Investment in research and development
Research and development play a critical role in the innovation process. It is an investment in our future capabilities in terms of the products we use, the processes we follow, the skills we develop, and the services we contract. What do school business leaders have to gain from engaging in research and development?
Using research and evidence-based learning to evolve and individualise learning points by reflecting on our own needs, values and opportunities which should help to deliver improved outcomes for you and your organisations. Engaging in research and development also allows us to harness intelligence and learn from innovation, helping us stay ahead in a constantly evolving profession as well as the quick wins which improve our daily practice.
With the pressure on to continually find ways to improve effectiveness and efficiency in our schools, harnessing intelligence from research and development to improve productivity is another important tool in the school business leader’s toolkit.
In her research report titled Leading School Business – Professional Growth and Confidence in Changing Times
(November 2018), Dr Fiona Creaby, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, recommends sector-level collaboration, system-level advocacy, practitioner-level work, and sector research. Future research could inform succession planning, career pathways and leadership diversity. What will the next level of ‘normal’ in our working lives look like?
The fourth industrial revolution is characterised by flexible and intuitive technologies, blurring the lines between physical, digital and biological dimensions. We may be expecting revolutionary change, where many tasks become automated, but will change be more incremental and less noticeable? Consider how every time an app loads an update on your phone or tablet, there is a small improvement in performance or design. So much of what we do in school business leadership includes recording, processing and interpreting data and information. Perhaps it is time to re-imagine how we work, and to adapt?
Improving the learning experience for children and young people, whilst enhancing the working experience allows for balance between life and work. However, will innovation disrupt our jobs and skills? Factors such as employee location, pay, skills, career mobility and adaptability will all potentially be affected, and we will need broad experience to make us agile employees.
ASCL Business Leadership Specialist