Clay, Soldwedel and Many in Aligning School Districts as PLCs:
Loose and tight leadership is based on the premise that relying exclusively on either a tight "top-down" or a loose "bottom-up" leadership approach is not effective. Fullan (2009) has said: "Top-down change doesn't work because it fails to garner ownership, commitment, or even clarity about the nature of the reform. Bottom-up change -- so-called let a thousand flowers bloom -- does not produce success on any scale. A thousands flowers do not bloom and those that do are not perennial." The implication is that a balance between loose and tight provides an optimum leadership style. Of course, getting that balance right is the challenge." (p. 24)In the district I work at, I believe we value bottom-up ideas, however there's not enough time in the day (nor is it realistic) to seek input on every single decision. I'm not naive enough to think I am a part of the ideal tight-loose leadership model in action, however I thought of a few examples that lead me to believe we're on the right track.
- Requiring all teachers to be a part of a collaborative team
- providing the teams with time to meet during the contract day twice per month.
- asking teams to set a SMART goal for the year within the framework of our district and building goals
- Requiring teams to create agendas and minutes every time they meet
- providing teams with Google Docs so that agendas and minutes can be created on the fly, accessible to building and district administrators, rather than requiring extra paperwork to turn in.
- providing self-paced Google Docs tutorials and help sessions.
This is not an all-encompassing list. I'm curious to learn from readers of this blog. How is your building/district leadership exemplifying (or not) simultaneous loose and tight leadership?