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The purpose of this section of the O-DWW Superintendent Pathfinder is to support superintendents in leading and managing change.

The purpose of this section of the O-DWW Superintendent Pathfinder is to support superintendents in leading and managing change.The purpose of this section of the O-DWW Superintendent Pathfinder is to support superintendents in leading and managing change. The underpinnings of Ohio’s commitment to continuous improvement in professional practice and student learning can be found in the core messages/non-negotiables espoused by the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (see The OLAC-OIP Connection under THE SUPERINTENDENT’S ROLE).

Listen to an Ohio Superintendent share his/her district’s experience in leading and managing change using the OIP as a foundation and framework for improvement.

Superintendent Use of OIP-OLAC to Lead and Manage Change

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come in to the mind of others

Blaise Pascal

A powerful lesson, one that has been learned by many superintendents along the way, is that one cannot make people change. One cannot mandate what matters, nor can one make people think differently or learn new skills. Attempting to make people change their behavior, learn a new skill, or think differently will result in short-term change at best. On the other hand, causing people to want to change their behavior, learn new skills, and/or think differently can best be accomplished by creating the conditions that inspire individuals to change.

The Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) is now being used in well over half of the traditional school districts and over 100-plus community schools across the stateThe Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) is now being used in well over half of the traditional school districts and over 100-plus community schools across the state, providing a foundation for shared discussion and common vocabulary, as well as a source of trend data that can be viewed by area or region of the state in identifying common needs. However, we must strengthen our collective efforts to help superintendents already using the OIP, provide assistance to those who are contemplating using it, and encourage others to begin using it as a vehicle for supporting continuous and sustainable improvement. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the superintendents and districts that have served as trailblazers in developing, testing, and using the OIP as a framework for change.

Why is it so difficult for people to change? First, the context of the conversation must shift. The conversation must move from providing information to a conversation about transformation. Change initiatives often fail because individuals are not involved in discussing why changes are necessary before laying out what is to be changed. Change initiatives implemented without involvement by those affected often lead to anxiety and fear. The transformation of education will be dependent upon the willingness of individual educators to change their practice. So, how can superintendents increase the likelihood for a successful implementation or regain momentum for an initiative that seems to have stalled?

This section of the Pathfinder offers suggestions for superintendents that may prove helpful. Consider the following:

  1. As you begin the conversation about why change is necessary, be clear as you share what you believe about schools and children; and
  2. Focus your conversation with the staff on district transformation instead of only providing district information about what needs to be changed.

View the OLAC On-line Module: The Change Process