Have state and federal mandates drained the energy and passion from your school district? Are folks feeling powerless, like they’ve lost control of the organization’s destiny? Is morale low?
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Reengage, recharge and reinvest your faculty, staff and community. Articulate a new mission, vision and core beliefs. Set strategic targets. Articulate priorities, allocate resources, plan and execute.
You don’t have to accept the status quo. You can create a better future for your school community.
In two intense, high-energy, engaging and enjoyable meetings, Prism facilitates your team to generate a compelling mission, vision and core beliefs. With that as a foundation, the team sets performance targets, agrees to long-term strategies and identifies immediate priorities over two more inspiring days.
Reenergize your district. Retake your future.
We begin with the mission statement and work iteratively to the vision and core beliefs.
A mission clearly communicates the primary aim or goal of an organization. It defines the organization’s single-most important reason for being and answers the question: Why do we exist?
Some question the value of a mission statement. Yet the world’s most successful organizations invest in mission statements. For example, Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” As an organizing principal, this mission guides behavior, clarifies decision-making and ensures focus. No Google employee is confused about why they go to work each day. The same is true of Nike, where the mission is “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body you are an athlete).”
In most school districts, the mission meanders and lacks clarity. It may include everything but the kitchen sink and extend for paragraphs and hundreds of words.
Imagine the impact on your school district if you had a mission as compelling as Google’s or Nike’s.
A vision is motivational. It describes what the organization aspires to become.
As early as 1977, Bill Gates’ vision for Microsoft was “a computer on every desk and in every home.” At the time, the idea of the personal computer was nascent and such a vision was absolutely audacious, especially for a start up. Yet, like any good vision, it compelled Microsoft to unprecedented achievement.
Inspiring extraordinary effort and commitment, a vision should describe a significant reach and may be unattainable. It should provoke high levels of commitment and effort. Visions drive the not-for-profit sector as well. For example, at Oxfam “our vision is a just world without poverty.”
What’s your school district’s vision? Is it compelling? Is it unique to your community’s aspirations for itself and its children? Or is it mundane and uninspiring — milk toast?
An organization’s core beliefs act as a superset of criteria governing decision-making large and small on a daily basis. Core beliefs define and create culture and act as touchstones to guide behavior. For example, a teacher lamenting in a faculty room that a “student is dumb as a rock and will never learn” is by default acceptable behavior — unless the district has a core belief that says “We believe all students can learn and will never give up on any student.”
Amazon, for example, has more than a dozen “leadership principles,” among them:
- Customer Obsession: Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
- Invent and Simplify: Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify.
- Frugality: We try not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers. Frugality breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention.
My son who works at Amazing says these beliefs permeate the culture and influence the workplace profoundly.
Recently I led a tactical planning session in an educational organization that had just approved a strategic plan. While reviewing the new core beliefs for the first time, a team member exhorted: “That’s an organization I would be proud to work for!”
Around the globe, the most admired and successful organizations have core beliefs. Shouldn’t yours?
With a compelling vision, mission and core beliefs, your organization is now ready to set performance targets, agree to long-term strategies and identify immediate priorities targets.
For more information, contact Sean Brady ([email protected]) today.