Are you in a school district that has recently experienced Deep Change or do you think it might be time for Deep Changeto occur? Quinn's book has practical exercises and personal reflections with real examples to help embrace and implement change and avoid the slow death of status quo.
"Organizational and personal growth seldom follows a linear pathway." Quinn walks down a hallway of a large government agency and views the body language of the people he calls the walking dead. This is called "Peace and Pay." In other words, "Don't Rock the Boat!" It is what Quinn calls a form of mental illness. As a manager, actively choosing peace and pay means deliberately joining the walking dead.
The second option he entitles "Active Exit." Here the manager adopts a healthier lifestyle, maintains a mental picture that accepts the probabilty of leaving, stays in touch with the market and thinks creatively about alternative career paths, and eventually when it becomes feasible...changes jobs. Although this is a path that feels like an active change for the manager, it often simply changes the scenery.
The third strategy is "Deep Change." At first Quinn had thought that slow death was an organizational issue, until he realized that if he was not continually growing, he was slowly dying. None of us can afford to avoid the confrontation of slow death. We must choose the stratetgy of deep change.
Much of the book focuses on personal change necessary to lead organizational change. He points out that although we are skilled at creating hierarchial cultures, we are very unskilled at altering organizational structures that have outlived their usefulness. Our existing cognitive maps still drive us toward maintaining the old culture. Old governing rules are still in place. Yet all systems need to be more responsive. Quinn provides techniques and suggestions to support the efforts to break down these barriers.
Quinn uses the movie Brubaker to address the internally driven leader. Redford works to create deep change and transformation in the prison system, where others simply changed the paint on the walls. He is warned that he needs to be "realistic" and "practical" and then he can get the resources he needs to improve the physcial conditions inside the prison. After engaging in highly controversial activities that made deep changes in the system, Brubaker was fired. In order to survive, organizations need leaders who take risks and who care enough to risk losing their jobs. Perhaps this is why retired superintendents can come in to be change agents in districts looking for change. However, districts who simply look for someone to maintain status quo may be seeing interchangeable leaders all contributing to a system that is slowly dying.
Contact Tracey@Kubitzbooks.com and order your copy of Deep Change. It is well worth the read!