Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Leading in a Culture of Change

Leading in a Culture of Change. I just finished reading this book by Michael Fullan. To begin, let me note that I don't like the writing style. His writing was fine but it just wasn't readable to me. I had to work hard at the text.

For example, the first chapter deals with moral purpose. He throws in a lot of quotes and stories and explains why moral purpose is important. However, at no point could I find a simple summary of what moral purpose is and how exactly a change leader would use it. Fullan wrote on page 28, "The most fundamental conclusion of this chapter is that moral purpose and sustained performance of organizations are mutually dependent. " Great! Now, how do I as a leader grab moral purpose and use it?

Fullan describes moral purpose as both ends and means (p. 13), a human evolutionary strategy (p. 14, 15), and as a moral principle (p. 15). He lists a five step process for using moral purpose but it is less than satisfying. For example, third step is "Pluralistic motives abound. The government wants to be reelected, and leaders may get a lot of personal gratification if it is successful, and their careers may be enhanced, and their is an explicit measurable purpose." Say again? How would I use this point in my organization?

I don't mean to be cranky but I spent more time on reading (and digesting) this book than I wanted. Fullan is a good idea guy but don't expect a blueprint that will help you change your library or school.

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