This scenario emerged in a very successfully run family business when the family broke with the tradition and decided to appoint someone contrary to the usual procedure of the business. The school always employed well qualified teachers. The school had a track history of great quality of services with tutors who were usually hired from the local universities on a temporary basis. The school was run by a master who always was a member of the Blake family.
The key posts in the school were (a) bursar to control finance and administration. (b) a senior tutor who organizes the curriculum and hire enough tutors to run it effectively, And (c) A commercial manager to deal with student recruitment. All these key post holders were either, those who had successful careers in almost same field elsewhere or young ambitious people who want to be doing greater things.
However, in the mid 1990s the Blake family hired a master who was a director of a further education college. The family was impressed by his idea of exporting the schools expertise to the other European countries. The new master found that he had very little to do. He, in fact, thought that he can really count on the senior management to make his vision possible. At the end of the first week he called meeting of senior staff only to find that except the senior tutor no others have responded positively. He did not find any enthusiasm as he thought.
Brief summery of the findings
Many different methodological approaches are practiced in collecting information. Firstly, an assessment of the recruiting documents revealed that a large proportion of the Greek students were attending the Cranborn school of English. Understanding your community is a prerequisite to attempting to meet its needs and interests. The best way to get a comprehensive, birds-eye view of your community is by conducting an “environmental scan.” An environmental scan is basically an information-gathering process that asks and answers key questions about your community (Art council development hand book). Observation, in that perspective, would be the key to get information in such situations. This observation needs to be analyzed in the best of the efforts to bring the right outcome. Though observing can be time consuming, the one does it can always make conclusions on objective interpretations.
However, the right assessment here will help one to collect useful information from what he/she has accumulated as data. But the presentations of the useful information rather than the data will convey to the listener one’s decision. One must be just shrewd enough to connect the result we want to achieve with our decision about what is supposed to be done. The listeners are eager to listen, and at the same time they in many ways will be very critical, thus one needs to provide them with all the possible alternatives. It will also be very important to verify with ample evidence that our decision is going to yield positive result. Most importantly the whole community must come to know, that he/she is very consistent in decision making. It is possible only when the master follow up and appoint adequate persons in specific fields and demonstrate an overall command over the complete proceedings of the project. He is ought have answers that are simple, straightforward, understandable and very much clear on the topic of the question asked. A systematic assessment ‘provides a systematic process to guide decisions. Provides justification for decisions before they are made. It is scalable for any size project, time frame, or budget. Offers a replicable model that can be applied by novices or experts. Provides a systemic perspective for decision makers. Allows for interdisciplinary solutions for complex problems (Ryan Watkins 2007).
The school, in fact, was making excellent profit. Nonetheless, the appointment of the master was to increase the profit by exporting the expertise the school had been so effectively using for many years. Keen observation and assessment showed the master that Greece would be the most appropriate place to have made their first branch. The master had to integrate the information he had gathered in order to create his information product. On this aspect he had to once again go through the activities he had done to collect the information. He just went through all the manuals he did; like planning, listening, participating in conversations and critical thinking. He arranged the themes to the best of his ability. He put down his decisions based on the facts he had unearthed. He rationalized the very logically. He finally structured it to go. He knew it was going to work, and he had the complete confidence in the team of senior management group, as he had already noticed them being very energetic and dynamic.
At the end of the first week the master was ready for a meeting. He called for the meeting. He had all the senior management staff presented in the meeting. He came up with his observations and decisions. He conveyed to the ratio of students flow and the trend that suggest the viability they have in Greece. The out come of the meeting was, in fact, deferent from what he had hoped for. There was an obvious denial of the proposal on face of everyone except the senior tutor who sounded enthusiastic about the Idea. He realized that he has to fight his cause to implement and promote the plan he had in mind. He knew for sure that his plan was viable, but just could not make out why it was not accepted by this group which was in no way short of experience or expertise to understand the positive side of it.
The master, for that matter, had rushed a little bit he needed a little bit of co-operation and involvement of other senior staff to promote his project smoothly. Gaining the confidence was the most important aspect in successful administration. ‘Having a system that reinforces accountability, collaboration, and initiative will rebuild confidence and problem-solving to promote open dialog, objective diagnosis, and mobilization that can take corrective action to defeat denial. In essence, the greater the level of confidence the better able organizations become at self-examination and action’ (Kanter Rosabeth 2005). If the master seeks to build and nurture, he will have to be real strategic and co-operative in his organizational skills.