The current fight between Michael Marchetti and Tom Lindner has all the earmarks of a good old pissing war.

Charges and counter charges.

There may be valid arguments on both sides.  Or maybe there aren’t.

It’s not as though I haven’t seen this before.  Management and subordinates at each other’s throats with charges and counter charges.

Inside the school district?  Yup.

Outside the school district?  Yup.

It’s a natural process, although it doesn’t have to be.

Something I learned a quarter of a century ago will work if given half a chance.

Back then, it was called Quality Circles and it’s how the Japanese auto makers beat the crap out of American manufacturers in the 1970s.

Today it’s called TQM or Total Quality Management.

It’s where management and subordinates work together to solve problems and improve performance and quality of the product.

It takes training.  It takes time.  It takes commitment.  It takes cooperation.

Till is gone.  Notter is gone.  Garretson is gone.  Coates is gone.  Apparently little, if anything has changed in facilities.

Or probably anywhere else in the district.

And with Reuben Parker gone for two years, it does appear that little has changed in transportation.

The problem’s that of culture.  Individuals may come and go, but cultures resist change.

It goes a long way to explaining why little has changed in facilities or transportation.

It more than explains why little or nothing was done about using Kronos time and attendance.

The culture of the School Board itself is changing.  Mostly new faces that can see the missteps of the past.

They’re not taking staff at their word any longer and they’re asking the right questions.  Questions that should have been asked years ago.

It takes leadership to effect change.

As a Board member I was stunned at the district’s idea of purchasing individual user licenses for (now get this…) 31,000 employees to access the HRMS system.

That’s 31,000 user names and 31,000 passwords.

A bureaucratic nightmare.

The cost of this bureaucratic nightmare was a staggering $4 million per year.

Yet nobody batted an eyelash until I had a fit on the dais.

Culture of corruption?   No, culture of “that’s the way its always been done.

At the same time, Superintendent Frank Till gave every Board member a copy of the book “Good to Great.”

I guess he expected us to think he was that kind of a leader.

The Darden training and every other bit of effectiveness training went exactly nowhere because of the culture of silos within the district (look it up.)

It’s time for at least one Board member to step forward and propose something like TQM.

For everyone.

It really does work when the commitment is present.

But growing up isn’t easy.

It’s long past time to change the culture within the district.

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