Leading Change

In the current world, change seems to be our greatest challenge. Creativity seems to be accepted as necessary to competitive competence, but the sustainability of change is something quite different. I’ve been party to many “new ideas” that have disappeared and reappeared in what seems to be associated to the whim and tide of perception.

I value comments about managers who lack willingness, but I would add that there seem to be many factors that impact the ability to institutionalize change. Daft (2008) offers us a systematic approach to change and includes a cyclical  process. Others, including Reeves (2009) offer pre-conditions that they refer to being similar to “weeding before planting.”

But I like my version of the analogy of the fish.

  • If you give a fish to someone who is hungry they eat for a day.
  • If you give them the parts of a fishing pole, they have a 50/50 chance of survival for more than a day.
  • If you give them a fish and the parts for a fishing pole, they may be able to survive long enough to learn how to use the pole, but many will still fail in their attempt.
  • If you give them a fish, parts for a fishing pole, and you sit down with them to share the fish and teach them how to assemble and use the fishing pole (with appropriate modeling and monitored independent practice), they’ll be able to feed themselves for a lifetime.

Self explanatory?

P.S. – Should we treat managers the same way when leadership is their hunger?


Daft, R. L. (2008). The Leadership Experience (Fourth Edition). Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.

Reeves, D. B. (2009). Leading Change in Your School. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.