Steps to make successful change happen

Here are a few tips for leaders to help make change successful using a real-life example from the school year.

1. Discuss your proposal early and often to gather input from others.

2. Stay focused on the basic idea/goal and don’t get caught up adding a bunch of bells and whistles-stay focused on the initial change.

3. Expect some complaining, naysayers, critics, and traditionalists to emerge. They will have questions stay calm, stay focused.

4. Be prepared to do some extra work for something you believe it. There will be confusion and you may have to step up and take charge and extra responsibility to make sure the change is successful.

5. Prepare to be a learner. If you’re change involves an area that you do not fully understand-expect to get directly involved to learn more about the process. This will help you overcome those small obstacles along the way.

6. Point to the light. As you make efforts to create change make sure you draw attention to the benefits of the new situation and even point out that it “isn’t that hard” to make the changes.

7. Don’t let it become your solo project-remind people that you are helping show them how to do what they will eventually do.

8. Take notes and prepare to face a milder version of the same objections next year. Your notes will become easy instruction sheets and reminders for everyone to continue to make the process smooth.

These simple tips are reflections from a successful change that took place in my building. We typically randomly assign lockers for all students, but this year we wanted to organize lockers based off a specific course for our freshman transition students. It was controversial and many viewed it as too much extra work and an unnecessary change. I had to reassure people that I would help with any additional work it would require. There were some opportunities for me to find solutions to small problems that popped up along the way. For example, I had no familiarity with the current software data system that we used to assign lockers-so I had to learn how to do that so I could show people how it would work. In the end, it was a pretty easy transition- and this will not be any more difficult than the way it was previously done.

This is my lame attempt to sound like Dan Rockwell the leadership freak! If you don’t follow him you should he’s fantastic.


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