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When you're implementing a change initiative, there are essentially two components: what you’re doing, and how well you’re doing it. The what and the how.

We can express this as an equation:

Here, we can see that What x How = Improved Outcomes. Or What x How = Wow, if you like. As in,'Wow, it actually worked!’

The most important element in the implementation equation is the multiplication sign. Because if either the ‘what’ or the ‘how’ amounts to zero (i.e. if they are ineffective), then the outcome will be zero also (0x1=0, and 1x0=0).

We can think of the 23 chapters of the 'Making Change Stick' programme as a more sophisticated version of the implementation equation.

Imagine that there's a little multiplication sign between each of these chapter headings.

Because you could do a really good job of implementing a school improvement initiative. But if any one of these elements amounts to zero - if you overlook the importance of setting impact goals for example, or habit change, or communications planning - then the outcome might well be zero also, and all your effort will have been in vain.

In other words: all of these ideas are really important, and you can't afford to overlook any one of them. If you take short-cuts, you will significantly increase the likelihood that your school improvement initiative will be one of the 80-90% that doesn’t actually improve anything.

On the other hand, if you work your way through these elements in a systematic way, you will significantly increase the likelihood that your school improvement initiative will be in the 10-20% that improve educational and life outcomes for children and young people.

And if we all take this journey together – if we can learn how to implement school improvement effectively at a system level - then we can massively increase that success rate, and improve educational and life outcomes for current and future generations of children and young people on a scale never before seen.

Next week, we'll look at how to choose your area of focus. In the mean-time, if you'd like to access a free 10-part taster course, you can do so here.

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