Home > Creativity, leadership, Teaching > Transformational Leadership through Action Research

Transformational Leadership through Action Research

I have been convening groups of faculty and students to consider the future of our professional education in our college, and relating it to the larger issue of learning organizations and sustainability in the world. As part of this I have been considering the TRADOC white papers on Commander’s Appreciation and Campaign Design (CACD) and on the Concept for the Human Dimension in the time frame 2015-2024. Additionally, I was given an opportunity to comment on a chapter of an upcoming book on the subject of sustainability and transformational education as well, and so the topic is on my mind.  After much reflection, these ideas are continuing to demand my attention:

These are the assumptions and/or principles that seem to apply to the future of transformational  education:

  1. Education is an important leverage point
  2. Leadership matters, and therefore leaders education matters even more (double leverage)
  3. Stakeholder participation matters for design, implementation, buy in, and values 
  4. Must have a long term time horizon, yet acknowledge the power, potential and dynamism of the short term
  5. Must align and integrate values, priorities, actions, practice, feedback systems
  6. College education is a leverage point for great transformations because they have enough factual knowledge and life experience and self awareness to know themselves and what they want, and enough energy and optimism to venture into the unknown.
  7. The processes and techniques of reliably designing and achieving transformation are teachable, learnable, knowable (otherwise we would have to wait for the accidental birth of a charismatic leader to get anything done)
  8. Systems thinking skills are crucial for appreciating, managing (and sometimes just co-existing with) difficult environments and problem sets
  9. Action research teams consist of co-researchers who are not objects at a distance, or empty vessels
  10. The knowledge is in the network and it morphs; it’s not static nor in the head of expert consultants.
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