We’re very excited to announce a new blog series that will chronicle the transformation of public radio station WCBE – 90.5 FM Columbus, Ohio. We’ll share the journey they are taking as a response to the Columbus City Schools reshaping. The Columbus Board of Education holds the license for the station (that’s why its call letters, WCBE, are an acronym for the board). The station’s journey will be co-written with Dan Mushalko, general manager of the station.
To give context, the Columbus City Schools employees—and perhaps others in schools throughout the state—are accused of falsifying students’ records to improve their schools’ standing on state report cards. The context matters because it helps to explain why WCBE is transforming now, and sets the sense of urgency the station faces. Why our story about WCBE is interesting is that the station is using this crisis as an opportunity to become more efficient, more effective, and a better partner with the school district.
Our series starts with a note Dan Mushalko sent to the radio station staff.
“First, a declaration: WCBE is changing. No matter whether we’re a department in the larger Columbus City Schools, or a standalone broadcaster, our old ways will continue to lose effectiveness as the rest of the world changes. Within the District, changes are coming. Dr. Dan Good is a visionary leader with a hard-driving will dedicated to the CCS (Columbus City Schools) mission. To make this District what it must be to serve the community, he’s instituting changes: some fast, some slow, some specific, some across the District. Some will be easy, some will hurt. Some will no doubt hurt me personally. But I’m behind them 100 percent because, like Dr. Good, I’m dedicated to the District’s mission of serving the greater community. In the final analysis, our mission at WCBE is just a permutation of the District’s own goals.”
WCBE will follow the transformation process illustrated below and described in the award winning book: Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations.
The first step in the transformation process involves clearly defining the vision for the change, as well as why the change is now urgent. We’re including WCBE’s updated organizational mission so you gain a better understanding of the station and what it’s committed to creating in the community and beyond:
- Support Columbus and neighboring areas in being a thriving and sustainable community through our operations as a radio station, and as a responsible community member
- Offer listeners the opportunity to connect with the broader community through local programming, creating opportunities for local musicians, and promoting local organizations
- Providing the most reliable source for local, national, and international news—and producing engaging music programming featuring local, national and international talent
- Create opportunities that promote a vibrant and engaged community by leveraging our role as a radio station, to facilitate bringing together local music talent, local businesses/NPOs, and community members
- Partner with like-minded organizations to accomplish our vision
In his message, Mushalko clearly states that WCBE is changing—and we’ll continue to hear about the changes on a regular basis. Mushalko posted a change process flow in the hall at the station in the form of a wall chart and asked each staff member for their input on the process which will be incorporated into his final change process plan. He has also created a scorecard to establish clear goals and timelines for the change and is tracking progress with his coach, Maureen Metcalf, every other week.
Return soon to learn how the station overcomes the inevitable complications and obstacles of any change process to transform and forge its future.
To become a more innovative leader please sign up for the online leader development program or purchase the Innovative Leadership Workbook for Emerging Leaders. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, reading the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and the Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations and participating in the online innovative leadership program with coaching. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.