#Schoolleaders, if you are like most, you have that one big hairy goal knawing at you. It is just sitting there waiting to be completed. It is waiting to be scratched off your list.
It might be a board mandate. It might be a leg of a strategic plan. It may be your own personal goal for the school. Regardless of what it looks like, the goals we set forth are often caught in this paradox. It is the first #truthaboutschoollife: Our goals are important; we really want to accomplish them, they sit in a perpetual cycle of incompletion.
The tyranny of the urgent takes over and that goal that really is so strategically important gets put on the back burner.
The second #truthaboutschoollife is that what we could do in a week's time in a vacuum, takes 2-3 months in the school world. Anyone who has been a school head, principal, academic dean, or the like knows this frustrating truth. If the move is important, there likely would have to be 2-3 meetings just to get the initiative approval. If the move is innovative, there would likely have to be several focused hours of research behind it (we all know that as school leaders that's what we get to do all day, right? No, not really). Finally, if the move is inclusive, we have to have the buy-in of a lot of people. Yes, that takes even more time.
Now let's say the initiative we have in mind is major. Let's say it will include over 50% of the students and faculty in the school. Let's say the move is something you have never done before, and to your knowledge, only a handful of schools in the country have attempted this type of initiative. You would expect this to take some time, right? You might expect time to research, time to get buy-in, and the all-important time to conduct a #pilotprogram. Now we are talking two to three semesters of time, minimum. That is, of course, if this is one of your top priorities. That is also probably if you are not already in a pandemic and doing #Covid-19 protocol plans.
So what if I told you there was a way for you to cut through all of this time. What if you could cut the time it would take to research, meet, include, pilot, and implement a strategic initiative in about a third of the time? What would that be worth to you as a school leader? Now, what if I told you that the strategic initiative could be led with by someone with the skills of a thoroughly experienced senior leader at 1/3 to 1/2 the price point of what you would pay for a full-time employee to be engaged in the work. This person would be focused on your initiative and not running around putting out the fires of a school, evaluating teachers (which usually also doesn't get properly done, or sorting through contact tracing. Other benefits of this arrangement include:
* Updates on the trends and research surrounding the initiative you are seeking.
* Unbiased 3rd party leadership from one who is neither immersed in nor paralyzed by office politics. School cultures are a delicate thing. Wouldn't it be smart
to utilize the advanced skills of someone who understands, has written about, and
lived in four very diverse ones?
* No healthcare payments, payroll tax payments, tuition remission, or other necessary costs it would take to hire a full-time staff person.
* The point person of the endeavor would come with a network of peer school leaders
from multiple schools far and wide, and not with the myopic viewpoint of routinely
found in the person who works in only one school.
So, yes you could attack that big hairy goal with the tried (and tired), though probably not true process that most schools have used before. That certainly is "the safe way to go." No one will look askance at you if you don't include a line item in your budget for "strategic project consultant."
But you also know that if those strategic things do not happen, you may not have that problem anyway...You might be moving on to your next school with a list of strategic initiatives to do there.
The time is right to consider what RoundTable Education Consulting and Mike Zavada can do for you. We specialize in moving people and schools forward. We can help you get that big heavy school initiative off the ground while you are busy putting the fires out. Lord knows you have had a lot on your plate lately. Why not let us give you peace of mind?