There have been many calls for change in higher education. Successfully implementing change – especially broad change – requires faculty and administrators to develop new competencies. Our ‘Making Academic Change Happen’ (MACH) workshop was created to bring research-based change strategies and skills to higher education faculty and administrators.
No one likes to get caught without a response in a challenging situation. Change agents know challenging situations are coming. One strategy for managing these scenarios is to practice ahead of known events. Practicing is supported by conversational models. Many conversation models exist; the trick is knowing how to deploy and practicing in advance.
A typical exchange might be…
Angry Colleague: Serious attack that contains no specific points but predicts disaster.
Change Agent: Neutral response.
Angry Colleague: Escalating attack that makes further dire claims.
Change Agent: Heated response.
Angry Colleague: Character assassination.
Other Colleague: Calming and embarrassed intervention. Continue reading “The Power of Practice”
Change agents are individuals who see a need and take action to meet that need. They are also individuals who appreciate the perspective of dispassionate observers. But, when to request outside perspectives isn’t always clear – keeping in mind that the majority of the change agent’s work is deep inside the project, it is hard to remember to step aside and take the long view. Consider the signals below as indicators that another perspective might be beneficial for revealing simmering challenges. Continue reading “When to Seek An Outside Perspective”