The greatest challenge of change
One of the most interesting revelations in my transition from a school-based educational leadership role into not-for-profit leadership and management, has been a whole new vocabulary of business jargon. As a former English teacher, this appropriation of terms is never-endingly fascinating, and often quite hilarious.
In my new world, adjectives like ‘nimble’, ‘lean’ and ‘agile’, have nothing to do with sporting prowess or fitness. Rather they describe an organisation’s ability to ‘pivot’, ‘scrum’, ‘re-engineer’, ‘leverage opportunities’ and even (wait for it) ‘colour outside the lines’ (insert eye-roll here). All this in the ‘journey’ towards ‘KPI’s’ and ‘deliverables’. What the… ??
I often feel a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, trying to figure out that bizarrely unfamiliar world!
Nevertheless, out of necessity, I am learning this new dialect and genuinely making an effort to embrace all that it represents – a willingness to shift, adapt and respond to changing demands and circumstances in order to compete, succeed and meet the needs of an organisation’s target audience.
Coming from a large education system, after 20 years I was noticing a certain sense of déjà vu every time successive federal and state governments rolled out a ‘new’ project, approach or structure. I, and my colleagues often wondered aloud if there really was anything genuinely ‘new’ out there.
In hindsight, I can see now, that this is precisely what makes leading change such a challenge. Without stakeholder consultation; without an objective appraisal of past and current circumstances; without a fearless analysis of data and trends, it’s almost impossible to identify the type of change that needs to occur and act accordingly.
At Halogen, we’ve been running the National Young Leaders Day events for Primary and Secondary schools across Australia for nearly 20 years now. The Australia we share today is very different to that of 1997. So much has changed in the world over two decades, including the needs and concerns of our next generation of young leaders.
And so, with careful consideration, and utmost respect for the integrity and credibility of the organisation that is Halogen, we’ve shifted the focus just a little. And given ourselves a funky new name too!
From November 2016, Halogen leadership events will be known as IMAGINATION, and participating students are invited to join, as citizens of a community of forward thinking, imaginative, collaborative and innovative young leaders.
As always, Halogen IMAGINATION leadership events will feature the most influential leadership speakers, ensuring that student participants are inspired by stories of courage, resilience, compassion, determination, vision, failure and success.
And, in response to your feedback, further opportunities to pursue leadership challenges and opportunities, and combine forces to create real change in their homes, schools and communities will be a key element of every IMAGINATION event.
With a firm belief in the value of ideas and the amplification of youth voices, Halogen IMAGINATION represents our own willingness to ‘pivot’ in response to new demands and a changing leadership landscape.
We hope that you are as excited by this new concept as we are, and look forward to sharing the student leadership journey with Australian schools for another 20 years! See you soon at IMAGINATION! #iNATIONau #togetherwecan
I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences of managing the challenge of change in your schools and communities. Feel free to add your comments and thoughts, or reach me via Twitter @samskin