Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Improving or Declining?

Are you leading an improving or declining school/organization?

As a leader, you are responsible for setting the direction of your school/organization and then mobilizing efforts to bring about improvement.  Many years ago, Larry Lezotte offered a very thought provoking comment about this.  He said, “There is no status quo…you are an
improving school or a declining school."

Lezotte tells us that our schools/organizations are either improving or declining and that there is no middle ground because the middle ground is the status quo - and status quo means declining.  Could you, at this point in time, identify whether you are leading an improving or declining school/organization? 

If you're declining, what is your plan to turn things around?  If you're improving, to what do you attribute your improvement?  Can you - and your staff - articulate specifically what is it that brings about this continuous improvement?  And very significantly, how are you sharing your improvement strategies with others so they too can improve? 

This is urgent work!  If you're improving, you need to share your learning with others.  If you're declining, you need to identify quickly what you're going to do about it.  As a leader, this means it starts with you.  Do you have the skills to bring about continuous improvement?  If not, you have some serious thinking to do about your valued added to your school/organization.  Harsh words?  Perhaps.  But consider the alternative.  The future of young people is in your hands.  They don't have time to wait for the adults to figure things out.  This is urgent work.  No child should lose a high-quality education because the adults are not yet well enough equipped to provide them with what they need.

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