William Spady


Dr. William Spady is an internationally recognized authority on future-focused approaches to Outcome-Based Education, organizational change, transformational leadership development, strategic organizational design, and empowering models of learning and living. For 40 years he has spearheaded major efforts throughout North America, South Africa and Australia on expanding the vision, deepening the philosophical grounding, and improving the performance of learners, educators, leaders, and educational systems. Today he is applying his empowering concepts to improving leadership and organizational effectiveness in education, corporations, and the public sector through the work of the New Possibilities Network, which he founded in 2007.

In 1979, Dr. Spady joined the staff of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) as the Director of its National Center for the Improvement of Learning. While in that role, he co-founded the Network for Outcome-Based Schools, served as its Executive Director for five years, and founded and edited its quarterly publication Outcomes for six years. Between 1983 and 1986 he served as Director of the Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development in San Francisco, and in 1986 he formed the High Success Network, which for a decade led cutting-edge initiatives in Outcome-Based restructuring, curriculum design, and school change in over forty U.S. States and Canadian Provinces.
He has appeared as a featured speaker on the national programs of most major educational organizations in the U.S., and has been named “Distinguished Lecturer” at the American Association of School Administrator’s (AASA) national convention five times. In 2003 he was named a Senior Fellow of the Novalis Institute in Cape Town, South Africa, and Chief Consultant to the Matthew Goniwe Institute of Leadership and Governance in Johannesburg. He is also the Founder and President of the Unity Empowerment Trust in Port Elizabeth, South Africa; and a Senior Fellow of the Beautiful School International initiative, operating widely in Russia and South Africa.

Dr. Spady has published and lectured extensively across the world on organizational leadership, systemic change, transformational learning systems, instructional management, Outcome-Based Education, school restructuring, strategic planning, curriculum design, and paradigm change. His pioneering work on future-driven strategic planning and alignment, systemic change, instructional design, and leadership development is reflected in a host of articles and seven widely acclaimed books, five commissioned and published by AASA:
Outcome-Based Education: Critical Issues and Answers (1994)

Paradigm Lost: Reclaiming America’s Educational Future (1998)

Total Leaders: Applying The Best Future-Focused Change Strategies

to Education (1998), co-authored with Charles Schwahn

Curriculum 2005: A Guide for Parents (2000), co-authored in South Africa

with Anne Schlebusch

Beyond Counterfeit Reforms: Forging an Authentic Future for All Learners


Total Leaders 2.0: Leading in the Age of Empowerment (2010), co-authored

with Charles Schwahn.

Learning Communities 2.0: Educating in the Age of Empowerment (2010),

co-authored with Charles Schwahn.
Some of his recent published papers include:
“Re-Forming the Reforms: How Total Leaders Face Education’s Biggest

Challenge” (2002) – published in the U.S.

“It’s Time to Think Outside the Box About the Annual Matric Drama” (2004) –

published in South Africa

“Using the SAQA Critical Outcomes to Empower Learners and Transform

Education” (2004) – published in South Africa

“Leading and Learning ‘Outside the Box’” (2006) – published in Australia

“The Paradigm Trap: Getting Beyond the ‘No Child Left Behind’ Policy” (2007) –

published in the U.S.

He is also the author of major strategic change resources for education leaders and policy makers on the Why’s, What’s, and How’s of leading and implementing productive change in today’s world of personal empowerment. These documents include:
Guidelines for Leading and Implementing Productive Change

Action Steps for Leading and Implementing Productive Change

A Strategic Process for Developing Future-Focused Student Performance Outcomes