Leadership for change

Last week the ABEL program hosted the second Leadership Summit at York University.  The intent of the ABEL leadership summit was to gather system leaders together to focus their thinking about leadership for change in this day and age.  The impact of the day was impressive.  Conversations about system change were thoughtful and  explored how to best support education systems as they attempt to become move forward to effect 21st C change (for want of a better phrase).  It really makes me proud to be part of such a forward thinking group of leaders!

I was really impressed by Heidi Hayes-Jacobs’ presentation via Skype, not only was her message right on the money, but she also demonstrated very effective and engaging use of Skype as a videoconferencing/presentation technology.  (Something that is always important when we are promoting the effective use of ICT for educational purpose!)

All in all it was such a great day to connect with my virtual network, meet new leaders and plan forward for future learning and system reform advocacy and planning.  It was such a pleasure to work with such a committed group of system leaders.

The Skinny on Change Savvy….

Last fall at the YRDSB Literacy Collaborative kick off Michael Fullan spoke about his book Motion Leadership and Motion Leadership:  the movie.  Survival

His talk and his book focus on the need for school plans and district plans to be “skinny” ie short, specific and focused in order to develop and support district leadership that will be effective in change management.

I like a lot about this book.  First it’s a booklet, it’s skinny!   Second,  it provides short concise ideas with exemplars to illustrate the point being discussed.  Third, because Fullan is the critical friend to YRDSB system leadership, it is quite gratifying to read about the exemplary practice of many of my colleagues in my school district.  Finally, the booklet provides some clear and simple details about how to best support system change.

To quote my boss, change is not for the feint of heart.  Fullan understands this and identifies the moral imperative to change for the best service of our students and that learning is the work.  He identifies the importance of building relationships with staff, colleagues and the greater school community,   Additionally, he identifies the need to connect people with purpose, to be transparent  in all of the activities of school leadership and to ensure that leadership is distributed.  This sounds exactly like the Leadership Framework that supports our work as  school leaders.

Reading this booklet reminded me of the important points I always need to keep in mind when planning for professional learning and school district induction in the Learning Connections program and how important it is to be a lifelong learner.