Monday, January 12, 2009

Understanding Culture

"If you don't understand the culture of the company (or school, district or dept!), even your most brilliant strategies will fail.  Your vision will be resisted, plans won't get executed properly, and all kinds of things will start going wrong."   
Isadora Sharp, Chairman and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels

I am confident in saying that most educational leaders do not value enough the necessity of identifying the EXISTING culture of their school, district, academic department or program before they start off trying to make change - most often under the guise of "improvement."  How can you  know where the organization needs to go if you don't know where you already are? Change for change sake can't be productive. 
For a leader to truly have an impact on improving student performance it is critical that we understand the role culture plays in the educational organization.  Educational organizations are typically VERY stable and somewhat static organizations for employees. That must be where we start......

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