Last weekend we had the privilege of hosting a private Innovation Workshop for Steve Druggan, Frank Aloise, and the leadership of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH).
This nationally-recognized school has many valuable distinctives, with a long history of excellence in single-sex education on a beautiful sprawling campus in Philadelphia. Having persevered through leadership changes over the last two years, SCH is well-prepared for a new season of growth.
How would your leadership team handle this timeline:
- Friday 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM Innovation Workshop, Part 1: Strategy Canvas
- Saturday 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM Innovation Workshop, Part 2: Faculty Engagement & 90-Day Plan
- Sunday 2:00 PM: Open House with almost 600 people registered to attend
The SCH team enthusiastically engaged in each step of the Innovation Workshop to produce a plan that will enable them to achieve energizing results by December 31, 2016. What a great way to kickoff 2017!
SCH is a School that Learns, with dedicated administrators that bring the passion every day. Each person actively engaged as we explored their target market, value proposition, competitive positioning, key activities and resources, and high-value relationships in the school's ecosystem of influence. The small group and whole group dialogue was very healthy, with everyone having a voice as the current situation and strategic options were evaluated.
New Leadership, New Vision
With a new leader comes a new vision and goals. They want to build on the traditions and strengths of the school, while also cultivating greater trust, faculty engagement, inclusiveness, and brand clarity. This is critical as the school begins a new cycle of long-term strategic planning that will involve all stakeholders. Completing the projects identified in the Innovation Workshop will provide extremely valuable data and confidence.
Using 90-Day, quarterly plans that are connected with the annual and strategic plan goals creates greater focus and energy. Every school struggles with the tyranny of the urgent, trying to do too many things all at once. You can't make everthing a priority because then little gets done. Such tactical, short-term planning gives you the ability to learn faster, achieve winning results, and make concrete progress toward reaching your most important goals.
When we were finished on Saturday afternoon they actually enthusiastically applauded. Not because we were finally finished but out of appreciation for each other and the clarity that was gained. Some of the "Ah-ha" feedback included:
- "A shorter-term cycle of planning is powerful with results achievable more rapidly"
- "Alignment with the larger goals and with each other is what we needed."
- "We had fun!"
- "We accomplished so much in only 24 hours."
- "We cross-polinated opportunties across the different divisions."
- "I'm glad we have the courage to do this, even on the weekend before a big open house."