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Shared Vision Creates Energy

Posted by Scott Barron on Sep 8, 2014 3:36:00 AM
Scott Barron

Translating the plans you have for this year into a compelling story enables you to attract more people to commit their time and money to achieve it. Your goal is to respond more quickly to changes in the community by thinking more creatively about your school design. Better relationships and greater trust are key for your long-term success.

Shared Vision MTThe faculty and parents need you to create concrete plans that they can execute. They want to feel like they are part of the leadership that is making things happen, so keeping them informed through an explicit process of sequence and frequence is critical. If you will help them see how they can contribute to the big picture, they are more likely to actively engage.

Two leadership properties to include in your plans for this year are Momentum and Tension.


Accelerating school improvement begins with momentum. If you remember your physics, you know that the momentum of a particle is the product of its mass times velocity (p=mv).

Momentum has both direction and magnitude, which means you want to be moving toward your ideal school design with increasing force. Momentum is measurable, but perception depends on the motion of the observer. So those moving with you won't see the impact as much as those outside the leadership team. The best way to build momentum is with incremental initiatives that increase confidence and capacity. Longer-term strategic planning is the norm, but quick wins within 90-days provide better energy to your entire program because people see the results and gain confidence. Measuring the benefits of your initiatives should include financial returns, but you'll also want to consider the emotional ROI.


Leadership tension is created by the polarity between WHAT IS today and the conditions you have identified as WHAT SHOULD BE. This tension can actually be healthy, providing energetic inspiration and direction for the board, administration, and faculty. Vagueness or ambiguity is what impedes the natural desire of the people in your community to improve and grow. Clarity and focus regarding your shared vision creates energy that will increase word-of-mouth marketing as well as donor commitment.

What will each group/member be doing and how will they do it? What skills will be needed to deliver the highest quality value proposition to your target families? How will the school's culture be enhanced? What people, processes, and systems will be incorporated to maximize success?

Topics: School Design, School Culture, Laws of the Grapevine

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