DEC Scan Journal : Volume 36 Issue 1
2017 Volume 36, Issue 1 6 Contents Editorial Learning & teaching Research Share this Resource reviews What is clear in working with the case study schools is that the empowerment has yielded all the hoped for benefits and more. The trend line is pointing to increasingly greater involvement and contribution. However, that further contribution could, if not managed astutely, amplify an already daunting challenge. That said it would be educational and economic folly for any school to try and stymie the contribution. Dynamic leadership approach The challenge has to be managed by taking a dynamic leadership approach, where the delegated responsibilities for evolving how the school operates and how learning happens is kept at the top end of delegation. At this point, the leader is largely ‘hands- off’ in managing staff, due to their high confidence and high skills. However, in a rapidly changing environment staff can find themselves struggling with newly emerging aspects of their job, so the leader has to have constant light-touch interactions to check their levels of confidence and that their decisions are contributing properly to the overall shaping of development. Sometimes it might entail touching the brakes or simply giving a highly committed teacher breathing time. What is required is a solution that allows an already committed staff and school leadership to continue doing their job well, working within what society would regard as reasonable hours. Highly committed professionals cannot be crushed and the well-being of the school compromised. It would be as well to bear these operational givens in mind in finding the apt way forward. The desired solution is likely to be found in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the school’s ecosystem, making best use of the professional’s time and adopting processes that naturally, and largely invisibly, channel the contribution of the empowered. While the early adopters with their organisational agility are responding well to the challenge, they are nonetheless daily coming to better understand the potential magnitude and nature of the challenge, and are trying different strategies to make the going easier. It bears underscoring that all the case study schools are working on solutions while contending with the everyday pressures that come with operating a school, of finding replacement staff for those taking leave, working with scarce monies, dealing with dysfunctional families and their offspring, and appeasing the occasional bureaucratic request. So far, the research on staff empowerment within digital organisations has rightly focused on how best to empower the total staff, and support that empowerment. Little, as yet, has been written on the challenge of daily shaping and sustaining the contribution of the dynamic empowered staff.
Volume 35 Issue 4
Volume 36 Issue 2