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Welcome to. Sustainable Leadership. Andy Hargreaves. Sustainable development. Sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible as an idea whose time has come. Wangari Maathai. Development of the term “sustainability”. Term first coined by Lester Brown, founder of the World

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sustainable development
Sustainable development

Sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible as an idea whose time has come.

Wangari Maathai

development of the term sustainability
Development of the term “sustainability”
  • Term first coined by Lester Brown, founder of the World

Watch Institute

  • Sustainable development defined by Brundtland Report of

the World Commission on Environment and Development

  • Agenda 21, United Nations Conference on Environment

and Development, Rio De Janeiro systematically

addressed sustainable development

  • United Nations Johannesburg Summit – developed

practical goals for sustainable development

  • Beginning of UN Decade of Education for Sustainable



Sustainability does not simply mean whether something can last. It addresses how particular initiatives can be developed without compromising the development of others in the surrounding environment, now and in the future.

Hargreaves & Fink 2000

sustainable leadership6
Sustainable leadership

Sustainable leadership matters, spreads and lasts. It is a shared responsibility that does not unduly deplete human or financial resources, and that cares for and avoids exerting damage on the surrounding educational and community environment.

Hargreaves & Fink 2003


Sustainability is the capacity of a system to engage in the complexities of continuous improvement consistent with deep values of human purpose.

Fullan 2004

educational lessons of environmental sustainability
Educational Lessons of Environmental Sustainability
  • Rich diversity, not soulless standardization
  • Taking the long view
  • Act urgently for change, wait patiently for results
  • Prudence about conserving and renewing human and financial resources
  • Examine the impact of our improvement efforts on others
  • All of us can be activists and make a difference

Hargreaves & Fink 2006

built to last companies
Built to Last Companies
  • Put purpose before profit
  • Preserve long-standing purposes amid the pursuit of change
  • Start slowly, advance persistently
  • Do not depend on a single, visionary leader
  • Grow their own leadership, instead of importing others
  • Learn from diverse experimentation

Collins & Porras 1994

seven principles of sustainable leadership




It matters

It lasts

It spreads

It does not harm the surrounding environment

Seven principles of sustainable leadership


seven principles of sustainable leadership11



It promotes diversity & cohesion

It conserves expenditure

It honours the past in creating the future

Seven principles of sustainable leadership

Repetitive change syndrome is

Initiative overload


Change-related chaos

Abrahamson 2004

initiative overload
Initiative Overload

The tendency of organizations to launch more change initiatives than anyone could ever reasonably handle

Abrahamson 2004

change related chaos
Change-related Chaos

The continuous state of upheaval that results when so many waves of initiatives have worked through at the organization that hardly anyone knows which change they’re implementing or why

Abrahamson 2004


Imposed, short-term targets (or adequate yearly progress) transgress every principle of sustainable leadership and learning

Hargreaves & Fink 2006

principle 1 depth
Sustainable leadership matters. It preserves, protects, and promotes deep and broad learning for all in relationships of care for others.Principle 1: Depth
nelson mandela
The human body has an enormous capacity for adjusting to trying circumstances. I have found that one can bear the unbearable if one can keep one’s spirits strong even when one’s body is being tested. Strong convictions are the secret of surviving deprivation: your spirit can be full even when your stomach is empty.Nelson Mandela

1. Depth

the two hungers
The Two Hungers

In Africa, they say there are two hungers, the lesser hunger and the greater hunger.

  • The lesser hunger is for the things that sustain life, the goods, and services, and the money to pay for them, which we all need.
  • The greater hunger is for the answer to the question ‘why’, for some understanding of what life is for.

Handy 1997

1. Depth

product integrity c l if bar s philosophy of sustainability
Product IntegrityClif Bar’s Philosophy of Sustainability


  • our brands
  • our company
  • our people
  • our community
  • our planet

1. Depth

standards and sustainability
Standards and Sustainability

Learning  Achievement  Testing


Testing  Achievement  Learning

Hargreaves & Fink, 2006

1. Depth

the four pillars of learning
The four pillars of learning
  • Learning to know
  • Learning to do
  • Learning to be
  • Learning to live together


1. Depth

the four pillars of learning22
The four pillars of learning
  • Learning to know
  • Learning to do
  • Learning to be
  • Learning to live together


  • Learning to live sustainably

Hargreaves & Fink, 2006

1. Depth

Old basics





New basics






Lifelong Learning

Adaptation & Change

Environmental Responsibility


1. Depth

slow knowing
Slow Knowing

The unconscious realms of the human mind will successfully accomplish a number of important tasks if they are given the time. They will learn patterns of a degree of subtlety which normal consciousness cannot even see; make sense out of situations that are too complex to analyze; and get to the bottom of certain difficult issues much more successfully than the questing intellect.

Claxton 1997

1. Depth


1. Depth

slow forms of knowing
Slow forms of knowing
  • are tolerant of the faint, fleeting, marginal and ambiguous
  • like to dwell on details that do not fit or immediately make sense
  • are relaxed, leisurely and playful
  • are willing to explore without knowing what they are looking for
  • see ignorance and confusion as the ground from which understanding may spring
  • are receptive rather than proactive
  • are happy to relinquish the sense of control over the directions the mind spontaneously takes
  • treat seriously ideas that come ‘out of the blue’

Claxton, 1997

1. Depth

slow schooling
Slow schooling
  • starts formal learning later
  • reduces testing
  • increases curriculum flexibility
  • emphasizes enjoyment
  • doesn’t hurry the child
  • rehabilitates play alongside purpose

Honore, 2004

1. Depth

leaders of sustaining learning
Leaders of Sustaining Learning
  • Passionately advocate and defend deep learning for all students
  • Combine and commit to old and new basics
  • Put learning, before achievement, before testing
  • Make learning the paramount priority
  • Become more knowledgeable about learning
  • Make learning transparent
  • Be omnipresent witnesses to learning
  • Practise evidence-informed, inquiry-based leadership
  • Promote assessment for learning
  • Engage students in decisions about their learning
  • Involve parents in their children’s learning
  • Model effective adult learning
  • Create the emotional conditions for learning

Hargreaves & Fink, 2006

1. Depth

principle 2 endurance
Sustainable leadership lasts. It preserves and advances the most valuable aspects of learning and life over time, year upon year, from one leader to the next.Principle 2: Endurance
  • It is a common defect in men not to consider in good weather the possibility of a tempest

Machiavelli, 1532

  • All leaders, no matter how charismatic or visionary, eventually die

Collins & Porras, 1994

  • Few things succeed less than leadership succession

Hargreaves & Fink, 2006

2. Endurance

approaches to succession
The public sector…

Passively lets candidates emerge

Focuses on the short term

Handles succession informally

The private sector…

Actively recruits and encourages potential leaders

Takes the long view

Manages succession more formally

Approaches to succession


2. Endurance

approaches to succession33
The public sector…

Seeks replacement for existing roles

Selects in relation to current competencies

Views succession planning as a cost

The private sector…

Defines future leadership skills and aptitudes

Emphasises flexibility and lifelong learning in the face of changing needs

Views succession planning as an asset

Approaches to succession

2. Endurance

four issues in succession
Four Issues in Succession
  • Succession Planning
  • Succession Management
  • Succession Duration & Frequency
  • Succession and the Self

2. Endurance

succession planning patterns





Hargreaves & Fink



Planned Planned

Continuity Discontinuity

Unplanned Unplanned

Continuity Discontinuity

Succession Planning Patterns

2. Endurance

good succession plans
Good succession plans
  • Are prepared long before the leader’s anticipated departure or even from the outset of their appointment
  • Give other people proper time to prepare
  • Are incorporated in all school improvement plans
  • Are the responsibility of many, rather than the prerogative of lone leaders who tend to want to clone themselves
  • Are based on a clear diagnosis of the school’s existing stage of development and future needs for improvement
  • Are transparently linked to clearly defined leadership standards and competencies that are needed for the next phase of improvement

2. Endurance

successful succession management
Successful Succession Management
  • Distributes leadership effectively
  • Builds strong professional communities
  • Deepens and broadens the pools of leadership talent
  • Establishes leadership development schools
  • Stresses future leadership competencies
  • Supports and sponsors aspiring school leaders
  • Replaces charismatic leadership with inspirational leadership
  • Plans early for the incumbent leader’s exit
  • Moderates and monitors leadership succession frequency

2. Endurance

three cultures of teaching
Three Cultures of Teaching
  • Veteran dominated
    • serves experienced teacher interests
    • feels exclusionary
    • offers few leadership opportunities
  • Novice orientated
    • surrounded by fellow novices
    • feels inclusive
    • driven by enthusiasm rather than expertise
  • Blended
    • provides mentoring
    • offers leadership
    • reciprocal learning

Johnson et al, 2004

2. Endurance

sound succession strong selves through
Sound succession, strong selves, through
  • Availability of counselling and coaching for exiting leaders
  • Quick, clear and open communication of reasons for departure
  • Acceptance of emotional confusion and vulnerability
  • Celebration of the leader’s contributions
  • Recognition that succession is subject to the four stages of grief – denial, awakening, reflection and execution
  • Confrontation of the Messiah and Rebecca myths
  • Prepares oneself and others early for the possibility of succession

Hargreaves & Fink, 2006

2. Endurance

culture and contract regimes












Training Sects

Culture and Contract Regimes








3. Breadth

professional learning community
Professional learning community

Learning & teaching focus


Achievement and Engagement

Learning, reflection & review

Use of evidence

3. Breadth

professional learning communities aren t
Professional learning communities aren’t…

X Merely convivial and congenial – they are demanding and critical

X Just a collection of stilted teams looking at data together

X Obsessed with scores and results, instead of

depth of learning

X Forced and imposed, they are facilitated and


X Ways to hijack teachers to carry out

administrative agendas

3. Breadth

communities and sects
Professional learning


Transform knowledge

Shared enquiry

Evidence informed

Situated certainty

Performance training


Transfer knowledge

Imposed requirements

Results driven

False certainty

Communities and Sects


3. Breadth

communities and sects46
Professional learning


Local solutions

Joint responsibility

Continuous learning

Communities of practice

Performance training


Standardised scripts

Deference to authority

Intensive training

Sects of performance

Communities and Sects

3. Breadth


It’s hard to eat something you’ve had a relationship with

Hargreaves & Fullan, 1998

3. Breadth

distributed leadership
Distributed leadership

sees leadership practice as a product of the

interaction of school leaders, followers and their


  • Leadership practice involves multiple individuals within and outside formal leadership positions
  • Leadership practice is not done to followers. Followers are themselves part of leadership practice.
  • It is not the actions of individuals, but the interactions among them that matter most in leadership practice.

Spillane, 2005

3. Breadth

raising the temperature of distributed leadership

Assertive distribution

Emergent distribution

Guided distribution

Progressive delegation

Traditional delegation


Raising the temperature of distributed leadership

Too hot

Too cold

3. Breadth

principle 4 justice
Sustainable leadership does no harm to and actively improves the surrounding environment by finding ways to share knowledge and resources with neighboring schools and the local communities.Principle 4: Justice
sustainability and social justice
Sustainability and Social Justice
  • do not steal your neighbour’s capacity
  • use multiple indicators of accountability
  • emphasize collective accountability
  • coach a less successful partner school
  • make a definable contribution to the community your school is in
  • pair with a school in a different social or natural environment
  • collaborate with your competitors

4. Justice

responsible leadership
Responsible leadership

Mutual relationships among the domains

of ethical responsibility

Starratt, 2005

4. Justice

principle 5 diversity
Sustainable leadership promotes cohesive diversity and avoids aligned standardization of policy, curriculum, assessment, and staff development and training in teaching and learning. It fosters and learns from diversity and creates cohesion and networking among its richly varying components.Principle 5: Diversity
You learn more from people who are different from you, than ones who are the sameDifferences

Hargreaves & Fullan, 1998

5. Diversity

effective organizations are characterized by
Effective organizations are characterized by:
  • A framework of common and enduring values, goals and purposes
  • Possession and development of variability or diversity in skills, talents and identities
  • Processes that promote interaction and cross-pollination of ideas and influences across this variability
  • Permeability to outside influences
  • Emergence of new ideas, structures, and processes as diverse elements interconnect and new ones intrude from the outside
  • Flexibility and adaptability in response to environmental change
  • Resilience in the face of and in response to threats and adversity

5. Diversity

networked learning communities
Networked learning communities
  • Enable and encourage schools to share and transfer the considerable knowledge already in existence that can help children learn better. Individual schools have limited knowledge, but collectively they have almost as much as they need.
  • Stimulate the professional fulfilment and motivation that comes from learning and interacting with colleagues in ways that help teachers be more effective with their own students.


5. Diversity

networked learning communities57
Networked learning communities
  • Capitalize on positive diversity across teachers and schools who serve different kinds of students, or who vary in how they respond to them, rather than maintaining the negative diversity of cut-throat competition that prevents mutual learning and assistance, or than denying diversity altogether through imposition of standardized solutions.
  • Provide teachers and others with opportunities for lateral leadership of people, programs and problem-solving beyond one’s own school setting.


5. Diversity

other advantages
Other advantages
  • they provide opportunities to draw on and develop evidence-informed, research-derived practice
  • they promote innovation and its dissemination across large groups of interested schools
  • they give teachers more of a voice in professional and school-based decision-making


5. Diversity

other advantages59
Other advantages
  • they help personalize every school as a learning community, enabling them to adopt emergent solutions to their own needs, that are diffused and made available throughout the network, instead of being subjected to overly prescribed programmes.
  • they are flexible and resilient in the face of crises or misdirected system initiatives that turn out to be unsuccessful – allowing new learning and fresh solutions to emerge and fill the gap that the false starts and failures have left behind.

Jackson, 2006

5. Diversity

network risks
Network risks
  • Restricted to enthusiasts
  • Shared delusions
  • Self-indulgent
  • Limited scale
  • Unaccountable
  • Over-regulation
  • Over-participation

5. Diversity

strong networks have
Strong networks have…
  • Strong branding, definite products
  • Clear moral purpose
  • Clarity, focus, discipline
  • Evidence informed substance
  • Accessibility in real and chosen time
  • Hacker ethic
  • Embedded in altered structures
  • Support from lateral leadership
  • PLCs as nodes

5. Diversity

networking and interaction
Paired schools

University-school partnerships

Internet communities

Families of schools

Collaborative accountability

Professional networks

Networking and interaction

5. Diversity

short term strategies
Short-term strategies
  • Exam strategies
  • Revision sessions
  • Tutoring
  • Recognition of achievements
  • Pupil-teacher conferences
  • Bananas and water

5. Diversity

medium term strategies
Medium-term strategies
  • Teacher mentor programs
  • SAM technology
  • Data-driven assessment for targeted instruction
  • Training days

5. Diversity

long term strategies
Long-term strategies
  • Restructuring
  • Student voice
  • Continuous improvement
  • Teaching and learning

5. Diversity

principle 6 resourcefulness
Sustainable leadership develops and does not deplete material and human resources. It renews people’s energy. Sustainable leadership is prudent and resourceful leadership that wastes neither its money nor its people.Principle 6: Resourcefulness
two theories of energy






Two theories of energy

6. Resourcefulness

four forms of energy renewal
Four Forms of Energy Renewal
  • Physical Renewal
  • Emotional Renewal
  • Intellectual Renewal
  • Spiritual Renewal

Loehr & Schwartz

6. Resourcefulness

energy restraint
Energy restraint
  • No achievement without investment
  • Shared targets, not imposed ones
  • Slow leading, slow learning
  • Time
  • Political continuity and stability

6. Resourcefulness

three sources of renewal
Three Sources of Renewal


ConfidencePositive emotion

6. Resourcefulness

three forms of trust betrayal
Three forms of trust & betrayal


Contract Competence

Hargreaves, 2002

6. Resourcefulness

trust involves
Trust involves
  • reliability and predictability
  • reaching shared understanding
  • assumptions of good faith
  • trusting yourself as well as others
  • trusting processes as well as people

6. Resourcefulness

betrayal involves
Betrayal involves
  • loss of trust or absence of trust
  • spectacular breakdowns of trust
  • small, accumulated breaches of trust

6. Resourcefulness

contractual trust

Page 76

Contractual trust
  • meeting obligations
  • completing contracts
  • keeping promises

6. Resourcefulness

and betrayal
…and Betrayal

X not pulling one’s weight

X poor work-rate or effort

X teaching the same thing

X clockwatching

X complaining without commitment

X self-servingness

6. Resourcefulness

competence trust
Competence Trust
  • trust own & others’ capability
  • effective delegation
  • providing professional growth & development

6. Resourcefulness

and betrayal77
…and Betrayal

X constant criticism/dissatisfaction

with others

X martyrdom/inability to delegate

X abandon people when faults first


X recruitment and retention


X micromanagement, scripting,


6. Resourcefulness

communication trust
Communication Trust
  • clear, high-quality, open and

frequent communication

  • sharing information, admitting


  • telling the truth, keeping


6. Resourcefulness

and betrayal79
…and Betrayal

X malicious / mischievous gossiping

X public shaming / humiliation in front of:




X miscommunication/misunderstanding

X self-servingness

6. Resourcefulness


Many problems that we treat as being a result of other people’s contract or competence betrayal, are actually a result of their or our communication


In other words…

Competence failures or contractual failures are often really communication failures.

6. Resourcefulness

modes of organisational forgetting
Modes of organisational forgetting

Established Knowledge

New Knowledge

Failure to consolidate DISSIPATION

Failure to maintain DEGRADATION


Abandoned innovation SUSPENSION

Managed unlearning PURGING


DeHolan & Phillips, 2004

7. Conservation

the past present future of change
The Past, Present & Future of Change
  • Acknowledge the past. Preserve the best.

Learn from the rest.

  • Wildness, diversity and disorder have


  • The past is not pure. Do not romanticize it.
  • The past has no Golden Age to which

we should return.

  • We view the past differently. We

must therefore interpret it together.

  • When we dismiss or demean the past,

we fuel defensive nostalgia among its


7. Conservation

creative recombination for renewal

Firing and rehiring

Developing new


Inventing new values

Re-engineering new


Complete restructuring


Redeploying the talent

companies already have

Plugging into & reinventing

existing social networks

Reviving and renewing

existing values

Salvaging existing good


Reworking and rebuilding

existing structures

Creative Recombination for Renewal

Abrahamson, 2004

7. Conservation

stop start continue
Stop, Start, Continue…


What is less valuable


What is more valuable


What remains highly valuable


What is formally required but threatens what is valuable

7. Conservation

conserving the past through
Conserving the past through…
  • Retreats that renew the vision
  • Audits of the organization’s memories of analogous change
  • Asset inventories of existing experience and knowledge
  • Organizational abandonment meetings
  • Appointments made mid-term to cultivate learning of the culture
  • Storytelling to pass on wisdom
  • Mentoring that runs in both directions
  • Good written records
  • Creation of blended professional cultures
  • Creative recombination, not repetitive change

7. Conservation