Change Leaders is a premiere learning experience for education leadership teams who are well placed to lead a transformation effort in their school or organisation. This exciting new program is based on a global research and action learning effort which has informed our 2018 book Dream Team. This course matches deep learning opportunities with real-time, real-world application and is made up of the following components:
WORKSHOP ONE: Laying the foundation for change
We encourage all participating schools and organisations to have at least two leaders engage in the program and provide support to help them with this selection. Leading change in education is challenging work, and the leadership teams begin the course by stepping through a process of self reflection, identifying their motivations and passion for the period of transformation. This work is reinforced by case studies of both our facilitators, and also of leadership teams that EC has analysed and profiled across the globe. We also engage with professional discussions around the changing nature of education and how we can best prepare our students and schools for a fascinating and often uncertain future. Acknowledging the importance of gaining powerful feedback from multiple stakeholders and reinforcing these insights with relevant data, we move into specific training on how to best understand education situations, listen effectively and strategically move towards an understanding of the root causes of identified challenges. To help place the leadership teams well for the highly practical work they need to complete before workshop two, we round out this one day workshop with inputs focused on maximising system coherence and beginning the change process with a positive system to school relationship.
BETWEEN WORKSHOP ONE AND TWO: Listening, and building their leadership
The goal of this period is for the leadership teams to enter into a concerted listening phase, sourcing insights from relevant stakeholders to determine the situation in their organisation, test assumptions and inform strategic goals. They also engage with relevant system leadership structures to foster coherence, and seek out clarity on the degrees of autonomy they have to work within as they lead the change effort. We advise that the period between the first and second workshops should be between four to twelve weeks.
Throughout the year long program, all leadership teams can engage with unlimited strategy and coaching meetings with our lead facilitators through personalised email, phone calls and video conferences. During these meetings, participants access further learning, receive advice on decisions that need to be made and also (and often most importantly) receive encouragement as they work to move through their change journeys.
WORKSHOP TWO - Building the ideas, culture and distributed leadership for
Powerfully informed by their feedback efforts, and with clarity around the autonomy they have to lead the period of change, the leadership teams return to Workshop Two ready to move into action. Working within contextually relevant leadership frameworks, we lean into the strategic leadership concepts needed for the teams to best lead their schools and organisations, and establish the specific areas for change that will be focused on during the transformation effort. There is no doubt that change efforts can cause friction within a school community, so we provide powerful training around positive education, the leadership styles most effective at this point of the change journey and support the leadership teams with how they will frame the narrative of the coming chapter to students, parents and staff. Confident that periods of change are consistently associated with the building up of new leaders, the up-skilling of current leaders and organisational shifts we also engage the teams with distributed leadership approaches to help them disseminate action across the school. Leadership teams then engage practically with the cultural concepts they will need to foster high levels of innovation in the school, increased communication and transparency, and powerful instructional learning communities. In the second day of this two day workshop, we then move through a fast paced and action focused innovation process where leadership teams innovate a large number of solutions to their identified and by now well understood challenges, and drawing on the collective genius of other participants in the cohort, filter down to the ideas they would most like to test. All teams leave with the implementation approaches to trial these concepts, as well as a strong appreciation for the data sets that they will need to most effectively determine the impact of the initiatives.
BETWEEN WORKSHOP TWO AND THREE: Testing ideas and strategically
There is a longer period between these workshops than between Workshop One and Two, allowing leadership teams to test out their concepts and support their teams to innovate new ideas, and also draw upon their learning communities to build up the new capacities they need to thrive. Failure is accepted here, however rapid failure with timely feedback is encouraged and again, many participants reach out to the facilitators to engage with the unlimited coaching on offer.
To reinforce the face-to-face learning we also provide access to an online learning community. Participants can step through individual learning at their own pace, engage in group learning, and receive timely support from our lead facilitators. All participants also receive a signed copy of our 2018 book 'Dream Team: How innovative leaders change schools' at the program completion.
WORKSHOP THREE - Supporting sustainability and increasing the impact We hold the two day final workshop at a date that is suitable for the leadership teams, ensuring sufficient time for the most effective change initiatives to have been implemented and embedded. Sustainability is key in these signficant change efforts and the leadership teams engage with concepts designed to ensure that the new ways of working are powerfully settled in the school and last beyond the charisma and passion of their instigators. This sees the participants lean into instructional leadership concepts, mentoring and coaching, and practically building their action plans to increase the capacity of their distributed leadership team. Our facilitators also present concepts around organisational culture that allow for timely updating of school strategy, and relevant injections of inspiration, learning and ideas as they are needed for the school community. Eager not to see the strongest change initiatives remain siloed in a single site, we then provide targeted instructional leadership training to help the teams package up the best sections of their approaches and equip them the communication, marketing and movement building skills necessary for scale. The best ideas are recorded through podcasts and video, and shared with the EC Community of tens of thousands of educators across the globe, with these resources also being made available to the schools and regions to foster learning. The final day of the final workshop sees all of the leadership teams presenting their concepts to each other, further uniting a euphoric and high impact learning community.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT and REPORTING:
Our team work closely to monitor not only the changes that take place professionally and personally in the leadership teams, but also the impact on the schools that are influenced by their change projects. We provide consistent reporting to the local and regional education offices to present timely feedback on the program and help to spread best practice between schools. Impacts are shared by written reports after each workshop with photos.
“These have been the best days of my year, and that is saying something - days in my school are pretty great! It is the best PL I have been on."
“As an education leader with a number of years of experience I am always skeptical of the next thing. I must say however, this process has been incredibly useful for me to enable my staff to lead up and across our school”