Leading Change

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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 [...]

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 [...]

Real Change, Even in the First Year of a New School Leader

Four years ago when I published #EdJourney, I posited that significant changes at individual schools might take place over a period of 3-15 years, depending on leadership, intentionality, and focus.  I have really never seen an example of significant change (other than in schools where a wolf is at the door) in the first year [...]

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 [...]

What Must Our Children Learn? Part Three of Series on Ben Sasse’s “The Vanishing American Adult”

The American experiment, which now seems so natural to us, is a thoroughly artificial device designed to counterbalance the natural impulses of group suspicions and hatreds. . . . This vast, artificial, trans-tribal construct is what our Founders aimed to achieve. And they understood that it can be achieved effectively only by intelligent schooling. (From E. D. [...]