Ness Goodwin Hand Outs 2012 - Associated Christian Schools

Associated Christian Schools
Conference 27 July 2012
‘Turning the Ordinary into Excellent’
Leadership Succession
Dr Ness Goodwin
The appointment of a Principal is the most important
responsibility of a School Council.
• The Principal shapes the direction of the school for
the future;
• The Principal is the face of the school and people will
judge the school on the way they see the Principal;
• The buck stops with the Principal;
• The Principal is responsible for the staff of the
school, and for the education and welfare of all the
students in a school.
If your Principal were run over by a bus today …
Do you have someone in the school who could lead
the school for an interim period?
Could you articulate the sort of leader your school
needs for the future?
Succession planning:
• Should be undertaken at a time when there is
no pressure to appoint a Principal,
• Should be considered, judicious and be given
adequate reflection and prayer.
What are you doing to keep your Principal on his/her toes?
Agreed KPIs
Annual review
360 review every 3-5 years
Ongoing professional development
Strategic planning
What are you doing to keep your School Council on
its collective toes?
Agreed KPIs
Annual review
360 review every 3-5 years
Ongoing professional development
Strategic planning
If the School Council is not ‘en pointe’ there is a chronic
risk that the school is being inadequately governed, and
adequate succession planning cannot occur.
Dean Fink and Carol Brayman ‘School Leadership
Succession and the Challenges of Change’ in The Journal
of Leadership for Effective and Equitable Organisations
February 2006
Throughout the Western world, the fallout from the
standards/standardization agenda has resulted in potential
leaders questioning educational leadership as a career
path. Moreover, the aging of the baby boom generation has
created a shortage of qualified principals in many
educational jurisdictions . . . Leadership succession,
whether planned or unplanned, has become an
accelerated and cumulative process that is including
people of increasing levels of inexperience. Succession is
now a chronic process rather than an episodic crisis.
Successful Succession Management
Builds strong professional communities
Deepens and broadens the pools of leadership talent
Establishes leadership development schools
Supports and sponsors aspiring school leaders
Plans early for the incumbent leader’s exit
Sound succession, occurs through
• Availability of counselling and coaching for exiting leaders
• Quick, clear and open communication of reasons for
• Acceptance of emotional confusion and vulnerability
• Celebration of the leader’s contributions
• Recognition that succession is subject to the four stages of
grief – denial, awakening, reflection and execution
• Prepares oneself and others early for the possibility of
Hargreaves& Fink, 2006
Checklist for Leadership Succession Planning
1. Does your School Council understand the future needs of
the school?
2. Does your School Council (or a sub committee)
understand the strengths and areas for improvement of your
current Principal?
3. Have you recently undertaken a needs analysis of the
4. Is your school active in identifying and supporting future
5. When your Principal needs to be replaced, do you have an
agreed and articulated process to follow?
6. Are the selection processes transparent, fair and
7. Do you have a communications plan, both for the
announcement that the Principal is leaving and when
the new Principal is appointed?
8. Do you have a list of external consultants whom you
can contact?
9. Can you prepare an information booklet for
applicants in a short space of time?
10. Does the Selection Panel have an understanding of the process
of conducting interviews?
11. Do you have a timeline for the process?
12. Do you have a contract – checked by a solicitor with experience
in HR – ready?
13. Do you have an agreed set of KPIs for the new Head?
14. Do you have processes in place to support the Principal – at the
time when s/he is appointed, during the Principalship and when
s/he leaves?
15. Do you have a plan if the selection process does not provide
you with a suitable person to take up the role?
If your Principal were run over by a
bus today . . .
Are you prepared?