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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 [...]

Where Should School Leaders Focus?

Over the weekend I got to facilitate a board meeting at The Forman School in Connecticut. In planning the session, head of school Adam Man challenged me to mold my remarks and create active learning for the trustees around four big questions.  I had not thought of our challenges in exactly this way before, and [...]

By | 2018-04-23T12:18:30+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Strategy and Vision|0 Comments

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

What Does “Community” Mean…Now and in the Future?

My article on "community" was posted today in Ed Week as a Guest Blog with Next Generation Learning Challenges: I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that there may be no single piece of the education puzzle that is already starting to undergo a more fundamental, radical, and unpredictable evolution than the relationship amongst schools, [...]

“Generatives”: New Value Opportunities for Schools?

What is the value of a school? What will it be in the future, for your school? Are we anywhere in the ballpark on this discussion? We should always pay attention to ideas at the margins of our own experience; this helps keep confirmation bias in check and brings fresh DNA into the pool of [...]

Must-Read for Educators: The Inevitable by Kevin Kelley

I'm pretty good at distilling, summarizing, synthesizing, and then sharing; it is what I do best for my fellow educators.  I certainly don't arrive at big ideas by myself. Most are the products of interactions with "others", which stew for some time in my mental crock pot before they are ready for consumption. I am stumped [...]

Five Horizon-Pushers That Should Be On Your Plate Today

This week in New Orleans, I once again have the honor of co-presenting with John Gulla, Executive Director of the EE Ford Foundation.  Between us we have visited and worked with something like 400+ schools over the last five years. This will be the fourth time that John and I have shared our thoughts about [...]