Oh, is that a tough question. Are you managing decline? Most likely, as a leader, if you are managing decline then you might not even know it. Hopefully this post will shed some light on why you might be doing more to damage your organization then you think.
Like the way things are? Think that change is “too much” for your organization? Attend meetings and come back to your division and try to make things easier for your people? Don’t see how the 21st century is vastly different from the 20th? Want to just clock in and out? Still following the directives of your predecessor? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be managing decline.
Competition permeates throughout every organization. For instance, think Health Care providers want to be average? Well, chances are you wouldn’t want to take your insurance money back if you felt they were not top notch. You want to find the best, because it’s your health. Or, how about your cell phone (personal learning device)? Are you OK with average speed? Since there are so many “competitors” out there, chances are the next time you purchase a cell phone, if you do not think the company is striving to provide you with the best product, you will go somewhere else. Are schools any different?
Schools are no different. In fact, the stakes are getting high in the competition for students. Parents, armed with their perceptions or analysis of data, are making choices of where to send their children. Think they want to send their kids to a school where the leader is viewed as “managing decline”? Not anymore! Not with all of the options out available to them.
By maintaining the status quo, you are managing decline. You stay the same and everyone else is working to improve and stay competitive. The world is changing rapidly. So if you keep your classroom, school, or district the “same” you are actually declining. When you analyze your school, what are your doing to improve technology, customer service, appearance, before/after school offerings, social media, devices, student learning, teacher learning, leader learning, assessment results, discipline and the list goes on and on.
Continuous improvement? Or Continuous decline? Which do you want to “manage”?