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Special Delivery: The 48 Hour Innovation Plan

Posted by Scott Barron on Mar 4, 2014 12:42:41 AM
Scott Barron

“Reactionary survival is
doomed to failure"

--Les Stroud, Star of TV Reality Show, Survivorman

The 48 Hour Innovation Plan

48 Hr Stamp

Today we kicked off a prototype program to build a strategic plan for a school in 48 hours! Three leaders from the school participated in this intensive agenda at our offices at the Atlanta Tech Village, along with a few School Growth Associates and invited guests. The end product will be a strategic plan canvas based on the methodology proposed by Business Model Generation, along with a slide deck that will be featured at the school's upcoming state-of-the-school address in late January.

The School Growth Mission: Designing the school of your dreams to inspire theirs

Day 1


Today we focused on defining the dream for the leaders of this school. Knowing specifically where they want to go is vital in order to contrast that with the realities of the current situation. We began with a series of statements to capture what each leader believes about education in general, about their specific school, and about their personal contribution to the mission of the school.

From this creative look into the hearts and minds of these administrators we were collectively able to articulate a clear understanding of "Why" this school exists and the importance of its presence in the community. This technique bypassed the meandering effort of some planning methods, allowing us to concisely identify what is really motivating and important to them.


Next our team of experts focused on "Who" is and should be served by this school. Is the school connecting with the right customers, with the right academic programs and services, at the right price? The school's leaders presented a demographic profile of their organization and the surrounding community, helping us gain a clearer understanding of the families currently enrolled, why others have left or haven't enrolled, and what they think is important to the families that they would ideally like to serve.

We then worked with them to identify customer segments, options for building relationship with each target market group, opportunities for creating incredible value, and potential channels for communication.

All of that was accomplished BEFORE lunch!


The afternoon session focused on "What" programs and services the school could offer their chosen target market segments to create raving fans. We considered what values, rules, and goals would best position the school to accomplish that purpose for those people, including an evaluation of the strengths, opportunities, and risks. Next we turned our attention to the key processes that would need to be performed at the highest level in order to become a world class school for this target community, what resources would be required, and what partnerships with outside organizations would most contribute to these goals.

The Bottom Line

Concluding this intensive planning day, we examined the potential revenue sources that could be generated directly from the programming and assets of the school or through supplemental strategies. This is where many strategic planning efforts fail because they stall out when it comes to funding the plan. A vision without provision is only a deadend dream.

For homework our team is evaluating the one economic driver for the school that is the best predictor of success, so that each strategic option that we consider in tomorrow's session can be evaluated in light of sustaining or enhancing this key economic driver. In the School Growth Webinar tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013) at 2:00 PM EST will present a live discussion from this working group as to what we have accomplished and how this economic driver will be used for ongoing evaluation at the school.

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