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Take a Chance on Change

Educational Support Services

DJ Pittenger

Assistant Superintendent

When I hear the word change, I think of Michael Fullan’s work on Motion Leadership.  In his book Motion Leadership: The Skinny on Becoming Change Savvy, Fullan addresses the idea of helping leaders move individuals, institutions, and systems forward. Fullan compares two of my favorite things – change leadership and cooking good food. Neither have to be complex in order to see a great result.

Seeing change in ourselves, others, or systems often requires acquiring new skills or honing the skills we have. In his book Fullan advocates that this can take place at the same time we start moving in the direction we want to go. There is no need to wait until those skills are perfected. We can start the motion of change right now. We know that creating effective change first requires the building of relationships. The change-savvy leader will listen and learn, gather the facts, diagnosis the situation, and honestly address concerns while being enthusiastic and honest.

Life is in session today! We can’t wait until tomorrow. Whether we are working to create change in our organization or make adjustments in our personal diet…we can begin making a change right now. We don’t have to “wait until Monday” or “after the holidays.” Planning is important, but we can’t get bogged down in the plan. The power is in the implementation. Yes, it will be bumpy – but that is a part of learning for all of us. The strong leader will have the ability to provide vision and motivation during this bumpy period. This will energize the process and propel the individual or organization toward the realization of the vision.

Planning and research is important, but we can’t wait until we know it all to start taking our first steps forward. Pfeffer and Sutton define wisdom as “the ability to act with knowledge while doubting what you know.”  Today, I challenge you to become Change Savvy and take a step forward.

DJ Pittenger
Assistant Superintendent
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

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