Often, the thought of “one more initiative” is overwhelming for staff members. Initiatives may come from several different directions – district, department, PLC, etc. and be layered over top last year’s initiatives. Vetting new initiatives to see if you have the capacity and resources to succeed should be your first step (see previous blog). But, if in fact, the initiatives have been deemed to have merit and be appropriate, proper planning for implementation and assessment is crucial to ensure that staff will not experience fatigue and burnout before their year begins. Often, it’s not the number of initiatives in your district, but the scattershot implementation and layering, that cause the confusion and excess work.
So how do you launch organizational change initiatives and ensure fidelity, so you achieve goals and positive results? To begin with, you need:
- Clarity about purpose – goals, expectations, and measures of success
- Planning and sustained focus on implementation
- Willingness and ability to invest the necessary resources
- The capacity to do justice to multiple simultaneous initiatives
According to Dave Mattson, author of The Road to Excellence, to avoid common mistakes you should also:
- Reach out to key stakeholders for feedback
- Make key decisions collaboratively with your team
- Reinforce the reasons for the initiative and assess the change as you go along.
You can increase the capacity of your leadership team in all four of these areas by providing the tools to make effective, transparent decisions, prioritized and detailed plans and a process to detect and assess when things go wrong.
Implementing an initiative is a journey, but implementing several overlapping initiatives is a journey that requires a road map and critical thinking skills.