Dealing with disruption: Cope, Adjust and Transform

Eastland Career Center Assistant Director, former high school principal, and FETC 2020 presenter Dwight Carter addresses how school leaders can manage change using the CAT framework
By: | December 11, 2019
Dwight Carter, the assistant director of Eastland Career Center, is a former high school principal, and a featured speakers at FETC 2020.

Dwight Carter, the assistant director of Eastland Career Center, is a former high school principal in Central Ohio, and a featured speaker at FETC 2020.

I had the pleasure of co-authoring a book with Mark White (@MarkWhite55) called Leading Schools in Disruptive Times: How to Survive Hyper-change. In it, Mark White and I introduce a solving framework we call, CAT, which stands for “Cope, Adjust and Transform.” CAT helps school leaders to successfully deal with change in the 21st century, especially the sudden disruptive events that are often sprung on schools without warning. In the CAT framework, school leaders do the following:

  1. Recognize the disruptive event and cope with it immediately. When a crisis occurs, the goal is to peacefully resolve it as quickly as possible, usually within hours or days of its inception.
  2. Adjust school policies and operating procedures in the days and weeks after the incident to prevent its reoccurrence or to handle it and other disruptions more efficiently.
  3. Continue to transform their philosophies and school cultures through study and reflection in the months after the incident, so that their thought processes and adaptive strategies will be deepened in the future.

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