Being Lighter

September 15, 2018

An old friend who, way back in our 20’s, called me a pine nut-eating tree hugger and the like, posted on Facebook today this image, and the note that “learning how to let things go is my biggest lesson right now. It feels so much lighter.” She teaches kids with special learning needs, so you…

Do You Know Your NPS??

August 31, 2018

As the diversity of learning options for families continues to explode, fewer families choose to go to their neighborhood school just because it is close.  While I don’t have national data for ALL schools, I think we know that the most important driver of school selection is word-of-mouth.  What we hear from our friends, family,…

Shovel Faster??

August 30, 2018

There is one simple reason that coal-fired steam engines in trains and ships were rapidly replaced by oil-fired, then diesel, electric, and even nuclear power.  No matter how fast you shovel, you can’t make that steam engine go any faster. This is my new favorite picture for K-12 educators.  We reached the limit of effective…

The Simple Equation of Value-Strategy-Innovation

August 20, 2018

Following the lead of my new friend, Seth Godin, short blogs are better.  This picture really is worth 1,000 words.  Schools that are increasingly faced with the challenge that their students can and might select another school to attend, must develop, communicate, and deliver a winning value proposition or face loss of enrollment, and the…

Schools and Malls

August 11, 2018

A short post, inspired by the daily sharing of Seth Godin, who was kind enough to spend a half hour with me on the phone this week. (It is a pretty great day when your daughter texts, “Seth Godin made dinner for us; he’s really a great guy and is interested in what you are…

School Futures Lie in Strategy

August 8, 2018

As we get ready to launch a new learning year, let’s laser-focus on a very simple reality: Schools, like every other organization that lives in a competitive marketplace, have just two “keys to sustainable success” according to strategy guru Michael Porter: good strategy and highly effective operational systems. Operational effectiveness means that your school is…

Great Resources for Proficiency-Based Learning via Mark Seigel

August 6, 2018

I am increasingly getting questions and queries something like: “Where do I go for resources on performance-based and competency-based learning?”  I am not the expert on these by any means, which is why I can point you to someone who has been preaching and leading in these areas for decades and is sharing frequently-updated resources…

Does Culture Always Eat Strategy for Breakfast??

July 18, 2018

Does culture really eat strategy for breakfast? This Peter Drucker dictum has been at the top of the organizational Ten Commandments for several decades; I often use the quote, and the slide is in my slide deck. It seems to be right for so many reasons. At some point during our Strategic Change Accelerator with…

Great Podcast: Why, What, and How of School Change…Even at Best Schools

July 12, 2018

I absolutely could not give the rationale nor tell the story of school transformation better than Tim Quinn and Liz Schmitt of Miss Porter’s School on this podcast with Peter Baron and Hans Mundahl of Enrollment Management Association. I was honored to be able to help guide MPS over the last year as they began to…

Havasupai School in Need Hides in Desert Paradise

June 28, 2018

When we see people and places in need, do we stop, ask questions, and help? Or do we walk on by, assuming someone else will take care of the problem, hope it will go away, or silently give thanks that we are better off?  What problems do you have at your school that can even…

Video of My Commencement Speech in May

June 19, 2018

I shared what I think are some very key messages in this commencement speech last month; hopefully it might help in some discussions at your school over the summer and kicking off the new school year in the fall!

“We Will BE the Joneses”

June 8, 2018

Happy start of summer!  In the past 10 days, I have worked with superintendents from north-central New York, stretched in a 3,000-strong yoga jam with Michael Franti at Redrocks, hauled myself up and down the Colorado front range, intersected with 130 forward leaning educators to kick off the annual Traverse gathering in Boulder, and prototyped…

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