Painting a picture of future success is always a critical step in creating an innovation pathway. In working with one of my client schools I suggested we outline some “signals of success” for August, 2015. In re-reading them, I find that they likely apply to almost any school that is developing a more nimble, connected, dynamic learning environment. Can we put hard measurements on these to know if we are making true progress or just checking off a box? Of course. Are there more that might apply to your school? Of course. These struck me as important because they will signal a significant increase in the capacity and comfort with innovation, and were probably NOT included in the last strategic plan.
- Faculty, administrative staff, and trustees are able to communicate a brief summary of the school vision and how what they do each day contributes to that vision.
- Faculty and administrative staff connect frequently with PLC’s that include both the school community and external colleagues.
- Faculty and administrative staff are increasingly viewed as educational thought leaders within the school community, the local region, and with a national educational audience.
- Professional growth resources are closely aligned to specific elements of the vision.
- Ongoing professional growth is a core element of faculty and administrative staff assessment.
- Most adults are eager to come to work most days; they would rather work at your school than at other schools; they are happy and have some fun!
- Adults increasingly feel comfortable with taking risks in their work and know that school leadership supports them. The board and leadership team have developed a transparent risk profile that sets out broad boundaries for others to follow.
- Faculty and administrative staff embrace the role of “leader” in their respective jobs; are able to articulate what that means and how they lead. Authentic leadership is available and expected throughout the organization.
What signals might foretell increased capacity and comfort for change at your school?