This blog is a plug for a website that I use very frequently. Check out http://www.reinventingeducation.org.

This site is supported by IBM as an arm of its philanthropic efforts to support educational change. It was developed by Dr. Rosabeth Kanter who is a recognized business / organizational leader out of Harvard.

She has developed a complex website whose use is not for the faint of heart. And this makes sense. Reinventing educational systems is just a tad complex and so you will find no Holy Grail, one-size-fits-all link that will answer all your prayers.

I urge you to sign on and then to register. For some reason, on registering, you cannot automatically use the site’s many, many resources. After a day or two you will be notified of your acceptance and then you can begin to engage it.

Start with Getting Started and then follow how the site will intuitively lead through the Change Wheels. Highly, highly recommend it.

Perhaps the best aspects of the site are the 88 instruments that are offered to measure stakeholders’ perceptions of just about any organizational / systemic issue you can think of. Stakeholders can access the site, answer the instrument online and the site will compute responses by frequency and means. Better than that, it will then make specific suggestions as to what to do as a result of the responses.

One of the most poignant experiences I have had in using this site was when I accessed the Change Wheel and used its Shared Vision resources. I invited the faculty of a building I was working with, to answer the instrument about Shared Vision. Teachers actually began to cry and become upset as they responded to the items. It became very clear to them that there was absolutely no shared vision in their building. And naturally that became the leverage for building in all the 5 Disciplines into the school’s organizational practices.

One of my doctoral students, Dr. Mary Kelly of Amityville Schools in New York did her research on this website. She uncovered some very interesting issues associated with the extent to which schools and school districts were successfully using the site to engage systemic reform. I urge you to contact her with questions you may have.

In essence though her research dramatically demonstrated that schools that used the site UNsuccessfully were invariably NOT organizationally READY to embrace systemic change.

If you think about it, that premise speaks volumes. Sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh may be weak.

Try this out.

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