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Five Drivers of Effective Strategic Thinking for Schools

I have an upcoming meeting with members of a school board to help them understand how strategic planning is evolving.  There is so much to talk about, but I wanted to lay a foundation, so I challenged myself to put together about a ten slide, ten minute summary of what I think schools are doing [...]

The Wayne Gretzky Dilemma For Schools

Wayne Gretzky famously said. "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been".  How about a corollary for schools: "Design schools for the future, not for today". This sounds embarrassingly obvious, yet it is not. This morning I read an article about the 11,000 student Carlsbad School District on the [...]

See the Future in a Million Crystal Balls

Here's the problem:  We can lose the future if we forget the past, but we can't win the future with the past as our guide. What does that mean?  None of us really know, because for the first time in human history, the past is a decreasingly useful guide to what will work and not [...]

Strategy is About Surviving Evolution

Yesterday I spoke with an independent school head who emailed me on my views about strategic planning, how I might help, and who else they should reach out to. Here is what I shared: As I have written and spoken about for almost five years, the traditional independent school strategic plan is ineffective for a [...]

The “iGen” Generation is VERY Different

One powerful indication of just how fast the world is moving: students in K-12 today may be VERY different than those of just 10-15 years ago.  In her book iGen, Jean Twenge (HT to Andrea Fanjoy who is going to do a deeper review of this book, which I will share when she publishes it) [...]

What is the “Uber” or “Airbnb” Future of Schools?

A dozen years ago just a tiny fraction of schools had started to transform in response to the realities of a rapidly changing world.  Five years ago, we started to see powerful conversations and intentional, significant change at a much wider range of schools.  Today we may be approaching the tipping point, at least in [...]

A Great Book at the Nexus of Big, Hairy Problems and Interdisciplinary Learning

What kind of choices will our students make when faced with big, hairy problems in their own lives, and for the world we leave them?  Will they have the tools to make these choices based on sound information and reasoning?  Will they repeat mistakes of the past, or will they learn from them?  Will they [...]

We Cannot Ignore The Real America: Part Two of Series on Ben Sasse’s The Vanishing American Adult

America is not rural Nebraska. America is not suburban California. America is not 1955 and it is most certainly not 1776, 1863, or 1908.  America is ALL of America, equal parts past, present, and future. Sen. Ben Sasse knows this…at least some of it. In Part One of this three-part blog series on Sasse’s book [...]

Will We Re-Find the Center of America? Post 1 of 3 on Sen. Ben Sasse’s Book “The Vanishing American Adult”

Part One of a three-part series on The Vanishing American Adult, by Sen. Ben Sasse   Ben Sasse and I are very different people. Sasse is a conservative Republican who grew up in rural Nebraska, and now represents that deep red state in the United States senate.  I am a fiscally pragmatic, social progressive, usually-votes-Democratic, [...]

Another Powerful Call; Another Opportunity for Critical Learning

Yesterday I wrote about recent speeches drawing lines in the sand around core American values, by George Bush, Barak Obama, and John McCain.  A few hours later, Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the most conservative members of the Senate added his passionate voice in perhaps an historic speech on the Senate floor. I am not [...]