you could expand or modify this activity in a variety of different ways (if you do this, let me know how it went!). How would you change and/or improve this activity if you did it in your own school organization?