Spaces for Innovation

Systemic change happens when…

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 9.19.19 PMThis evening I was catching up on some PLN tweets and came across this #ASI2013 conversation between @toddedwright @bharrisonp and @campbell99 . I found myself reflecting on how often we (as system leaders) articulate the belief that real change happens when grounded in local contexts . . .

What actually transpires within the change process at the many levels of our organizations and institutions?

How might system policies, procedures, processes and structures be conceived and constructed so that spaces and places for individual and collective ownership of desired change come into being and fruition?

Do these structures actually provide opportunity for the emergence and evolution of local perspectives and individual action that will significantly impact the status quo? Or, do the structures, policies and procedures and processes inadvertently reinforce someone else’s reality?

As I begin my new role as Assistant Superintendent, I find myself wondering deeply about these questions and contemplate how I will navigate the distance between perceptions of “what is” and “what might be”?  Whose journey is this, and where does the ownership and voice for the change nest itself?

Systemic change happens when… “capacity is built locally” (@toddedwright) Is there any other way for effective change to happen? How would you complete this thought?

2 comments on “Systemic change happens when…

  1. I support Todd’s assertion. Firstly, each context is unique. Solutions to problems have to be developed and modified on site and simply transplanting them to a new situation isn’t very effective. Secondly, allowing grass roots change to occur allows people to opt in because they see it working, not because they’re being told to. If people believe something will work they’re more likely to persevere than if they’re being made to do something. Gross roots change is slower, it takes time to develop, but in the long run it’s more effective.

    • Karen Steffensen
      August 22, 2013

      Thanks for your contribution to the conversation, Andrew. Looking forward to watching the shifts and changes you continue to champion…will follow journey from the twitosphere 🙂

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