NWAIS Institutional Leadership Conference
We had the opportunity to attend and speak at the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) Institutional Leadership Conference in Seattle (November 8-9, 2014).
In our workshop with an enthusiastic group of Heads of Schools and Chairs of Boards, we explored the topic of going beyond the 'glossy brochure' -- how strategic planning can create real change in their organizations.
Many Boards and senior management teams spend countless hours developing their strategic plans – which lay out, often in beautiful, glossy brochures, the strategic direction for their schools. It is unveiled to the school community – everyone is thrilled and excited about the future. However, this does not, in any way, guarantee that this future will be realized. Why? Because it is significantly harder to execute a strategic plan than it is to develop one.
There is a certain ‘stick-with-it-ness’ that is required, and a lot of sharing, collaboration, measuring and quite frankly, discipline. When it all comes together, it is a like a horse – moving from a trot to a gallop – things feel less choppy, there is a smoothness, a ‘wind-in-your-hair’ feeling, a swiftness, and a great sense of satisfaction seeing milestones flying by. And when it is really well executed – everyone is on board – you look around, and not only is there one horse galloping, but in fact there is a team of horses around you, galloping in the same direction.
This sense of momentum – when everyone is pursuing their part in achieving the same goals – this is a strategically aligned culture. When you have achieved this, the world truly is full of possibilities.
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