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Communicating your strategy effectively

In this video, we hear from Iesha Small about the features of effective vision and strategy communication.
Communication is really important, because otherwise it just stays as an idea in your head. If it’s going to be a change that involves anyone other than yourself then you need to communicate how that’s going to happen or what the point of it is. Often I think school leaders or just leaders in general, we can see why something would be really important but you have to persuade people to do it and that one of the most effective ways is that when you’re telling people about the change, it needs to be something that they can see ah that’s going to work with Kieran in year nine or that’s going to work with Beth in year one.
You haven’t communicated it well enough, if people can’t see what problem it’ss solving for them, so if while whoever it is is talking so if I was talking to my staff when I was a school leader or if somebody is talking to me and within the first, you know, short period of time you’re thinking, this does not apply to me, it doesn’t solve any problems I have, blah blah blah, suddenly you’ve already switched off so you have to get it, so that they can see what the point is.
So, the first time I came across this was when I was Head of Maths, I used to think well I sent an email and we said it once in the meeting, what’s everyone’s problem? Then of course, I kind of realised no-one had a problem, but that’s just not how people work, you have to just keep on revisiting an idea and keep on revisiting what you want to happen in a variety of ways so that people will get it. Generally speaking again, like if I put my school leader hat on, you want to do things…
the natural desire is to do something that is efficient and fast and at scale, especially if you’re trying to communicate to the whole staff, so you know, in the secondary schools there’s like 120 staff. You want to communicate that to them quickly, either you don’t feel like you have time to go around and talk to everybody individually. And for some things that’s totally fine and understandable or you might just have a staff meeting and say it’s done.
Unfortunately for very big change or change that’s actually going to require people have to change how they work or it might be something that they have some kind of resistance to because people are resistant to change, they want to keep doing what they’re doing, unless you can persuade them as to why they should do something else, that doesn’t really work, so for some people it will work but there’s going to be a reasonable number of people that that’s just not going to be the best way, because why should they kind of thing and rather than what’s easiest for you as a leader or for us as leaders, you have to really think about what’s going to make the change that you want to happen happen and that’s a really different question.
If you’re going to implement something that’s going to be… we talked about EdTech before… potentially very, very expensive, you need as much input as possible before you do this thing that could be a massive, you know, albatross or white elephant. And also there might be things that you just haven’t thought about, somebody who doesn’t teach full-time or doesn’t teach in different areas of the school or whatever, you don’t know how it’s going to work in practice, so at this stage you’re also kind of in the way piloting it I guess and getting people’s feedback so I think communication needs to… I know communication needs to be two-way and that a big part of it is also listening.
Yeah I think the one-to-one conversations are what are going to make the big scale change happen so you need the big whole school stuff that’s going to sell the vision and all that kind of thing and that’s going to maybe get people excited and that you know things that you need to do with a whole group but to actually make sure that people implement it, that’s small scale, that’s small group so you’re talking to, you’re not going to do it as a senior leader…
probably, you’re gonna talk to people who are going to make it happen so you have to persuade your middle leaders for a start and then you have to make sure that they’re on board enough to persuade their own staff and then you might not have to be there to talk to other staff who can’t always see the point but the main things you need to think about for tech really as with anything else in the school is how is it going to benefit students? How’s it going to lead to better outcomes for them?
So whether it’s academically or pastorally, and then also how is it going to help staff to either teach better or to support the kids from the school better? It has to do those things otherwise there’s not really any point in it and I say that specifically to school leaders because sometimes we can implement stuff that makes our jobs easier to school leaders but doesn’t actually do those things and that’s a problem I think.

In this video, we hear from Iesha Small about the features of effective vision and strategy communication.

Iesha shares how effective communication can help colleagues to see how the strategy being proposed will help to solve a problem for them or their pupils. She reflects on the importance of revisiting your approach frequently and in a variety of ways so that others can begin to share in that vision. Ensuring your strategy doesn’t have blind spots is important so take the time to test it out with colleagues and request their feedback.

This stage of communication is important before you approach aspects of professional learning so that staff are ‘on board’, open to and engaged in their learning journey ahead.

Once you’ve reflected on the points raised with other course participants, click the ‘Mark as complete’ button below and then select ‘Managing change’ to explore how we can adopt our management of change and professional learning opportunities to suit a variety of colleagues.
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Leadership of Education Technology in Schools

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