Sunday, August 23, 2009

Feeling Change

I'm currently reading The Heart of Change by John P. Kotter. I'm part of the vision team at Southfield Christian School that is working toward fundamentally changing the way that we educate students. Instigating and sustaining such radical organizational change is very difficult.

One of the key points that Kotter keeps hitting home is that true change requires a shift in behavior. This requires urgency that is felt, not thought. Kotter argues that in order to convince people to change they must feel the need to change, not intellectually agree that change is needed. Data, charts, memos, and presentations provide evidence supporting change, but don't motivate people to change. Throughout his book Kotter illustrates this point by sharing real examples of organizations that succeeded in changing by emotionally impacting the members of the company. Most of the examples involve symbols and physical examples of why change is needed.

After reading this, I began to think, how can I encourage change in my school? I believe that we need to develop an online component in our high school. Online learning is the future of education and we aren't doing anything to address it. I have presented data to my administrators, attended committee meetings, and discussed my ideas at length to anyone who will listen. No change has occurred. So, now it's time to try Kotter's idea. Does this video make you feel the need to change?

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