Strategy and Vision

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Where Is the Balance of Technology and Humanity in K-12 Education?

In his new book, Technology vs Humanity, futurist Gerd Leonhard explores the really big changes that are driving fundamental shifts in how we all lead our lives, and may, within our own lifetimes, challenge the very paradigm of what it means to be human.  These shifts will have tremendous impact on the role and relevance [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]