A Dull Knife: Frightening the Future

One of the most feared words in school districts is...Reorganization. Ok, maybe you were thinking I was going to say, R.I.F. (Reduction in force)?

That's scary, too, but I suspect that reorganization has its own particular repulsion for 2 simple reasons:

  1. The lack of transparency as to WHY reorganization is necessary (e.g. are you doing it because I've screwed up? You don't trust me to make the right decisions?)
  2. A lack of trust that those people know what they are doing. That lack of trust increases as the length of time between the announcement of reorgs and the actual reorg events is prolonged. 

The longer it goes, the faster trust diminishes...the thinking goes, "If they know what they are doing, they'd make the cuts quick. You don't feel the cut of a sharp edge, but a dull knife, well, that just frightens the future.

Of course, when present, transparency and trust don't necessarily result in predictable changes. Still, if I believe a leader/manager should be predictable, as transparent as possible, and that his direct reports should trust his word. Anything less, well, you have someone pretending to be an all-knowing Allanon (read The Sword of Shannara), manipulating people rather than trusting them with the information.

Given the lack of transparency and trust--I suspect that administrators may anticipate reorg opposition, so they are secretive and don't trust, probably with reasons they find sufficient--I find myself wondering at Doug Johnson's points in The Changing Role of Tech Support:
Most of us, I believe, have the reputation for doing our best to push the envelope, to create change, to foment revolution in our schools. Ot at least reading educational technology writers and listening to popular speakers at technology conferences would certainly lead one to that conclusion.
But at heart, might we be actually deeply reluctant to change as well?
Ok, I'll come right out and say it. I am reluctant to change. I've grown quite comfortable, but comfort isn't the issue. The issue is one that Doug calls out early on in his blog entry (uncertain if he's quoting Seth Godin or this is Doug writing):
Driven by both needed district-wide budget cuts as well as evolving tasks within the tech department, changes that impact lives, families, and futures of real people weigh heavily on me.
Doug asks the real question that is worth pondering:
Anyone wish to suggest some job security strategies for techs?
Well, the answer to that is quite simple. Grab the right tiger's tail and hang on for dear life. You were expecting something more profound?

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


doug0077 said…
The only words of Godin's were: When the platform changes, the leaders change.

TIger's tail? My advice is really more basic - actively seek out jobs that need doing - and do them. No guarantees.


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