Friday, 3 February 2012

How do you plan for unintended outcomes?

As a leader, how do you plan for unintended outcomes?

Unintended consequences are common in school/organizations. Well-meaning leaders often implement new policies or practices only to find that in addition to what they envisioned, they've also created problems. You can't predict the future, but you can help mitigate the negative with these two steps:
  • Plan ahead as much as you can. Gather the people the change will impact and plan to see what might happen, keeping in mind that there will always be something that surprises you later.
  • Test the waters. Conduct short, focused experiments to see how various parties will react, and use the results to adjust your plan. You can't eliminate all negative possibilities but you can get ready to deal with them.

Adapted from "Be Prepared for What You Don't See Coming" by Ron Ashkenas.

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