Leading Change and Making Positive Decisions

The flipped preparation this week involved reading the article “Leading Change and Making Positive Decisions” and coming to the session with responses to the article:

  • One thing that resonates with you that you could usefully take away from the article

“You should not follow any change leadership recipe uncritically, but lead the adaptation of a process to meet your needs”.

Knowing when things needed to change and having the courage to do something about it” (Diamond, 2003 p.7).

These quotes resonated and reinforced for me the value of being authentic. I am critical of the leadership approaches I experience in my organisation and my instincts alone tell me that we are not always going in the right direction.

With regard to leading adaptation of a process- the second quote is a call to be steadfast and courageous and not follow the herd. Leading to meet my needs would mean being authentic and open about my needs, trusting that others will open a space where the humanity of what we are doing, and how we are doing it, will be made visible. Taking charge of my own mind (and heart) I think will influence others to support me to make necessary adaptations. But if I don’t say anything I give away my power to lead.

My strength in challenging the status quo is usually successful because people know that when I do speak its generally because I have something to say. But more than that, I try to do so in a way that makes it safe for people to be able to change their mind.

  • One thing that you would take issue with in some way, with a reasoned critique

“In the agile software development community one of the core concepts is to “embrace change”. That is, to be completely relaxed about the fact that change will happen, and that it should be seen as a positive rather than a negative”.

While I understand resilience and need for change, I am not sure that all changes should be seen as positive. I don’t think that’s allowing people to be  authentic. It’s pretty hard to be “completely relaxed” about something that in reality amounts to a ton of work that needs to happen in a very short space of time (my current experience of agile software development the my organisation).

There is some part of this that leads into a relativist discourse- all change is always good. Some changes are dangerous and negative, in my view, particularly when technology is presented as a panacea to what ails education. Forgive me for not being completely relaxed by the fact that the software has the potential to reduce human relationships to business transactions.

In my place of work, the agile bit is being misused because it is leading to change without a lot of premeditated thought- a ‘making shit up’ approach. This not fair actually, as lots of premeditation going on on product and systems, but we keep short-circuiting on the purpose. I think this is less problematic in contexts that are not intricately linked to individual human relationships i.e. teaching and learning.

I take issue with statements that promote agility/failing fast etc positions people who are questioning the pace of change as somehow lacking resilience etc.  People like me are questioning and saying let’s slow the f’ing farm down labeled as out of step with the reality of the business. not modern or progressive.