School Business Affairs May 2020

12 MAY 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS LEADING & MANAGING CHANGE O ne of my favorite car- toon characters is Max- ine, the crabby, sarcastic senior citizen. When it comes to change, she says, “Change is good . . . as long as I don’t have to do anything different!” Doesn’t that sum it up for many of us? As a debate coach, I taught stu- dents about the stock issues method of analysis. This method presumes that the status quo is adequate and will continue to function adequately. Consequently, the team advocating for a change in the system has the burden of proof to overcome this initial presumption. In the world of school business, we deal with this presumption every time a change occurs in the organi- zation. Managing change is a com- plex process with many components. For our purposes, let’s boil it down to four basic principles. 1. Change Is Inevitable Think about what has changed in public education and in your school district in the past five years: person- nel, programs, products, boundar- ies, legislation, finances, technology. Change in the field of education comes from within (internally driven) and from without (externally imposed). We can control some changes, and others we can’t. Accepting this first principle requires us not only to acknowledge that change happens, but to truly accept that change is an inescapable part of life. Inherent in this principle is the concept that we will need to adapt and adjust to these changes. As Alvin Toffler, the famed futurist, noted: “The illiterate of the 21st cen- tury will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who can- not learn, unlearn, and relearn.” This leads us to the second principle. 2. Change Is a Process Change is not an item you can check off a to-do list. It occurs as a process, The Principles of ChangeManagement Breaking down change management into four basic principles. By Kim Cranston PATPITCHAYA/STOCK.ADOBE.COM