Learn to Love Change

For many, change is one of life’s most difficult elements. Human beings are creatures of habit.[1] They like to create routines and stick with them. Often, it is with a voice of deep frustration that we hear “the only constant is change.”

In the world of education, we are part of an industry always seeking improvement, and thus change must and should be a constant. Dr. Eric Romero states, “You have to take the risks associated with change. In fact, you have to learn to love change, or no improvement is possible without it.”[2] Donald Anderson goes on to say:

Whether or not we agree with the values behind ‘change as a constant,’ it is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Whereas some decry an overabundance of change in organizations, others note that it is the defining characteristic of the current era in organizations and that becoming competent at organizational change is a necessary and distinguishing characteristic of successful organizations.[3]

Leaders who manage change effectively understand and maintain the core values of their school or organization. In other words, every potential change is first evaluated and processed through the filter of the school’s core values. Jim Collins has noted that, “Enduring great organizations are characterized by a fundamental duality. On the one hand, they have a set of timeless core values and a core reason for being that remain constant over long periods. On the other hand, they have a relentless drive for change and progress.”[4]

Trusted school leaders are not only intentional change agents –  but they actually embrace change with a passion; knowing that it is an essential element of continual school improvement.

©2017 Toby A. Travis, Ed.D.

[1] Wendy Wood and Dennis Rünger, “Psychology of habit,” Annual Review of Psychology 67, (2016): 289-314.

[2] Eric J. Romero, Game Changing Innovation Starts with Unconventional Leadership (Miami: KMFA Press, 2012), 92-93, Kindle.

[3] Donald L. Anderson, Organization Development: The Process of Leading Organizational Change (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2015), 364-367, Kindle.

[4] Collins, Good To Great And The Social Sectors, 506-508, Kindle.

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