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Develop a Culture of Change

In the last two years with the pandemic and COVID-19 and the new outbreak of Omicron, it has been terrible times. It has led to lockdowns around the world that have shaken education and society. Young children and students, in particular, have had to and continue to bear the burden of private isolation, school closures, and lack of social contact. During this time, the entire education system was questioned. Questions have been raised about the role of education and the values and promises on which our current education system is based. There are urgent calls for transformation and cultural change as already existing problems in the education system became visible and surfaced due to the pandemic. Quality in universities has been practiced around the world for a long time. In the face of COVID -19, they are faced with being seen as outdated, obsolete, or irrelevant as the entire role of universities is questioned. There is therefore also an urgent need to rethink what a university might mean by quality of impact, outcomes, satisfaction, sustainability, resilience, changing core values, and digital transformation. Issues of health and wellbeing have become an indicator of quality. So it's time to drive sustainable improvement in organizational performance and health. Organizational change at the institutional level is necessary because education must respond to an ever-changing environment. It is time to develop a future-proof organization with a culture that can sustain superior performance.

Change is often best achieved through the convergence of bottom-up (grassroots initiatives; likely faculty in higher education) and top-down (individuals in positions of power; administration). This model outlines three phases of culture change that are not necessarily linear (Kezar, 2013):

  • Mobilize - developing initial awareness of the need for change (data); creating a vision; mobilizing support for change through discussion; mobilizing leadership and collective action.
  • Implement - selecting strategies; piloting projects; changing policies, processes, and structures; professional development; evaluating and refocusing results; celebrating successes; scaling up or down
  • Institutionalize - disseminate results; review; commit; follow-through