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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Who Are We in the Decision-Making Process?

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


April 20, 2015

A school we support recently had a principal transfer to another school. When the superintendent appointed a new principal, the decision resulted in upheaval on the school improvement committee, composed of teachers and parents. In the months that followed, the new principal worked closely with the team around decision-making processes that had been neglected in the past. The distress moved to a more collaborative culture and greater satisfaction for all members of the committee. One of the most critical clarifications was in naming the role of the school improvement committee in decision-making.

In Adaptive Schools, we call this naming “who we are in the decision-making process.” The committee had assumed they would choose their new principal. The district superintendent held that it was his decision. Because the committee was not told who they were in the process, frustration was created. Today, the committee examines each decision to determine whether they are informing, recommending, or deciding. Although their role is primarily informing, they are more comfortable because this has been made explicit.

What might be some decision arenas where this key principle of decision-making might serve a group in your work place? How might you share the continuum of informing, recommending, and deciding with groups you work with?

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