Educators are the ultimate "knowledge workers," unique in their ability to solve complex problems and develop new ways to enable growth.
Yet they continue to languish in an industrial approach to school leadership and design where the physical spaces, time schedules, and human dynamics stifle creativity and inspiration.
There is a better way!
After our presentation at the 2020 NBOA conference on strategies to grow, Tammy and I had the privilege of reconnecting with Alan Metcalfe, the founder of Metcalfe Architecture & Design. He is a very gifted designer who is a genius at creating beautifully inspiring spaces for mission-driven organizations.
Occasionally we meet up with people with whom we just seem to have an immediate connection--Alan is one of those people. He has such a gift with ideas and relationships, and is able to inspire higher thinking.
Shortly thereafter we began a series of conversations where we explored how we might collaboratively enable more authentic school design and leadership. It was during one of these sessions that Alan casually mentioned a new term to us: Interpretive Planning.
If you haven't heard of Interpretive Planning, it could be the game-changer you've been seeking.
The gauntlet of the last several months taught us many lessons, especially that the value of our schools is way more than the buildings, curriculum, and technology. It’s something both more ineffable and more essential.
Culture is why families choose to stay at our school. It's why students take pride in and identify with our school. It’s what motivates alumni and donors to contribute time and money, what draws the interest of college admissions officers, and what we cheer for on the fields of play.
It’s the one transcendent component of our institutions that can’t be replicated by competitors. Culture is THE competitive advantage and is critical to achieving sustainable excellence.