This letter was shared last Friday by Aggie Malter, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Independent Schools Business Officers Association (PAISBOA). We are collaborating together to equip the leaders in the school's business office with the skills to build greater engagement and trust across the campus. Deeper relationships between the business office and administrators improves the school's ability to innovate and grow.September 9th, 2016
"So how do independent school stakeholders perceive their roles in innovation, and what obstacles do they face in creating school communities that meet future needs?" Ari Pinkus asks in her blog post, "Board, Administrators, and Teachers Grapple with the Need to Innovate." Her article then reports on the NAIS's Innovation Task Force and their work with board members, administrators, and teachers about their motivations and frustrations around innovation. Pinkus concluded, "In distilling interviews with key stakeholders, it's clear that for innovation to have impact, it must be a social endeavor rooted in the mutual trust of all members in a school community."
As I was reading the article, I enjoyed hearing about how school leadership teams are creating a culture of innovation in their schools. I loved hearing about how teachers are bringing innovation into the classroom. I was inspired about how boards are supporting innovation in a variety of ways. I kept thinking, "What about the business office? How is the business office involved in the innovation process and important initiatives of independent schools? And, how can we be a part of those conversations?".
With this in mind, Scott Barron, from School Growth, and I have been talking about how to support the members of business office in preparing for and engaging in solution oriented conversations in their schools. Scott has been helping independent school leadership teams think more strategically, create plans for implementing critical strategies, and ensuring that those plans are implemented in a timely manner. He and I are working on a 3-part professional development series for all PAISBOA members that will address one of the fundamental challenges of every business office: Becoming an enabler of the school's mission through servant leadership, highly productive relationships, and communication habits that build trust.
The first session, the Consultative Business Officer (CBO), is a proprietary curriculum that School Growth developed to train and equip everyone in the Operational Domain of the school, including those involved in finance, human resources, facilities, safety and security, admissions, advancement, etc. Developing a consultative relationship with "internal customers" across the campus facilitates greater trust and a growth mindset that improves productivity and quality.
PAISBOA will follow up with two other sessions that will support business officers and their teams in this process of becoming a "Consultative Business Office." The first session will be hosted on Wednesday, October 5, at 10 am at the PAISBOA Office to start this important conversation with business office colleagues from 180 independent schools and colleges. We look forward to working with you!
Take advantage of the power of the flock!
PS. Don't forget to submit your school's innovation initiatives for our Annual calendar!
PAISBOA continues to set the pace as one of the most effective school associations in the country. They've developed a high-performing leadership team, valuable engagement with members, and a sustainable business model. This is definitely an organization worth emulating!