The danger in times like these is that Principals decide to ‘batten the hatches’. Their focus will be on short-term fixes, tightened controls, across the board cuts, restructuring plans. They will see the task as one of reducing frustration, quelling anxiety and drawing on familiar expertise to weather the storm. That approach is to risk failure. In contrast, Principals who practise adaptive leadership take the opportunity to hit the school’s reset button. They reframe challenges into opportunities, redefine the work people do and reshape parts of the school. The tips that follow will help you ‘hit the reset button’.
- Leverage the lessons learned from online study. As a result of the crisis, adaptive, interactive, science-based, and AI driven learning platforms are here to stay. Further develop these evolving teaching and learning platforms to reduce costs, to improve teacher productivity and to engage students.
- Leverage increased teacher confidence around technology. Throughout this crisis, the demand for online learning has fast-tracked the technological expertise of teaching and support staff. Harness this momentum and design professional development programs which enhance the momentum achieved to date. These same programs could well be generators of income.
- Support and develop content specialists. With the inevitable shift to increased online learning, the nature of academic delivery will change. The demand for highly skilled subject experts with technological expertise will be at a premium. Identify your ‘stars’ and leverage their capabilities.
- Ensure your communication is open and authentic. In times of uncertainty, parents and stakeholders crave information Do not neglect the three principles of effective communication – align all communication with your school’s values, be transparent and use simple language.
- Consider scenario planning. Most schools routinely undertake strategic planning. Few if any have attempted scenario planning. Scenario planning is not designed to predict the future but rather to prepare an organisation for the future by ensuring strategies and initiatives are robust enough to hold up should even the worst of scenarios eventuate.