Breaking silos is key to a new era of strategic thinking. That is exactly the leverage offered by a unique collaboration I am honored to lead in partnership with the National Business Officers Association and the Online School for Girls. Strange group? No!
I won’t reprise the whole program offering here: you can read about it on the NBOA Events page. We are inviting leadership teams from independent schools to participate in a blended environment active learning program that will stretch from March to November, 2014. Participants, working as a team from their own school, will collaborate with teams from other schools to leverage the collective power of ideas and experience to tackle the strategic and financial obstacles of long-term sustainability within a challenging and rapidly changing educational marketplace.
Based on my workshops with hundreds of school leaders last spring and this fall, I have developed a suite of design-thinking based tools and templates that provoke and prompt strategic thinking rooted in value, customer viewpoint, connectivity, ideation, and imagination of future options. All of these tools help leaders amplify the wealth of knowledge they have at their own schools, and help combine that with similar wealth at other schools. We will push ourselves to consider the changes taking place in the world; how those changes are driving our pedagogy and program; implications of those changes for financial sustainability; how we generate value from innovative ideas; and how we imagine options in an uncertain future.
The collaboration includes day-long face-to-face meetings in March and November that book-end online work units which teams can complete on their own schedule. As our students become more comfortable with this kind of virtual and asynchronous connectivity, school leaders need to also embrace a similar level of comfort and experience. The days of meeting only when we can fly in for an annual conference are gone!
So I hope you will take a look at this unique offering and pass it along to your head of school. This is going to be a powerful group of forward-leaning leaders, and I know any school will benefit from joining us!