Mapping internal stakeholders and the current culture within the school

This blog is 5 of 19 in a series on how to implement an Enterprise 2.0 framework  for schools.

1. INTRODUCTION

The following blog briefly describes the stakeholders in a school, and potential cultures that may exist. The predominant focus of this blog is on developing a change management strategy for the implementation of an Enterprise 2.0 framework. The final eight sections of this blog coincide with the eights steps of change from Kotter’s Change Management Framework.

Table 1.0 – Potential stakeholders at your school, and current school communications that can be ‘upgraded’ to a social media tool.

2. MAPPING STAKEHOLDERS AND CULTURE WITHIN YOUR SCHOOL

In this simple Excel Spreadsheet, I have mapped a list of potential stakeholders within schools. I know that in some schools, there may be significantly more positions in the hierarchy. That’s fine. Feel free to adjust the template as you feel necessary. In this simple table I have identified some simple communication activities that may be happening at your school that could be targeted or ‘upgraded’ by using a social media tool. There are so many more activities that could be potentially listed here. The spreadsheet is colour coded to highlight which social media tool is likely to be most effective for use in replacing that particular business activity.

3. STARTING YOUR CHANGE MANAGEMENT – TESTING THE WATERS

From a change management  perspective, it is probably a good idea to think about a phased approach to implementing social media tools. Be simple in your plan. If Social Media can offer the tangible benefits that it promises, a little bit of encouragement and training should be all that is needed.

Within your school you will have some people who are highly receptive, and are already actively using social media, some people who are indifferent, and some people who are actively against social media use in schools. Regardless of your schools culture and attitude towards social media, you must start at the top.

Start with the Principal.

Depending on the receptivity of your Principal you may have to start with something really small. For example, many schools and colleges, where I have worked, have a weekly Principal’s message. This message is usually an Adobe PDF, with the link sent via email. You could try approaching the Principal and asking him to turn this message into a blog. Be ready to set up, train, and provide intensive support for them initially. You may also want to provide your Principal with examples of another Principal who already utilise a blog for this purpose, and a contact phone number. This may sway your Principal in taking the jump. If you can’t get this win, I am not sure that school is ready for a Social Media implementation just yet.

Discuss with the Principal his experiences and share the successes of Social Media use with staff.

If this is going well, try to convert your Principal to twitter. Surely he or she is busting with ideas that they would love to share. Twitter is a perfect format for a person who does not have a lot of time, but has lots to share.

We don’t want to stop there, are ultimate goal is to have the school,  teachers and students using social media in an effective way to improve student learning outcomes.

4. START YOUR CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLAN (8 STEPS) 

1. Create a sense of urgency.

In nearly all of the change management texts I have read, creating a sense of urgency requires very strategic thinking. This step, towards change, is the most important step in mobilising your stakeholders i.e. getting them off the couch off indifference. Kotter in his book uses ‘the rubber gloves example’. On this link, is a video that I created for one on the payroll projects that I worked on. The video was highly successful, is mobilising staff to support the project team in the disruptions it was making to the normal business routine. Unfortunately to get school staff ‘off the couch of indifference’ you have to invoke a gut reaction, provoke emotion.. The staff member at the end of this phase should be saying to other staff members “How could this be happening? We should do something about this!” If you get this right you are more than half way towards implementing your change.

2. Form a Powerful Coalition

Identify the true leaders in your organisation.

  • Ask for a commitment from these key people in your organisation.
  • Keep the team tight, and be an emotional support for each other.
  • Ensure that different departments and various stakeholders are represented in your coalition.

3. Create a vision for change

Discuss with the IT / Curriculum committee / Leadership team (make sure your Principal is in on the meeting), on your SIMPLE INTEGRATION PLAN. What are the priorities. What is the end goal of social media? What are the central values?

Kotter suggests the following steps here:

  • Be able to succinctly describe what your Enterprise 2.0 organisation will look like.
  • Ensure that the Social Media change leaders can succinctly portray this vision.

4. Communicate your vision

Make sure you communicate this vision often. Ensure that your team is fully aware of all potential barriers, and have the ability to effectively objection handle. Be open, honest and transparent in all of your communications.

5. Remove Obstacles

The potential obstacles and barriers to Social Media have been identified in a previous blog. You will need to be prepared to make the structural changes to your organisation, conduct education such as knowledge transfer seminars, and basic training as part of this phase.

6. Create short term wins

As part of your overall plan, find easy wins, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph of this blog, these wins can be as simple as the Principals message. If you start with something too complex and it is not successful, it will be hard to make progress from this point on. If you are successful, make a big deal of it, and celebrate.

7. Build on the change

After each short term win, get your group together, and discuss how the next short term win can be achieved in a more effective way. Look for new and exciting ways to deliver each short term social media implementation.

8. Anchor the change into the school culture

There are number of ways of embedding social media as part of your organisations culture. For example social media use in teaching could be part of the ‘onboarding process’ for new staff members. The success of students through and by social media could and should also be continuously celebrated.

Within this blog I have forwarded ways to map potential uses of social media in your school. I have also introduced an effective but simple change management methodology you can adopt in order to start implementing social media tools within your school.

Please feel free to make comments on this blogs. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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About whellmuth

Working with the education software industry to build software with standard arhitectures that allows schools to have extensible and well integrated technologies. Member of Software QLD. Member of Microsoft advisory board on cloud computing. My doctorate specialises in Software Architecture in the Education environment. My Master Research specialised in IT change management.
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