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What Comes First, School or Well-Being?

What really drives your big, long-term school-wide decisions? In a video call yesterday with Corwin Press president Mike Soules and a group of Corwin authors, I noted that at virtually every school I have visited in depth for the last couple of years, student well-being has been at or very near the top of stakeholder goals and concerns.  We [...]

By | 2019-09-10T15:35:40+00:00 September 10th, 2019|Big Challenges to Education, Leading Change|0 Comments

Is the Classic “Hero’s Journey” Still Timeless?

The Hero's Journey lies at the heart of human storytelling. From the Bhagavad Gita to the Old and New Testaments; from Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology to the creational stories of indigenous peoples; from the life stories of comic book superheroes to the modern sagas like Star Wars and Game of Thrones, the Hero's Journey [...]

By | 2019-06-17T15:18:03+00:00 June 17th, 2019|Challenges to Education, Leading Change|0 Comments

The Simple Thesis of New Book THRIVE: How Schools Will Win the Education Revolution

I just made two new slides that seem to sum up pretty much the argument for, and the content of, my new book, THRIVE: How Schools Will Win the Education Revolution, due out in the early fall. Whether we like it or not, this is the hand we have been dealt as K-12 educators today [...]

The Power of 10,000 Small Ideas

We have passed a fundamental tipping point in the evolution of human connectivity. For millennia, big ideas spread through a highly-constricted pipeline. Masses of humanity listened to a handful of political, religious, or social influencers and followed where those few led.  Humans were a metaphorical crowd of 10,000 people listening for one good idea from [...]

Build a Team of Teams at Your School

What does fighting a terror-based insurgency have in common with running a school?  Fortunately the daily events are very different. But school leaders can learn critical lessons about managing large, complex organizations from how military, and increasingly business, leaders are learning to adapt to rapidly changing challenges. Retired General Stanley McCrystal led American forces in [...]

Schools Are Not Forever

There is something in our affinity for the institution of education that makes it seem immutable and timeless.  Schools that have been part of our lives will always be there. New schools will rise as communities grow, but it seems unfair or tragic when schools disappear as communities wane.  Yet the reality is that the [...]

What Keeps School Leaders Up at Night?

What is it that REALLY keeps independent school leaders up at night?  For much of 2017 and early 2018 I was collecting feedback on a series of simple, provocative, open-ended prompts from independent school heads, senior administrators, and trustees.  I have just published some results in Independent School Magazine.  Check it out; I think you [...]

The Simple Equation of Value-Strategy-Innovation

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 [...]

School Futures Lie in Strategy

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 [...]

“We Will BE the Joneses”

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 [...]