"Are we supposed to be thoughtful or busy?"
That important question was asked by a board member at a recent Leadership Retreat we facilitated. Balancing activity with mindfulness will always be a challenge for school leaders, especially in times of such overwhelming change and fierce competition.
Both the Board of Trustees and the Leadership Team had gathered to assess progress and performance in order to start a new season of school growth. They wanted to take a peaceful pause from the tyranny of the urgent to breathe, reconnect, and refocus.
The question about thoughtfulness or busyness stemmed from a broader conversation about how the board can best contribute to the achievement of the mission and goals of the school.
It was asked from a genuine curiosity by a person who was newly appointed to the board and had never served in such a capacity previously.
Often board training is focused on the boundaries of proper governance, the importance of giving financially, and expectations of involvement in planned meetings and various activities. But board members can also contribute valuable wisdom and discernment to achieve greater results.
A well-planned Leadership Retreat (which may include the board and/or the administrative team) provides an excellent forum to recalibrate plans and expectations.
The Seven Key Elements of the retreat agenda include:
1. Ensure that the annual and quarterly goals are on track
2. Review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
3. Assess Alignment of Board and Faculty with the Mission, Core Values, and Strategic Context
4. Build the Leadership Capacity of the Leadership
5. Advance the Organizational Health of the Leadership
6. Increase Sustainability
7. Prepare a Tactical Action Plan for Continuous Improvement
After all of the chaos and change in the first half of 2020, doesn't it make sense to bring everyone back together ASAP (even if it has to be online) to launch fiscal year 2020-21 with momentum?