nuance: why some leaders succeed and others fail

Break the cycle of surface-level change and failure

How do leaders become clearer as complexity increases? We live in a world where decisions require judgment, getting people on board, drawing on local knowledge, ingenuity, and commitment. As leaders, how do you get beneath surface-level change to tackle complex challenges with depth and clarity.

Nuance is the answer.

Michael Fullan returns with an eminently readable, compelling and practical guide on the three habits of nuance: joint determination, adaptability, and culture-based accountability. Learn how you can:

  • Combine the power of networks and humanity to get to desired destinations.
  • Embrace complexity and understand context to develop better judgment
  • Change the culture of your organization to harness the forces of nuance.
  • Develop quality change that sticks

With tons of examples and case studies of this book makes explicit the hidden habits and mind frames of leaders who deliver lasting change.

Corwin 2019





3 thoughts on “nuance: why some leaders succeed and others fail

  1. Dear Michael,

    Have just started reading Nuance and I am really enjoying it as it has some great insights for our journey here with Brisbane Catholic Education. In particular, I have found that your’s and John Malloy’s reflections, outlined in Case Study Six, provide us with some possible next steps in our Excellent Learning and Teaching strategy. I think a key aspect will be strengthening the relationship with principals and our Senior Leaders. Michael, I look forward to catching up with you once again when you continue your work with us in February. Congratulations on the book Michael,

    1. I think it must be said that you can have the best model in the world but if the dominant society fundamentally wants to keep minorities supressed via education it becomes extremely difficult to initiate any reform that is not based on a vendors coming in from the outside and telling everyone what is … teachers sit passive absorbing Pearsons next money making scheme.

      Let us be clear there is a price to pay to against these big money interest. The legislators and corporate think tanks want a consumptive population, not one that critically thinks.
      You can become a target when you talk about the 6Cs or Deep Learning. This has to be said and Mr. Fullan has to be aware that in America educators put their careers on the line trying to make change that he prescribes.

      I have been successful applying the principles of Professional Capital but it has come at a price and I am never asked what I am doing or whats the reason for my success. As soon as I say I focus on building teacher capacity without outside vendors I am literally destroyed.

      So as a cautionary tale you must tread lightly in doing this work.

  2. Creating a culture of accountability is substantially easier in a private sector when you are able to hire and/or dismiss an employee who is not on board with your vision and mission. Within public education in the United States and more specifically in the state of West Virginia, the teachers are fighting for better pay and benefits in a system that struggles to give due respect and acknowledgement for the professional providers of education. If the internal personal standards are not met with satisfaction with the services provided, it is difficult set high expectations and expect them to be met for the “good of the system”. I work with incredible teachers who provide highly effective instruction behind their closed doors regardless of the community outlook on their performance. I also work with teachers who began their classroom instructional experience with vigor, rigor, and high energy who have over the years become the recipient of so much negativity that their willingness to do any more than what they have been doing is diminished.

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