Beyond School Improvement: The Journey to Innovative Leadership

'The authors are grounded educational leaders who have lived the approach to improvement and innovation that they write about. Filled with anecdotal examples, reflection exercises, and practical strategies, this is a very useful and timely resource for educators seeking to understand and influence educational innovation and transformation in the 21st century' - Michael H. Dickmann, Professor Cardinal Stritch University 'The authors contrast improvement of existing practices with a more rigorous and creative push for innovation that introduces new and different practices and structures. In many situations, district and school improvement plans have evolved into the technical work of interpreting data about the past and present, studying research, and creating documents. This book stimulates leaders as they stretch their organization's culture to reveal mental models, consider external trends, and seek creative and energizing strategies that will prepare students for a future we cannot yet define' - Edie Holcomb, Consultant, Marzano Research Laboratory Preparing students to be successful in an unpredictable world requires school leaders who can nurture a culture of both improvement and innovation. Beyond School Improvement: The Journey to Innovative Leadership assists leaders in understanding when and how to improve and when and how to innovate. The book helps leaders connect with the new science on change and provides skills, practices, and tools for creating and leading educational systems that will help to prepare students for the world that will be theirs. Based on complexity theory, new science, systems thinking, change, and innovation, the book presents a look at trends that encourage readers to look beyond the comfort zone of accepted practice and consider the merits of improvement and innovation. The authors discuss four change elements-dissonance, identity, information, and order-and define five essential practices for leaders: - Hold courageous conversations - Embrace dissonance - Change the field of vision - Be a gardener and a mechanic - Reframe, reflect, relate Stories, quotes, reflections, and a call to action help to support leaders as they seek balance within themselves, their classrooms, and their organizations.