As a leader, how do you build the necessary capacity in your staff to meet the demands of the work that needs to be done?
Two key principles should permeate your capacity-building work:
1. Minimize blame and focus on improvement. If people fear blame, there will be less transparency and less insight into the root causes of problems, which will inhibit capacity-building. Instead, build a culture in which struggles or challenges are viewed as opportunities to learn and further improve delivery. It is important to communicate that people are being judged in order to strengthen performance and not for the sake of laying blame. In practice, a culture of no blame needs to exist alongside a culture of taking responsibility, so plain speaking and honesty will be crucial. As Michael Fullan (2008) explains in his book The Six Secrets of Change, "This doesn't mean that you avoid identifying things as effective or ineffective. Rather it means that you do not do so pejoratively."
2. Create a culture of continuous learning. To truly sustain the capacity to implement change, all system actors responsible for delivery must be constantly going through the cycle of acting, reflecting, making adjustments, and trying again, each time refocusing their efforts on the actions that are found to be most effective. In this culture, all contributors to delivery are constantly increasing their effectiveness. As Michael Fullan (2008) put it, "Learning on the job, day after day, is the work".
From: Deliverology 101 by Michael Barber
Published by: Corwin Press, EDI - U.S. Education Delivery Institute, OPC - Ontario Principals' Council