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Leading a Program Through Change

by An Interview with Peter Blair by Margie Carter
March/April 2012
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/leading-a-program-through-change/5020420/

I’m always on reconnaissance, seeking examples that go beyond the ordinary stories of early childhood directors improving their programs by achieving accreditation or moving up the STARS rating scale. As I visit programs, my mind is always seeking to understand how to account for what I’m seeing. To be sure, few programs have adequate resources, but that alone can’t explain a low-quality program or mediocre one.

I’ve met some energetic directors who have found inspiration beyond what’s typical, but then flounder when it comes to getting their staff to embrace change. Some try issuing mandates: “We all need to start doing things this new way,” while others talk of ‘empowering’ their staff to try new things. Without some insight into how to guide the change process both directors and staff can spiral into demoralization if not dysfunction.

When I meet directors who are having success on their leadership journeys, I wonder, “Have they been explicit about the guiding values underpinning their actions, or is the staff left to puzzle out the why of these changes?”

Peter Blair will tell you that in our first year of knowing each other, I hounded him with these kinds of questions. He had taken over as the ...

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