1. Understanding your team’s why

Without sufficient capacity and resources, any change effort is much less likely to be successful. It is absolutely imperative that educators be provided the tools, skills, and support via resources to implement collective leadership. Long-standing hierarchical structures are embedded in our understanding of how schools operate. When asked to operate differently, educators must be provided a different set of tools and must be supported in learning how to use them. Just as a mechanic who used to be a truck driver needs new tools and skills for a different job, educators also need new tools and skills to do school differently. They need the time, space, opportunity, and training to know how to operate differently.

Goal: Establish a theory of action

What do you need to learn from staff at your school about the capacity and resources needed to implement collective leadership? What questions do you have about how capacity and resources for collective leadership look? How will answers to those questions help you create a plan for providing what educators need to be successful?

  • Think of a time when your team (or you) had the capacity and resources that you needed to do something well.
    • What skills and capacities did your team need to be able to implement something new?
    • What resources did you need?
    • What capacities and resources did your team think you needed at the beginning but weren’t actually necessary?
    • What guardrails and/or safety nets were in place?
    • To what degree do the current capacities and resources at your school align with what was described above?
  • What strengths and/or assets emerged from the questions above?
  • What opportunities for growth or areas of need emerged from the responses to question #1?
  • How might building capacity and providing resources help your efforts to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  • What is one actionable next step that your school can take to move towards or increase your school’s capacity and resources for collective leadership?
  • What is your theory of action for how your team can create or strengthen capacity and resources for collective leadership?
Important Tasks

Review the information and discussion questions in this document to see and consider how to build leadership capacity among the staff at your school. Identify ideas from the discussion guide that your team may want to adopt or adapt to your context. Discuss additional opportunities that currently exist to build capacity at your school.

Identify the currently existing capacity and resources available to implement collective leadership. Discuss ways that your team might leverage current capacity and resources. Identify opportunities to restructure or redesign the ways that capacity and resources are currently being used.

Determine what additional capacity and resources your team may need to begin implementing collective leadership. Identify potential sources and opportunities for securing additional resources and building additional capacity for collective leadership implementation.

Develop your team’s theory of action about how to move forward from where you are to where you would like to be relative to building capacity and providing resources.

Connect and collaborate
Teams frequently struggle with developing a theory of action. Remember to articulate your goal and identify the problem of practice before developing the theory of action.

Need help crafting a theory of action? 

2. Designing your team’s how

Are you ready to create a plan for how your team will build capacity and provide resources for collective leadership? Remember that having sufficient capacity and resources will help your team avoid frustration.

Goal: Prepare to lead action

Are you ready to create a plan for how your team will increase capacity and provide resources for collective leadership? Remember that building capacity and providing adequate resources will help your team avoid frustration.

What will you take on first? Who should be involved? What is the timeline?  How will you measure success?

Big Questions
  • What does the information collected thus far tell your team about the best next step toward increasing capacity and resources for collective leadership?
  • How will your team go about building capacity and securing resources for collective leadership?
  • What are the minimum levels of capacity and resources needed to get started? How would ideal levels look?
  • What has already been tried? What was learned from that effort?
  • Who else needs to be involved?
  • How will your team know when you have made progress?
Important Tasks

Complete the Purpose Map to set the vision, identify the people who should be involved, and create the initial action plan for testing your team’s idea(s). For ideas about how to design and implement a pilot, check out the structure and resources in this micro-credential or contact CTQ.

Complete and use an action timeline tool like the one below to clearly articulate what will get done by whom and how the team will know that you have been successful.

Is your team interested in support for using these tools? Do you need hard copies? We can also customize the tools for your school or district.

3. Implementing your team’s plan

Now that the team has articulated the why and how for building capacity and securing resources, it is time to implement your team’s plan.

What does your team need to do to implement and learn from the plan?

The implementation phase of the work is about much more than carrying out the components of your team’s plan. In order to ascertain the effectiveness of the plan, data must be collected for evaluation. It’s helpful to remind yourself of your original goals as you prepare to gather the feedback needed.

Goal: Launch your team’s test, gather data, and study the results

Once the test is underway, gather the data needed to answer your burning questions. Analyze the data and results of your initiative. Decide whether your team wants to revisit adequate resources or move on to another condition.

Big Questions
  • How will your team know it is making progress? How will your team define success?
  • What feedback is needed from those involved in this effort to ensure that the processes you have developed are having the impact you intended?
  • How will that feedback be used to make adjustments along the way?
Important Tasks

Implement the plan for how your school will build capacity and secure resources for collective leadership.

Collect data from participants about progress made relative to building capacity for collective leadership.

Create a visible and formal means by which to share the resources that are being used to grow collective leadership.

Consider how your school might leverage the additional capacity that was developed as a result of your efforts. How will your team continue to grow these efforts?

Want assistance measuring the impact of your efforts?


CTQ’s tools


Understanding your team’s why
1. Establishing a Theory of Action

Designing your team’s how
2. Purpose map
3. Action timeline

Implementing your team’s plan
5. Impact assessment