December 1, 2023
New Guidebook To Help K-12 Systems Implement Change Management

​​Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of district and state education leaders, today released The Change Catalyst: A Guidebook to Support Leaders in Making Lasting Change. Developed in collaboration with Ector County Independent School District, this resource equips K-12 education leaders with comprehensive tools and strategies to navigate the complexities of introducing changes into their systems.

Every day state and local education leaders take important steps to adapt to a constantly evolving landscape. Often new ways of working are needed to better serve students, and that frequently requires shifts in educators’ mindsets and behaviors. The Change Catalyst provides a guided approach to help leaders use research-backed strategies to lead successful change efforts. It complements another Chiefs for Change resource, The Implementation Engine, which lays out best practices for project management.

“Our Change Catalyst guidebook empowers education leaders to ensure the success of vital projects by providing them with a structured framework and aligning all stakeholders toward a shared vision,” said Barbara Jenkins, Chief in Residence at Chiefs for Change.

The strategies and resources in the guidebook are rooted in four building blocks of change: fostering understanding and conviction, reinforcing changes through formal mechanisms, developing talent and skills, and role modeling. Research has shown that these four actions, especially when taken together, are highly effective at enabling organizational change.

“This tool supports districts in adopting a methodical approach, considering various perspectives and potential challenges, ultimately enabling accelerated change in alignment with the district’s overarching goals,” said Scott Muri, Superintendent of Ector County Independent School District. Muri, who leads the system of over 31,000 students, along with a committee of education administrators, oversees more than 20 new initiatives enabled by federal Covid relief aid. The Change Catalyst guidebook introduces checklists, templates, and planning exercises, allowing systemized change management based on specific district needs.

“This guidebook not only benefits current education leaders but also serves as an invaluable roadmap for aspiring superintendents, providing essential strategies for managing complex projects within large school systems,” said Chiefs for Change Chief in Residence Peter Gorman, the former superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, who coaches members of the Future Chiefs leadership development program. “We are committed to making this tool accessible to all systems, offering it free of charge. Our mission is to empower education leaders nationwide to wisely allocate federal Covid relief aid and other resources to support the educational needs of our nation’s students.”

About Chiefs for Change

Chiefs for Change operates the largest community of practice for education leaders in the nation and has produced a variety of tools and resources available here. The network supports members and provides technical assistance; advocates for policies and practices that are making a difference today for students; and builds a pipeline of talented, diverse Future Chiefs ready to lead major school systems.