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Books Relevant to Change, Continuous Quality Improvement and Organizational Leadership

Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change
by Sara Orem, Jacqueline Binkert and Ann Clancy (2007).

Appreciative Coaching is based upon the authors’ experiences with coaching, intentional change and Appreciative Inquiry. At its core the Appreciative Coaching method shows individuals how to tap into (or rediscover) their own sense of excitement about their present life and future possibilities. Rather than focusing on individuals in limited or problem-oriented ways, Appreciative Coaching philosophy, tools and steps guide leaders through coaching others via four stages – discovery, dream, design, and destiny – that inspire them to a positive view of themselves and a hands on approach to embarking on intentional change for their future.

Soar With Your Strengths
by Donald O. Clifton & Paula Nelson (1992).

This book enables the reader to discover the joy of excellence, inspiring psychology of achievement. The book guides the reader to capitalize on one’s strengths while managing one’s weaknesses. It also discusses mission as motivation and the leader’s ability to live their mission. Soar With Your Strengths is a very easy read with a very powerful message.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
by Chip Heath, Dan Heath (2010)

Why is change so difficult and frightening? How do you create change when you have few resources and no title or authority to back you up? Chip and Dan Heath, the best-selling authors of Made to Stick, are back with a ground-breaking book that addresses one of the greatest challenges of our personal and professional lives — how to change things when change is hard.

The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
by Peter Senge (1990)

Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at MIT and this book focuses on group problem solving using the systems thinking method in order to convert companies into learning organizations. The five disciplines represent approaches (theories and methods) for developing three core learning capabilities: fostering aspiration, developing reflective conversation, and understanding complexity.

Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life
by Stewart Friedman (2008)

Total Leadership is adapted from the author’s Wharton School course. It helps leaders identify their core values and make them come alive in their everyday work by acting with authenticity, integrity, and creativity. By approaching leadership growth from the perspective of the whole person, the individual is more committed to the intentional change process and sustainable change occurs more naturally.

Books specific to Early Learning Programs

A Great Place to Work
by Paula Jorde Bloom, Ann Hentschel, and Jill Bella (1997)

Early childhood program administrators often have a global impression that things are going well or not so well at their center, but they lack specific feedback on just what the different areas of the organization contribute to those impressions. This updated and expanded edition helps directors define more precisely how ten dimensions of a center shape the quality of work life for staff. It will help you look at your program in terms of collegiality, opportunities for professional growth, supervisor support, clarity, reward system, decision-making, goal consensus, task orientation, physical setting, and innovation. Written in an engaging and lively style, the ideas in this book will help you sharpen your leadership skills and make your center A Great Place to Work.

Blueprint for Action: Achieving Center-Based Change Through Staff Development,
2nd Edition Paula Jorde Bloom (2005)

Learn to assess your program for its strengths, weaknesses, and organizational structure. Then draw up a "blueprint for action" to make improvements.

Newly revised, Blueprint for Action provides a framework for understanding early childhood centers as organizations as well as the dynamics of change within such organizations. Helping directors move beyond a "quick fix" notion of center improvement, this groundbreaking book details a comprehensive method for assessing program strengths and areas in need of improvement, including an individualized model of staff development. Woven throughout the text are numerous vignettes connecting the concepts presented to real-life situations experienced by early childhood administrators. This revised edition includes a CD-ROM containing adaptable worksheets and assessment tools designed to help directors:

identify problems and take action
• create a staff development action plan
• establish individual and organizational goals
• outline assessment for individual staff members and the organization

The Visionary Director, 2nd Edition: A Handbook for Dreaming, Organizing, and Improvising in Your Center
by Deb Curtis & Margie Carter

Be inspired to create a larger vision in early learning with this practical, popular professional development tool. Thoroughly revised, the second edition of The Visionary Director offers a concrete framework for organizing your ideas and work. Reflecting new requirements and initiatives for center directors, this handbook also addresses topics such as:

• Cultivating a vision
• Developing “systems thinking” for management roles
• Implementing principles and strategies for mentoring
• Building a learning community for adults and children
• Bringing your visions to life to perform you job with motivation and creativity

Share your CQI story

Continuous Quality Improvement means different things to different people. For the purposes of early childhood and school age programs in Pennsylvania, continuous quality improvement is the complete process of identifying, describing and analyzing strengths and problems and then testing, implementing, learning from and revising solutions. CQI philosophy is that most things can be improved. Our goal is to provide the best possible services to the children and families that we serve. We want to go beyond meeting basic health and safety needs. CQI is firmly grounded in the overall mission, vision and values of the organization. But perhaps most importantly is dependent on the active inclusion of staff, families, children and other partners at all levels.

This new section of our website is devoted to sharing the stories of the leaders who have begun, undergone and continue to want to learn more about implementing Continuous Quality Improvement initiatives their programs. In the coming months, we will begin to post these personal stories and hope that you too will be compelled to share your story.

Click here for an application to share your CQI story >>