I sometimes I am asked what it is like to work as a consultant. The answer varies from day to day but today it looks like this:
My work day began with a Skype meeting at 8:30 - where we discussed conditions and details for an upcoming assignment. It looks promising and I hope to get started soon .... :) I will reveal the nature of the assignment when we are finished with alla the formalities :)
Then left for a 10:00 meeting which was general discussion about current state of affairs and a possible collaboration in the future. There are many meetings like this, networking for future assignments. At the same time, it is fun to meet interesting and talented people who are passionate about their work and to keep up on current affairs!
Had time to get a workout in the middle of the day - it's important to take good care of yourself :)
Lastly, I had a 14:30 meeting similar to the one before lunch.
It a great Friday!
Have a nice weekend!
Today I received the best phone call of the year, so far :) An echo for the past from the time when I was the management director of Falkenbergs Municipality Education Department.
Kerstin Angel, chairman for Falkenberg's Education Committee called to tell me that the School Inspectorate given fantastic feedback after the latest inspection. Among other things, there was emphasis on how the chain of command works positively with a distinctive joint effort that has been long-term and successful.
Why am I writing about this? I am proud to be concidered and to receive my share of the reward for the long-term and purposeful work that underlies today's results.
With humbleness I say – Thank you very much - so nice of you Kerstin! :)
Ps. The picture is from the time of management director.
Thank you to all who have been involved in various ways in the assignment I had in Tanum Municipality!
The assignment changed over time but was always about improving and developing considering local conditions and needs! I have really enjoyed this assignment and perceived that everyone involved have been both interested and committed to their responsibilities in the municipality's activities. Finally, I will deliver a report to the Swedish School Inspectorate, which I contributed to together with all employees and management at Futura - thanks to everyone !! :)
Now leaving and moving on to new assignments is of course exciting and fun but I will miss you .... :)
Good luck with your continued development!
Best wishes for the the New Year! I feel strong and rejuvenated after a much needed vacation - which included some work too ... :)
I am looking forward to a new and exciting year as self-employed consult and everything that entails - like unexpected assignments with short deadlines and keeping my cool managing both new and current projects.
I have completed my assignment for the Swedish National Agency for Education – a preliminary study that illustrate administration on the leadership level within municipal and independent school systems.
I am also working on my book manuscript which will be finished this spring. It's about leadership from two perspectives:
I am also excited about being a part of a conference for school leaders in March. The focus area is performance-oriented school development. http://kompetento.se/konferens/resultskol2018/
I also continues with my coaching assignments for clients at both head and school levels.
In other words - 2018 has started well!
An experience richer and grateful to participate in so many different contexts and share my experience of leadership and digital change! :) Many different nationalities from all over Eastern Europe are represented and I realize I do not know much about this part of Europe. Meet many dedicated headmaster- school leaders who are very interested in learning the experiences I share during the conference. There are differences between our countries and the work in progress but also great similarities mainly in the experience of challenges in the headmasters - school leaders mission today 2017 ... :)
A new assignment is already in the works after an initial meeting with five Heads of Education. These five Heads were selected based on questions and discussions about administration linked to digitization and efficiency.
I am going to make a preliminary study to illustrate how the National Agency for Education (Skolverket) can support Heads of Eduction in reducing the administrative work for teachers and principals.
An important and challenging assignment - I think !!
Read an interesting article highlighting the importance of being a manager focusing on being efficient instead of just effective! That is to really examen how you as the executive manager is perceived by your employees and the effect this has on the business.
Simon Elvnäs KTH researched leadership based on what managers believe they do or implement and what the employees perceive that they actually do or implement!
Interestingly - 40% of the managers themselves perceived that they spent much of their time giving feedback to the employees - while the research shows that in reality they were no more than 0-2% of the time spent on it.
Then I have spoken on this subject I have exclaimed: "It's not what you say but what you do that counts". Now I can add: "As a manager how do you take in count on how your employees perceive what you do?"'
Is it efficient or effective?
As a leader, I have often had to stand up for and explain the changes needed to be made in order for the organization to work toward set goals. I've wondered how "we do it for the best of organization" is interpreted and what do we really mean by it?
I mean that the best for the organization is connected to the organization it is pertaining to and it should be different depending on it. It is about creating better quality based on developing identified improvement areas - linked to the policy documents we are dealing with.
In term of education, the best for the organization is of course connected to activities in the classroom and the students' learning processes - for this we have shared responsibility, but in this regard the teacher is the most important. How I, as a leader, support and challenge my employees in this change process, is crucial for the results we achieve.
What is your experience?
Arja Holmstedt Svensson
A blog about my work and assignments as a Change Leader. The posts will be about my experiences – new experiences, meeting new people in new environments.