Drucker on Leading School Change

William Woods EDU

education studentsManagement thought leader, consultant and author Peter Drucker — known to generations of corporate, non-profit and education leaders —may be less known to a new generation of aspiring Missouri principals and school leaders.

Drucker (1909-2005) focused much of his writing and teaching on how humans respond to change, and how organizational culture can shape outcomes and give its people a sense of community and dignity in a modern society organized around large institutions such as school districts. His legacy continues on many fronts, including the work of the Drucker Institute which seeks to “strengthen organizations to strengthen society.”

Drucker’s work could inform and inspire a new generation of students enrolled in any of the William Woods University School of Education leadership programs: Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD), Education Specialist in Administration Degree, Master of Education (MEd) in Administration and the Master of Education (MEd) in Athletics / Activities Administration.

There are many education foundations across the country working to change education to strengthen society. For example, The Kauffman Foundation in Missouri aspires to “promote access to quality public school options in Kansas City by supporting new and expanding schools, as well as school turnaround initiatives, with proven or promising approaches for improving student academic outcomes”. They also aim to “enhance the environment for entrepreneurship and innovation in education” by focusing on specific areas of public policy and the national movement toward higher-quality education.

Here is a sampling of Drucker quotes that continue to endure and inspire.

1. “Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.”

Drucker encouraged organizations to make difficult choices and to focus on goals and priorities that created real and meaningful change, for customers and the world.

2. “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” Drucker appreciated the need to move mountains with limited resources — time and money. He knew that modeling behavior and articulating a clear vision were essential for lasting change.

3. “What gets measured gets improved.” Drucker anticipated the great change in education, long before the era of assessment and big data.

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