Todd M. Warner’s recent manifesto on the Change This website, “Rethinking Execution: The Salsa Scale of Embedment,” makes two crucial points that are often neglected by those seeking to effect change in independent and international schools. First, Warner writes about the importance of “embedment;” that is, the process whereby a change becomes part of the warp and woof of school culture. His point is that larger scale changes (school-wide or cultural) require more effort to become embedded and therefore likely to stick. Inattention to this fact is why so many organizational changes founder or fail to survive the head who implements.
The second point is about the importance of diagnosing the status quo at the front end of change; e.g., understanding and working with those who have informal power (and we at Triangle find that this is the most important power in schools). Push come to shove, as it often does around large-scale change, and informal power holders usually win. Failing to have a strategy for them means embedment is doomed from the start.