Leading through change part 2
Hear from Community Connections Solution Australia’s (CCSA) CEO Meg Mendham on how planning ahead and reflective practices can help services navigate change successfully.
16 June 2023
In last month’s Quality and Compliance in Practice newsletter, Meg Mendham CCSA CEO shared her insights on the importance of strong leadership and communication when managing change within early childhood education and care settings.
In Part 2 of our leading through change article, she highlights why looking forward – and back – is essential for leaders guiding their service and staff through periods of change.
Planning for change
Part of managing change in a positive way is to plan for it. Services should have various plans that enable effective decision-making and delivery while navigating change. The plans also allow for transparency and understanding and can be used to explain decision making to educators and families to facilitate a positive culture and managing with change.
Budgets for ongoing change
You will already have various plans that might not look like they are a tool to help deal with change but are certainly that. One of these ‘plans’ is your budget. This gives you a foundation on which to plan and if circumstances change can be adjusted to reflect the changes and what the potential financial outcomes might be. The leadership can then make informed decisions based on this information.
Your strategic plan is the framework that brings the building blocks in part 1 of this article together to support your service in achieving its goals. The strategic plan underpins your decision making and gives everyone a clear understanding of the guides being used for service delivery.
Your business plan is the tool that is used to implement the strategic plan. It adds the details and information that will be used to achieve the strategic vision. This is a living document that should be revisited and reviewed as circumstances change, with adjustments made as needed to remain on track to meet the overall goals of the service.
Change is always ongoing; it is just the pace of change which alters. CCSA supports services to have strong governance and management leadership foundations. This will support and guide your team through change management. It is increasingly important for early childhood services to cultivate effective, informed, open-minded and engaged leaders, confident to take on the challenge of change management in early education into the future.
Learning from challenges
The pandemic with all its disruption provided a motivation to think outside the box. We need to take this opportunity to actively listen to our teams and take the learning from the last few years to grow and adapt so that services can become strong and resilient into the future. Management is responsible for setting the overall direction of the service and should take the time to listen to their families and educators and to really understand their business framework.
To learn from recent experiences and adapt the service accordingly, some questions you might ask include:
Who will lead this change process?
What resources do we have or need to facilitate change?
What is the best way for our service to achieve this?
Is our team committed to making these changes?
How will we ensure we are making progress?
How do we measure success?
How does our location affect our ability to facilitate change?
How do we manage change in a positive and proactive fashion?