The Importance of Change
By the year 2030 up to 30% of jobs will be automated, meaning that our children who are currently in school will soon be entering a world where many of the existing jobs will no longer be available to humans. And even more alarmingly, in 2019 it was estimated that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 had not even been invented yet. This means that students starting school in 2019 will leave school and enter a job market where we, as schools, have little understanding of what roles they will take on. These two statistics indicate that we, as educators, are in a period of change unlike ever before.
In today’s world change happens faster than it ever has. In organisations such as schools, change is so rapid that in some cases policies and procedures become redundant almost before they have even been implemented. Most recently, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the pace of change has not only increased, but planning for change has become a major consideration in all areas, from curriculum delivery to daily operational logistics. Gone are the days where there was time to consolidate and regroup between times of change. We no longer have this luxury, and as a leader this means that you need to understand how the phenomenon of change affects an organisation, and therefore, how it will impact on your team.
Let’s look more closely at the nature of change within an education setting.
To begin with it is important for us to acknowledge that as society’s needs mould and develop, so do the needs of our education system. Our curriculum, and the way that we deliver it, needs to adapt to suit shifting economic, political and social circumstances. For example, most recently there has been a large focus on the accessibility of education. With national lockdowns in many countries there was a global move towards online teaching, and this had both physical and financial implications for learners around the world.
As educators we need to accept that education is all about change, it is driven by change and it should be on the cutting edge of our development as societies. As educators we are, therefore, morally obliged to embrace change as part of our roles.
The modules in this section will focus on the leadership of change. Leadership is all about empowering those around us, and in this case, empowering people around us with the skills to embrace and cope with change, so that curriculum developments and organisational changes become something people can easily cope with. If change was a river, we are not building a bridge to avoid it, we are rather building a raft to flow with it.
We will also be focusing specifically on the role of emerging and middle leaders, because very often much of the change that you will be asked to implement or exercise within your role will be imposed on you. In other words, the changes you will face may often be disagreeable to you, or you may not yet have a full picture of why the change is being imposed. So the focus of middle and emerging leaders is more about HOW you implement change, as opposed to WHY it is being implemented.
Ultimately it is important in the modern economic, political and social climate for schools to be as adaptable, versatile and organic as possible. The best schools do this by becoming good at change management and this is what the following modules are all about.