Communication Issues in a Leadership Team for Systemic Change in a School District

 

Fundamental change, or systemic transformation, in public school systems is increasingly recognized as essential for best meeting all students’ needs in a digital, information-based society. The success of this kind of change depends to a large extent on the effectiveness of a district-wide Leadership Team (LT), which in turn depends on the communication practices of that team. This study describes the communication practices of the LT in a district-wide systemic transformation, focusing on the members’ values and beliefs about communication within the team, communication problems, communication channels, and communication sources. The purpose of the study was to improve the guidance offered by the School System Transformation (SST) protocol, a knowledge-base about the systemic transformation process, by identifying preventive measures that could reduce communication problems in a LT. Based on the findings, suggestions are made to improve several of the 18 continuous processes in the SST Protocol, namely sustain motivation, develop and maintain appropriate leadership, develop group-process and team-building skills, establish team spirit, engage in reflection, communicate with stakeholders, and foster organizational learning.