Saturday, January 17, 2009

Where am I?

"How do you know WHERE to go, unless you know where you ARE?" 

I may be fusing both Organization classes together here, but this idea struck me as the heart of organizational change.  I realize that organizations are built on beliefs, values and goals and that those key elements need to be communicated and sustained in order for the organization to survive, evolve, and fulfill its' purpose. The part that keeps circling back for me is the role of the effective leader. 

It seems to me that, in order for the organization to succeed, it is essential that: 1) the leader knows him/her self very well, 2) he/she understands the beliefs/values/goals of the individuals of the organization, 3) he/she can evaluate the current state of the organization in light of the above, and 4) the leader can then communicate (verbally & non-verbally) the direction the organization must follow in order to fulfill it's mission.  What an intimidating role for anyone!

I can see how a leader must function in communicating explicit and tacit knowledge as well as have the ability to LISTEN for both within the organization.  A leader must balance process and people.  We have a saying in our school:  "People over policy."  This saying helps remind everyone who works at our school that we must think "outside the box" (policy) many times in order to hear what our students/parents (customers) really need from us.  Policies are followed and there needs to be fairness and consistency within those policies.  We are fortunate to be in a smaller school community (175 families) in which parents have enrolled their students in our programs because of similar values/beliefs/goals AND staff have been hired largely based on those common values/beliefs/goals.  

It will be interesting to dig deeper into those ideals as I write an OD plan, try to diagnose and put into action the changes that are needed!

No comments: