The COVID-19 world-wide pandemic has changed everything.
But at times like this, where change is everywhere, and encompasses almost all aspects of our lives, the need for creating change management plans and project plans become even more of a priority. In the first few weeks of the world coming to the realization of the extent and reach of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was immense pressure being increasingly applied to react with concrete, real measures. In my organization, we were prompted by the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic to create safe classroom experiences for all our students. All of these measures – whatever the measures were; which was problematic in itself, as in the first days of the pandemic, it was difficult to decisively know what form these measures would take – needed to acted upon almost immediately as the full impact of the growing pandemic was being recognized. This need for a quick response created an atmosphere of reaction. In this environment, it became clear quickly that the correct response still required a thoughtful, measured approach. This was and is the challenge of leadership; to create quick, decisive action, but base those decisions on informed and reflective processes, regardless of the time given to create these decisions. This is what I did creating the First Nations Technology Council’s response to the need to create safe environments for our Indigenous students that were in communities throughout British Columbia.
I utilized a data-driven decision model to inform our organization’s actions to the pandemic. I laid this data on the domain knowledge that is held by the FNTC in terms of working with learning environments of Indigenous communities and of best practice of adult learning. I used tools that enabled us to create empathetic solutions. I captured feedback and student data as the online models were implemented. I iterated and created plans for further iterations of moving to online learning environments. I ensured that we created instruments to measure the success of both the move, and how the results aligned with our organization’s goals and visions.
All of these were practices that were based on theories that the MALAT program and specifically LRNT 525 had explored. The theories and thought patterns were only that before the move; now they are experiences.