Leadership Summit Published 2007-03-02

My first event at the CUE Conference has been the all day Leadership Summit. It combined the educational leadership research of McREL and the technology of Apple with Diana Moon and Don Zundel represented each respectively. Dr. Moon spoke of 21 leadership responsibilities and 66 associated leadership practices that successful principals and other school leaders should exhibit. Her discussion was backed with quantitative statistics and made sense. But, as she admitted, it is difficult to convey the full knowledge required to become a better leader in a single day’s seminar.

I was most impressed with her discussion of change – specifically, second order change. She identified four areas that if ignored will negatively affect change:

Culture – “it’s not the same anymore, the culture of the school has changed”

Communication – “we don’t talk the way we used to”

Order – “there’s a disruption in the order of the day”

Input – “you didn’t ask for my input”

The thing that really resonated with me was the importance she placed on the need to create a demand for change. Change is not about the actual change but the perception or emotional reaction to that change. And often, the most stressful time of the change process is early as folks anticipate the impact on their jobs and craft. By creating a demand for change, this anxiety can be minimized.

As mentioned, the summit had two tracks interwoven. If Dr. Moon represented the agent for change, then Mr. Zundel (of Apple) was responsible for creating the demand for change within the room. He did a great job of discussing the digital divide and how the “Digital Natives” are restless. He also used Karl Fisch’s “Did You Know” presentation to effectively communicate the urgency for change. Unfortunately, Mr. Zundel did not credit Karl and when asked for a link to the presentation gave a URL for a blog that links over to Fischbowl. (sorry Karl).

Among the slides presented was one from Ian Jukes and Anita Dosaj titled “The Real ‘Digital Divide’? I have seen this comparison between digital natives (the students) and digital immigrants (the teachers) before, but today its impact was lacking. I summarized the natives as being impatient, spontaneous, and lacking focus while the immigrants are controlling, linear, and purposeful. Hasn’t that always been the difference between students and teachers? The specifics in the comparison are noteworthy, but the bigger question is “do we change the way we do things because that is the way kids do it?” I am not sure where I fall on this question – I can see both sides of the argument. But, it certainly is worth discussing.

I thought I was going to leave the summit at lunch, not because of the content, but because I was lacking sleep. But I stayed around for the full event, and while it will not make my top 10 list of events, I did enjoy myself.



Karl Fisch said...

Who really cares about credit, as long as the conversations are happening. But maybe Mr. Zundel will make it up to me by sending me a new computer - or maybe an iPhone? :-)

I hope it was at least Scott McLeod's blog that he gave the URL to - that will help even more with the conversations.

Thanks for the CUE updates - it's nice to be able to "attend" through various bloggers.

rob banning said...

Karl, Mr. Zundel appeared to be good guy and I am sure he would entertain a request for a new computer AND iPhone. :-)

When he showed the URL, I didn't really pay much attention as to what it was except to note it was not Fischbowl. It could have very easily been Scott McLeod's Dangerously Irrelevant blog.


Nirupama said...

Thanks also for sharing your knowledge by making this blog. It's really a great help for me.
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