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Archive for October, 2009

Fullan Chap 6: Making Coherence.

Posted by arlekeno on October 24, 2009

Change happens, We have to deal with it. Letting go and reining in.

The four principles of a living system (pg160)

  1. EQUILIBRIUM is a precursor to death. Not responsive and thus at Risk.
  2. In Threat or opportunity, Living things move towards the EDGE OF CHAOS. more experimentation and more possible solutions.
  3. When Excited, living things SELF-ORGANISE and the new EMERGES.
  4. Living systems cannot be DIRECTED along a linear path. Unforeseen consequences are inevitable. The challenge is to DISTURB them in a way to get your desired outcome.

SO, We need to create the disturbance we want.

Many organisations innovate too much with no coherence/coordination.

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Conclusion; Fullan Chap 7.

Posted by arlekeno on October 20, 2009

We need to learn over time, have leaders at all levels, and the mark of a good leader is how many leaders they leave behind.

I like this idea of negative capability, to wait in the face of incomprehension. its how I do my essays 😀

Slow knowing appeals to me, absorb over a long period and make lots of small changes. Though I wonder if I often go off as soon as I understand a point.

LEARNING IN CONTEXT! I agree completely, especially in teaching which I think should be an apprenticeship, not just a degree.

I do agree training is essential for keeping teacher standards high. I would also say that classroom teachers, not just principals should do inter-class visits and see how other teachers teach within in their own school, having worked as a casual, Special needs support teacher and a Librarian I have been able to see a lot of different methods of teaching.PRIVACY OF PRACTICE PRODUCES ISOLATION; ISOLATION IS THE ENEMY OF IMPROVEMENT (pg195). modeling and mentoring ARE crucial.

Pg 201 sounds interesting. The level of complexity of society has exceeded the complexity of any one person in it. Does this mean we can’t cope in the modern world on our own? It would explain why we need more leaders.

Well, that is the completion of all readings and now the only thing to do is finish my last assignment for the year.  Gxis la revido mia amikoj.

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Strategic planning.

Posted by arlekeno on October 11, 2009

(R14p171) Davies, BJ & Davies, B 2005, “The strategic dimensions of leadership”.

Strategic leaders have the organizational ability to:

  • Be strategically oriented; See the big picture as well as what is going on in the present. BUT must strategy must be developed with others, no going it alone.
  • Translate strategy into action; awakening, envisioning, rearchitecturing.
  • Align people and organizations; Set goals, create meaning, communicate!
  • Determine effective strategic intervention points;
  • Develop strategic capabilities.

Strategic leaders have the personal characteristics which display:

  • Dissatisfaction or restlessness with the present; I KNOW THIS FEELING!
  • Absorptive capacity;
  • Adaptive capacity;
  • Leadership wisdom.

(R15p183) Welch, L. 2006 “Groundwork: The situation Analysis”, in 51 weeks: A marketing handbook for librarians, Centre for information studies.  Wagga Wagga, NSW p25/43

Analyse the here and now. Pretty obvious but important. SWOT. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Thinking about this for my library is a challenge. I guess we do all the things a library should do well, but people still search the less reliable internet for information over books? I guess that is where we need to promote ourselves… An anti-internet campaign! 😛

A good mission statement can be good? Only to make us think about what we should already be thinking about. A bad mission statement makes us look like idiots… Can you tell I read too many DILBERT cartoons?

Recognition of Library performance depends on the context of the goals of the parent organisation (pg188/29).  I doubt too many people within the parent organisation think of the library unless they want to use its resources for something else ( CYNIC!) in which case doing our jobs according to the parent ogranisation of the parent organisation becomes difficult.

What do our customers/students need? (not what we think they should want/need).

These proformas are very appealing. I wish to use them!

(R16p203) Beare, H 2001 “Building a manifesto for the school as a provider”, In CREATING THE FUTURE SCHOOL, Routledge/Falmer, London, pp113/27

This Charter school movement has always been vague to me. Hopefully this article will clear things up. Also I did not know about the move in Vic to let schools develop their own charter.

Ok, the explanation of what a CHARTER is on pg 206  as relating to schools make sense, as a school, we are expected to provide this, and within this area we have these rights/responsibilities, outside of which we don’t. For a school it is.

  1. What the school is and what it is not;
  2. What the school hopes to achieve, especially as learning outcomes for its students, within a certain time frame; and
  3. How it intends to organise and use its resources to achieve those outcomes.

I wonder if this would work on a school to school basis in NSW. In the school you can do this and not have to worry about the local board. I think a lot of schools would cut programmes such as art and music, if USA movies are anything to go by. Ah, Mr Hollands Opus, a great flick. HOWEVER, if anything we are going the other way in Australia, look at the plan for a National curriculum.

OOhh, mission statements should not be more than 25 words!I like that. I shall give it a go. My libraries mission statement is to

Provide students a place to  study, socialise and enjoy learning, with access to information specialists and up to date information.

Not a bad attempt, only 20 words.I wonder if I should change Place, to Safe Environment.

Looking at Fitzroy North’s Point one from its charter (p214/123) It mentions self-esteem and growth. Lets see Merit based pay address that!

(R17p219) Balnaves, PA 1998, Appendix C, In Strategic planning guide for self managing schools. NCISA, Deakin, ACT, pp. 76-88

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Section 2: Communication.

Posted by arlekeno on October 9, 2009

(R 11) Savage, W 1989, “Communication: Processes and Problems”.

Administration is first and foremost communication. (You can’t administer well if you don’t communicate, something my organisation could learn).

I like the model on page 104 ( 144 study guide) its from my days studying linguistics and semantics.

How we communicate, what we use to communicate, and how we understand are all open to interpretation.

a conversation between 2 people involves 6 personalities, The person as they are, the person as they believe themselves to be, the person as the other believes them to be…. (from O.W.Holmes)This explains a lot about my Ex GF.

This is more true than I realised WE CONVEY JUDGMENTS, NOT FACTS.

We need to employ ethical and personally secure people… HA HA HA

Accurate communication can battle a rumour ( good communication would shut a lot of rumours down from the outset).

The research findings on Page 115 (150) are very interesting. Public knows less about school than we think. Public generally gain most knowledge of school NOT from school personnel & Information may not relate to positive views.

DO SCHOOLS NEED FULL TIME PR PEOPLE? Good question.

(R12 p153) Mackay, H 1998, “Resolving conflict throug listening” in the Good listener: Better relationships through better comunication, Pan Macmillan, Sydney, pp. 189-199

We cannot find personal intimacy without conflict.

When we agree to disagree, we mean the point is not that important enough to argue over. If it is, and we don’t argue, it will simmer.

Intersting point, when conflicts arise, we tend to prefer the least efficient ways to solve a problem, out and out struggle or head on argument.

FOR CONFLICT TO BE SOLVED, BOTH MUST WANT IT SOLVED. & BOTH MUST BE PREPARED TO COMPROMISE.

I am liking the six steps. I have tended to have arguments break down where the other person refuses to believe anything but the worst possible view of my position.

I find it also interesting that the 6 steps are just about understanding the other persons position, not even trying to reach a compromise.

(R13 p161)Cohen, S 2002, “The seven pillars of negotiation wisdom” in NEGOTIATING SKILLS FOR MANAGERS, McGraw-Hill New York. p171/87

The 7 pillars list the process elements that merit consideration each time you negotiate, And you must assess the priority of each pillar in each negotiation.

  1. Relationship
  2. Interests
  3. BATNA (Best alternative to a negotiated agreement? )
  4. Creativity
  5. Fairness
  6. Commitment
  7. Communication

AGREEMENT AND PREPARATION DEPEND ON THE ABOVE.

A lot of emphasis on good relationships here.

I like the view that it is not the person that annoys you, but a particular habit of theirs. All good if we can change the habit.

LOVE the measures of fairness. Would you lke your behaviour published in paper, subject of a sermon or assessed by your mother?

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Fullan Chap5: Creating and sharing knowledge.

Posted by arlekeno on October 7, 2009

Not sure what Fullan means by Knowledge here, especially Hidden knowledge, maybe all will be revealed.

Information is recorded (paper etc) Knowledge is in people, a social phenomenon… I think he means knowledge includes the links and social context.

Information is not pertinent until people decide what it means and why it matters… It is a mistake to focus on information rather than its use.

I have thought about this in terms of trivia, and Librarians searching for information. I think information is a tool, and like any tool it is what we do with it that matters.

We can teach information easily, but not knowledge (pg117) hard to even work out what knowledge we want to pass on… I think this is why I work part time in a library, it is the only way I think I will really get the hang of being a Librarian ( no offense to my EXTREMELY good lecturers of course).

Pg 118 from Nonaka & Takeuchi a study of Japanese companies. They succeeded because they could create, pass on, and embody in service knowledge. ALSO. Explicit knowledge: words and numbers communicated in data/information. Tacit Knowledge: Skills, beliefs and understanding (unconscious).Highly personal, felt like hunches. I am reminded of the Japanese apprenticeships of old, you learned at the hand of your master, and you STOLE the skills. ( you learned by watching and doing over time).

people do not voluntarily share knowledge unless culture favours exchange. I take this to mean, you have the opportunity to do it and it is appreciated. Or what I would call a good working environment. I am not sure how this would work in a competitive merit based system though.

I like this idea that we don’t change through analyze-think-change, but through see-feel-change. So it is a leaders job to change the context so people go with the flow 🙂  “In collaborative cultures, sharing and support create trust.”

A culture of care is vital for successful performance. 5 keys are

  1. Mutual trust.
  2. Active Empathy
  3. Access to help.
  4. Lenience in Judgement.
  5. Courage.

All this talk of knowledge sharing seems to make TEAM BUILDING EXERCISES not as stupid as I thought. (Admittedly thought most bonding I have done in team building exercises is chatting about how stupid they are 🙂 Mind you, I still dislike Paintballing, where you are made competitive and risk injury, I think it is more divisive.

All the talk of peer groups visiting reminds me of local library associations ( most schools only have one librarian unlike other faculties). Works well if Cover is provided ($$$).

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Sergiovanni and Gibbs.

Posted by arlekeno on October 6, 2009

Sergiovanni, T 2000, “Deep change and the power of localism”

Not every organisation is the same. So what works for business won’t necessarily work for a school.

Bureaucracies, Markets and Clans. People can’t decide where a school falls, so business (market) change models won’t work.

Constrained or unconstrained view of humanity? Well, I will always do what is best for the kids, but I want to be paid for it too.

There is a lot of sense in constraints though.But it is better if we can get people working for the common good of communities as well.

Sergiovanni recommends COMMUNITY theories of change over market. Market forces are not appropriate for schools role in promoting social interests.

Gibbs, R 2003 “Reframing the rolel of the teacher-librarian”.

Interesting to say that schools tend to be set in ways. We all are. But Good talk of FRAGMENTATION. Discreet subject areas, teachers operating alone, little co-ordination across the whole.

We need to restructure ( reculture?) to become more collaborative, and the TL can be a big help to a Principal in this. Flexible timetabling, collaborative teaching, staging etc.

This article repeats a lot of last semester.

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Fullan Chap 4: Building Relationships.

Posted by arlekeno on October 6, 2009

IF relationships improve, things get better… So a leader must be a relationship builder.

We have to be linked internally and externally. Sometimes overlooked ( e.g. Monsanto company).

Essential components of creating relationships (pg79)

  1. Setting clear standards.
  2. Expecting the Best.
  3. Paying Attention
  4. Personalizing recognition.
  5. Telling the Story.
  6. Celebrating together.
  7. setting the example.

I think of the leaders I liked best, And they did care about people. The leaders I disliked the most were inflexible about personal issues.

Any change that doesn’t take into account personal relationships is not going to be taken well.

The idea of professional learning communities in terms of faculties within schools interests me. (pg87) I have been in a faculty where we all shared lessons and had regular meetings. It worked well, we knew where we were and were happy to talk to each other. I have also been in very solo faculties, not as social, not as fun, and not as effective.

Leaders need to APPRECIATE THE RESISTANCE. (gives you new ideas and breakthroughs). Resistance must be appreciated and worked with, not quashed. (pg 98 for ways to work).

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Fullan Chap 3: Understanding Change.

Posted by arlekeno on October 6, 2009

Change is Messy = Change gives opportunity…. CRISITUNITY!

Change is in response to disturbance: I agree, e.g. Children in a school drop rubbish everywhere, this leads to changes in a number of things. e.g. Staff attitude and duties, playground roster, punishments, where kids can sit, what is sold at the canteen etc.

A view of change: 1) We are frozen: we are not open to change. 2) Unfreezing: the initiation of change ( i.e. teachers getting sick of playground rubbish and wanting to change things). 3) Refreezing: Becoming frozen in a new way.

I like this view, it seems accurate to me from my experience. I think of my current view to my organisation’s communication systems, we had a way of doing things, we changed them to be more computer reliant, but we have not refrozen yet, we are still reviewing the system.

This is the simplest of all the models, the others go into more depth.For Example, Hancocks (pg 40) , attempting to define the prob, search for solution, assessing if it worked and so on.  I think this one is MORE accurate because it is more specific about all the phases as opposed to the general 3 stages of the first view.

Also  interesting is the views of change for both top down and bottom up change.

Systems are messy, mostly due to individual factors, such as friendships, personal approaches etc. Many people at work think my organisation suffers from this.I think they are right.

I found the 6 leadership styles interesting.

  1. Coercive.
  2. Authoritative.
  3. Affiliative.
  4. Democratic.
  5. Pacesetting.
  6. Coaching.

I can understand why the coercive leadership style in change can be a problem, though I know some people who like this style of leader. But I was surprised that pacesetting was considered negative, but the reasons given make sense.

UNDERSTANDING CHANGE.

The goal is not to innovate most: This seems fair enough. You can’t change everything at once.

It is not enough to have the best ideas: Oh how well I know this to be true.

Appreciate the Implementation dip: I think this is the biggest point. Things will get worse before they get better. Slow down in work, frustration etc. Very important to remember it will happen and try to lessen it.

Reculturing is the name of the game: Takes time and never really ends.

Never a checklist, always complexity:

I also like the phrase Complexity science.

page 71-73. Me as a leader? I will do this. .. soonish.

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