Schools and Their Strategy

It’s back to school time in the USA.  Schools, school networks, school districts are dusting off their growth plans; their STRATEGY.
Ken Favaro and his business colleagues define strategy as the result of choices executives make, on where to play and how to win, to maximize long-term value.
In places such as Thornton Township school district in Illinois the Atlantic Research Partners team is assisting with developing their strategic plan.  In Santa Fe, we are looking at their existing strategic plan with their leaders and school board to tweek it.
Whether you are a fan of classical strategic planning school districts, you can hardly argue over the merits of strategy.  Some tips to keep in mind:
1.  The main thing must continue to be the main thing when focused on developing or executing plans and strategy–the main thing is students!
2.  Highly inclusive processes for developing strategy (especially instructional strategy) is paramount.  Those folks you decide to include or exclude will be executing your strategy (or not)!
3.  Using data to drive strategy decisions is important; however, plans to stretch kids beyond where some think they can go has real merit.
4.  The business world is steeped in differentiated approaches to its target markets, and so must we in schools.  This is especially true is strategies to develop and support teachers and their students.
5.  Like in business, we must think about the value-proposition (in our case for kids and their families).
6.  What are the capabilities needed to deliver the value proposition?
Have a great school year!

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