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Two Simple Steps to Creating Demand For Your School

In a rapidly differentiated education market, many private and public schools find themselves with weakening streams of students coming to their doors.  How can you reverse this?  How can you build demand for your school? Community Public Charter School in Charlottesville, Virginia is a very small school that has struggled to support a somewhat unique [...]

By | 2018-05-05T15:20:26+00:00 May 5th, 2018|Exemplar Schools, Leading Change|0 Comments

Another Novel Route to Creating a True Strategic Plan

In another sign that the era of traditional five-year school strategic plans are dead, take a look at the approach led by head of school Ned Murray and this team at Episcopal Day School in Augusta, GA.  It is simple, clean, and generates action items based on aspirations and big questions, rather than the backward-looking distillation [...]

A Powerful New Teacher “Interview”!

THE shortest route to a school with powerful, sustainable innovation capacity is to hire the right people. So I was so excited that, on a short-planned visit to Design 39 Campus, they were "interviewing" a prospective new faculty hire by throwing her right into the deep end of the pool: organize a design challenge with [...]

Lego Pieces and Leading Innovation

What can a 15-year-old autistic boy from Iceland teach us about leadership? Last week videos went viral of a 28-foot-long model of the Titanic, designed and built out of 65,000 Lego blocks by teenager Brynjar Karl Birgisson.  It is a remarkable feat of design, engineering, three-dimensional vision, and perseverance.  But what I want to dig [...]

A Very Worthwhile Hour of Powerful Learning

Most of you don't have many spare hours, or maybe you do, but only when you are driving somewhere or on a plane.  Fine; here is a great way to spend that hour. It is a podcast that is not about the nuts and bolts of education, but here are a few reasons why you [...]

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 [...]

How Will Our Ideas and Practices Evolve?

Education is a mirror of societal interactions.  For millennia, knowledge and information have been vastly more "push" than "pull".  The big ideas of a few rulers, politicians, philosophers, celebrities, scientists, artists, authors, and the like have molded the evolution of human thought and action. In logarithmic terms, the 10 have led the 100,000, or perhaps [...]

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 [...]

Outline of Steps to Lead Change at Your School

Penguins, icebergs, and organizational change, all in a one-hour read. What's not to love? John Kotter knows as much about change management as anyone in the world.  I am embarrassed to say that I had not read Kotter until about two years ago, but perhaps that was actually good.  I had to develop my own [...]

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 [...]