Headteacher Blog, Leadership

February Headteacher blog – Mr Potato Head

IMG_1549 (3)Luckily, this blog is not about running because although I love to run – speed is certainly not my forte. This is not about running but about change. Each person’s approach to change is very different. Some people hate change (I can hear my mother’s voice saying ‘hate is a very strong word!) others seem to thrive on it. I must admit to falling into the second camp. I don’t just change things for the sake of it but I am always looking for better ways to do things. I think that I have a fairly low boredom threshold! Fortunately as a headteacher I am aware of this and don’t constantly try to change everything. I am aware of those that don’t like change whilst also being mindful of everything that is going really well and doesn’t need radically altering!

This week we listened to a superb presentation using Mr Potato Head by Deborah Gidman who works in change management for the NHS. She works with a huge variety of individuals and is constantly looking for ways to improve systems within the NHS. The focus of her talk was to decide exactly what the issue is that you are trying to solve and then look at all of the different ways you can make a difference. Her focus was also about ways of recording the impact of that change. Basically – are we looking to do things more accurately or are we looking to do them faster. In the NHS both accuracy and speed can be the difference between life and death.

So what about in education? If a child can’t write quickly or spell accurately they won’t die. However if in an exam they don’t get all of their ideas down or someone can’t read what they have written so that they don’t get enough marks to pass their GCSE it may impact upon their life chances and certainly upon their self- esteem. Education is about far, far more than simply passing exams but I do think it is really interesting. Should we be teaching our children to be quick or be accurate?

As a school leader should we be looking to do things in a more accurate way or in a faster way? Really it depends upon what you want to achieve or as Deborah was very clear about – what the problem is that you are looking to solve. One of my favourite things about her talk was that we need to make changes rather than talk about them endlessly. This really resonated with me. Start, keep listening to others and hearing all ideas, re-assess as you go and measure the impact along the way. That way you will get results faster and become more accurate. Sounds good to me!

“The speed of the boss is the speed of the team” Lee Iacocca

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