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Patrick F. Bassett, President


Good to Great: The New Strategic Process - Eight Steps of Strategy and Design for Schools Patrick F. Bassett, President NAIS ( ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Patrick F. Bassett, President

Good to Great The New Strategic Process - Eight
Steps of Strategy and Design for Schools
  • Patrick F. Bassett, President
  • NAIS (

De-motivating Concepts
  • Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Is No Match
    For Natural Stupidity
  • Apathy If we dont take care of the customers
    maybe theyll stop bugging us..
  • Mediocrity It takes a lot less time and most
    people wont notice the difference until its too

De-motivating Concepts
  • Paths to ruin for school leaders
  • alcohol the most painful
  • sexual indiscretion the most dangerous
  • strategic planning the most certain.
  • (Dick Chait at NAIS LtP conference, quoting a
    university president, 2004)

The Purposes of Strategic ThinkingThe Big Three
  • 1. To know, really, how well were doing now.
  • The plural of anecdote is.
  • data. George Stigler
  • In God We Trust.
  • All others Bring data. Secretary of Ed
  • 2. To contribute to an ongoing flexible
    strategic vision road map" (rather than a
    fixed and rigid plan)
  • If you want to give God a laugh, tell Him your
    future plans (German Proverb)
  • 3. To move the organization from Good to Great
    (Jim Collins prequel to Built To Last)
  • Good is the enemy of great.
  • PFB More than making a difference leaving a

Eight Steps of Strategy and Design
  1. Setting a Framework Strategic Plan
    (Essentialist) vs. Strategic Vision Roadmap
    (Existential)? Scope and scale. 12-month
  2. Planning to Plan Populating the Team
    Undertaking the Research Reporting Out
    Organizing the Retreat Testing the Scenario(s).
    Assessing the Internal Leadership Capacity
    Inspiring the Board Good to Great. The World Is
    Flat. A Whole New Mind. Wikinomics.
  3. Assessing the External Factors Environmental
    Scanning. (NAIS Demographics Center NAIS Opinion
    Leaders Survey Forecasting Independent School
    Education to 2025). What are the inevitable
    surprises to address?

Eight Steps of Strategy and Design
  • Evaluating your School's Current Position
    Experiment with various tools SWOT
    (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
    Portfolio Analysis (via "value proposition
    surveying") Game Theory (a la economist Joseph
    Schumpeter) Customers' Customers Analysis
    Balanced Scorecard (HBR, Kaplan Norton)
    NAIS's Six Steps to a Financially Sustainable
  • Identifying the Key Issues Issue identification
    ("What are our issues?") sorting ("How
    important?") evaluation ("What if we ignore
    it?"), relationship to mission "Why do we care
    about this?"). What are our three most insoluble
    problems? Brutal facts?
  • Reviewing your Values Mission The Essentialist
    vs. The Existential approach to mission and
    values. Mission (the present, the why we exist)
    and Values (the past and always, the what we
    believe the anchoring, resonating "essential
    enduring tenets" for organizations "built to
    last" e.g., NAIS's 4 I's.) What are our
    unshakeable beliefs?

Eight Steps of Strategy and Design
  • Creating Your Vision for the Future Vision (the
    future the what we shall become).
    "Vision-casting" to visualize the desired and
    preferred future "Whom will we serve?" "What
    skills and values will they need?" "What do our
    customers want? Need?" "What should we be known
    for in the future that we're not known for now?"
    Scenario-writing and testing. NAISs vision.
  • Determining Goals, Strategies, and Initiatives
    From goals (the outcomes that are SMART - i.e.,
    specific measurable achievable relevant
    timely), form strategies (action-oriented
    approaches, the how) and initiatives (tactical
    undertakings at the departmental levels, the what
    and when). Backward design the grid of tasks,
    timetables, point people. Communicate the vision,
    road-map, and strategic priorities.

How To Frame School Planning
  • Annual Summer Strategic Assessment Retreat
  • Each summer the Strategy Design Team (board,
    admin, and opinion-leaders from faculty and
    parents) does a gut-check on vision and mission,
    assesses success of last 12-months goals and
    relevancy of next 24- and 36-month strategies and
    priorities) and deposits longer-term ideas into
    the parking lot).
  • Strategy Team exercises their right-brain
    creativity via big questions as it rolls
    forward the five-year vision.

The End(See Related Slides in Appendix)
Organizational Culture Good to Great
  • Level 5 Leadership
  • Investing in leaders?
  • First Who, then What
  • Whos on the bus?
  • The Brutal Facts vs. Unshakeable Beliefs
  • Unsustainable financial model? Changing
    school-age demographics? Talent pool for faculty

Assess Operational Strength via Collins Six
Organizational Culture Good to Great
  • The Hedgehog Concept
  • What do you do best? Rigorous academics in a
    value-laden context?
  • For the social sectors, greatness not profit is
    the answer how to define success is the
  • Culture of Discipline
  • What to subtract when we want to add?
  • Technology as Accelerator
  • Customized IEPs and team learning?

G2G Detail
The Balanced Scorecard Metrics for Greatness
  • Robert Kaplan and David Norton (HBR 1992)
    rubric of a balanced scorecard to assess
    current program and operations
  • Customer Satisfaction (cf. value proposition
    surveying The NAIS Survey Center) Whats
    highly valued leveragable?
  • Staff Learning/Innovation (cf. The NAIS
    Demographics Center Ideas_at_Work 101 Ways To Go
    Global and Green)
  • Business Processes/Efficiencies (cf. Dashboard
    Indicators comparisons via StatsOnline NAISs 10
    data proxies for excellence, the markers of
  • Financials The Stats Online Financial Calculator

Making the Shift in Thinking(cf. Jeff DeCagna,
Principled Innovation
  • Strategic Planning is an Oxymoron Henry
    Mintzberg, The Rise and Fall of Strategic
  • Strategic planning
  • Combines two fundamentally different ways of
    thinking into a single process (NB. Ike on
  • Needs stability/predictability
  • Driven by calendars and events
  • Does not produce actual strategy, only plans
  • Strategy making
  • Leverages variety and divergent thinking in the
    name of creating value
  • Thrives on instability and uncertainty
  • Continuous cycle of learning
  • Pushes for simplicity, clarity and focus

Making the Shift in Thinking(cf. Jeff DeCagna,
Principled Innovation
  • Strategic planning
  • Executes plan by publishing document
    implementation schedule wedded to 3 5 year
  • Fixed and inflexible goals sometimes fail to
    reflect changing conditions and priorities.
  • Strategy making
  • Executes road map (vision of destination and
    proposed routes) at a summer leadership retreat
    (board, admin with invited faculty and parent
    leaders) by developing five or so 12-month
    priorities, posted on the website.
  • Notes 24-month and 36-month goals, but places
    them in a planning parking lot for successive RD

Built To Last Good to Great Companies
  • James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras, Built To
    Last, Harper Collins, 1004. Corporations cited
    who historically have outperformed all others by
    a wide margin include 3M, American Express,
    Boeing, Citicorp, Ford, GE, Hewlett-Packard, IBM,
    Johnson Johnson, Marriott, Merck, Motorola,
    Nordstroms, Proctor Gamble, Phillip Morris,
    Sony, Wal-Mart, and Walt Disney Corporation.
  • Jim Collins, Good to Great, Harper Collins, 2001.
    Corporations cited who moved from good to
    great include Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae,
    Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Phillip
    Morris, Pitney-Bowes, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo.

Inevitable Surprises for Schools(cf Inevitable
Surprises, Peter Schwartz)
  • In many locales, a critical mass of Hispanic
    Latino/a students is emerging as varying
    fertility rates and immigration patterns define
    the school-age population. For private and public
    schools, demography is destiny. Strategy
    Customized marketing to the Hispanic families.
  • The long boom economically is possible and
    perhaps probable for the US. But for now, we may
    be looking a long bust.
  • The end of retirement is likely for future
    generations. Its already here for many boomers
    (cf. Marc Freedmans Encore), an opportunity to
    hire experienced talent, part-time.

Inevitable Surprises for Schools(cf Inevitable
Surprises, Peter Schwartz)
  • New models of public and private schools,
    especially lower cost ones, will proliferate.
    Schools the middle class can afford.
  • Rising faculty salaries will be required in the
    public and private sectors to hire the best
    brightest. (Cf Denver public school starting
    salary of 42,500 announced for 2009).
  • High stakes testing will fail, without the
    anticipated and hoped for effect. Meanwhile
    smart schools are adopting adaptive and
    value-added testing e.g., MAP (Measurement of
    Academic Progress) CWRA (College Work
    Readiness Assessment)

Inevitable Surprises for Schools(cf Inevitable
Surprises, Peter Schwartz)
  • Customized learning in high-tech high touch
    schools will become the standard for teaching and
    learning. Distance learning models increasingly
    successful at Stanford U, Apex,, Virtual
    High School. (See Clayton Christensens
    Disrupting Class Tim Fishs Teaching in a 2.0
    World in Independent School, Winter, 2009)

KnowledgeWorks Foundation 2020 Forecast
  • Hands-on creativity emerges via lightweight
    fabrication equipment, such as 3-D printers, that
    will become inexpensive, ubiquitous, and
    integrated into schools so students can create
    new things easily and give life to their ideas
    Daniel Pinks Whole New Mind right-brained
    design imperative realized.
  • Social networks actualize a Wikinomics open
    source future allowing artists and tinkerers to
    share ideas and improve upon ideas. Social
    networking communications skills will make
    students creators of knowledge, not just
    consumers. School 2.0 experiments multiply.
  • Abundant opportunities to reinvent learning and
    teaching take hold in light of the economy of the
    future. Hands-on, authentic learning promises
    to enable students to make meaning out of
    previously boring and abstract lessons.
    Project-based learning takes off.

Brutal Facts for Independent Schools
  • Competition is increasing dramatically for
    students and teachers better public schools,
    more magnet, and charter, and for-profit schools
    growing home schooling, lower-cost private
    chain schools for the middle class, etc. NAIS
    data point While inquires have dropped 20 over
    the last seven years, applications, acceptances,
    and enrollments ratios have been stable
    (averaging 3 applications and 1.5 acceptances to
    each enrollment).
  • Public opinion is mixed about the value of
    independent schools. NAIS data point NAIS 2008
    marketing study indicates the majority of parents
    over 200K family income believe their public
    schools to be better than independent schools.

Brutal Facts for Independent Schools
  • Our financial model is stressed, becoming less
    rather than more sustainable. NAIS data point
    The ratio of studentsteachers over the last 7
    years went from 11.71 to 8.61, over 25 less
    efficient. The studenttotal staff ratio also
    declined from 7.8 to 5.2 (1/3rd less efficient).
  • Were becoming less and less affordable. While
    more staff means richer programming and more
    individualized guidance and attention, it also
    means higher prices. NAIS data point Tuition up
    on average 30 beyond inflation in the last seven
  • The price-break point arrived this year in some
    markets, suggesting that tuition isnt
    inelastic after all. Continuing unchecked
    rising costs may alienate current and future
    customers, make us less affordable and attractive
    to most of the marketplace and diminish our
    socio-economic diversity. NAIS data point
    Despite tremors, no earthquakes yet. SSAT testing
    and SSS financial aid applications tracking with
    past year.

Brutal Facts for Independent Schools
  • Parents are becoming even more consumer-oriented
    and difficult to manage. The disruptive 5 of
    parents have and employ new digital tools and
    networks to wreak havoc.
  • Standard Poors outlook for private schools is
    bearish, citing troubling trends of lower
    liquidity levels and weaker investment
    performance, concerns related to economic
    dislocation, including access to student loans,
    schools' access to capital markets, and parental
    affordability. (Unprecedented Times And
    Uncertainties Test U.S. Private Primary And
    Secondary Schools, 01.12.09)
  • Resistant school cultures, high anxiety among
    faculty and staff, and underperformance of
    boards make it difficult to innovate and lead to
    entropy related to re-engineering program and
    operations to create 21st C. schools.
  • Return

Unshakeable Beliefs for Independent Schools
  • Because of our freedom from government and church
    control and financing, independent schools have
    more capacity than other systems to adapt to
    economic crises. NAIS data point In the last six
    recessions, average enrollment stayed stable as
    schools spiked financial aid.
  • Our constituents value our schools and contribute
    generously to annual giving NAIS data point
    Average annual giving per student has increased
    44 adjusted for inflation over the last seven

Unshakeable Beliefs for Independent Schools
  • Consumer discretionary spending on education goes
    up in recessions. Stressed families give up many
    discretionary purchases, but do everything in
    their power not to give up the best school for
    their children. NAIS data point Surprising
    countertrend of increased literacy (i.e., reading
    literature) in all age groups, especially 18-24
    year olds, reported by the National Endowment for
    the Arts (see Herman Trend Alert, 1/21/09) augurs
    well for valuing independent schools.
  • Independent schools have the resources and
    freedom to innovate in the development and
    delivery of curriculum and to share that
    innovation for the betterment of the larger
    education community, a public purpose that will
    attract talented Millennials. NAIS data point
    High satisfaction levels among faculties give
    independent schools a huge market advantage to
    attract talent.

Unshakeable Beliefs for Independent Schools
  • The significant independent school commitment to
    socio-economic diversity pays strategic
    dividends. Generous financial aid can grow as
    schools realize that enrollment should be the
    fixed variable in planning and aid the flexible
    variable via net tuition discounting. NAIS data
    point In the last seven years the percentage of
    students receiving support (financial aid and
    tuition remission) has grown from 20.6 to 23.7
    of the student body.
  • Leadership rises to the occasion during crises.
    Our school leaders and trustees and admissions
    and advancement officers are professionals who
    have the potential to leverage the crisis to
    create more sustainable schools for the future.

Unshakeable Beliefs for Independent Schools
  • Well use the adversity were facing (cf. Malcolm
    Gladwells The Uses of Adversity) now by three
    value-related means
  • Reinforcing the value proposition No one does
    PS-12 education better than independent schools.
  • Re-engineering the financials toward a more
    efficient and sustainable model that pays more
    attention to affordability in the interest of
    becoming not the price-leader but the
  • Remembering that values are the value-added of
    an independent school education.

Eight Strategic Priorities for Schools
  • Affordability Accessibility Given that
    financing affordable schools that are accessible
    and diverse is an overarching challenge and that
    trends indicate continuing pressure on raising
    tuitions...independent schools should....
  • Recruiting, Retaining, Rewarding Talent Given
    the demographics of an aging workforce near
    retirement, a generation in college now not
    attuned to teaching as a career, and concerns
    about recruitment, retention and competitive
    compensation of high quality faculty independent
    schools should....

Eight Strategic Priorities for Schools
  • Advocacy Marketing Telling the Independent
    School Story Given the increase of potential
    competition for the next generation of students,
    an increase that will require greater advocacy
    and marketing on behalf of independent schools
    independent schools should....
  • Communications Given the increasingly demanding
    nature of parents independent schools should....

Eight Strategic Priorities for Schools
  • Governance Given the higher level of partnership
    and vision required of boards and school
    leadership independent schools should....
  • Accountability Given the increased likelihood of
    media and governmental scrutiny, intrusion, and
    demands for public accountability independent
    schools should....

Eight Strategic Priorities for Schools
  • Innovation Change Given the publics
    identification between quality and innovation,
    its perception of independent schools as
    traditional rather than innovative, and the
    resistance to change found within independent
    schools independent schools should....
  • The High Tech and Global Future Given the
    imperative for schools to create a 21st C.
    curriculum so that students are prepared for a
    more technological and global future independent
    schools should....

Ice-Breakers for Generative Conversations and
Strategy-MakingSource  Governance as Leadership
(Chait, Ryan, Taylor)
  • What do you hope will be most strikingly about
    this organization in five years?
  • On what list, which you could create, would you
    like to see this organization rank at the top?
  • What will be most different about the board and
    how we govern in five years?
  • How would be respond if a donor offered a 50
    million endowment to the one organization in our
    field that had the best idea for becoming a more
    valuable public asset?

Ice-Breakers for Generative Conversations and
Strategy-MakingSource  Governance as Leadership
(Chait, Ryan, Taylor)
  • If we could successfully take over another
    organization, which one would we choose and why?
  • What has a competitor done successfully that we
    would not choose to do as a matter of principle?
  • What is the biggest gap between what the
    organization claims it is and what it actually
  • What will be skills and values the 21st. C. will
    demand and reward?

Technology as Accelerator (cf. Collins Good to
Old Message New Message Driving Technology
Diversity is important Diversity is here Access via Internet to heretofore inaccessible viewpoints, practices, cultures
We are child-centered We are centered Knowledge not hierarchically achieved or delivered bloggers challenging authority meaning constructed
We have high standards (for our students) No excuses we have high standards for ourselves Multiple means via technology of the delivery of professional development enhanced electronic means for benchmarking surveying
We communicate We interact Asynchronous 24/7 access to and communications with various constituents via email, social networks, website, eBulletins blogs, wikis, etc.
Adapted from ISTL 61, Feb 2005, William E.
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G2G Principle 1 Level Five Leadership
  • Personal Humility Professional Will
  • sublimated egos, focused will more like Lincoln
    Socrates than Patton or Caesar. The
    organizations success is what drives the leader.
  • Asks good questions
  • Ambitious for the school and its people
  • Shares Credit---Takes Responsibility
  • Passes the PowerDiffused Decision Making (NB.
    NAISs Z- model of decision-making The Wisdom of
    the Crowd \the Pentagons electronic
    brainstorming dotmocracy exercise for

G2G Principle 1 Level Five Leadership
  • Social Sectors Variation
  • Social sector leaders are not less decisive than
    business leaders as a general rule they only
    appear that way to those who fail to grasp the
    complex governance and diffuse power structures
    common to the social structure.
  • True leadership exists only if people follow
    when they have the freedom not to.

G2G Principle 2 First WhoThen What
  • Whos on The Bus?
  • Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong
    people off the bus and the right people in the
    right seats on the bus.
  • RecruitTrainRetain
  • Knowing that the only brake on moving forward
    would be the inability to attract and keep talent
  • Everyone grows.

G2G Principle 2 First WhoThen What
  • Social Sectors Variation
  • In the social sectors, getting the wrong people
    off the bus more difficult
  • Early assessment mechanisms more important than
    hiring mechanisms, since no hiring process is
    flawless, and you really only know how effective
    someone is when you start working

G2G Principle 3 The Brutal Facts
  • Honest AssessmentUnwavering Faith
  • Culture of openness that invites critiques from
    all frequent and healthy debate.
  • The Stockdale Paradoxhaving the faith that you
    will prevail but disciplining yourself to face
    the brutish facts of current realities
  • Debrief Success AND Failure
  • End each meeting with, Where did we succeedand
    where did we fail?
  • Typical school brutal facts? Unshakeable

G2G Principle 4 Hedgehog Concept
  • Truly great companies have a simple core concept
    that drives everything
  • What can they be the best in the world at?
  • What drives our economic engine (and what could
    accelerate that)?
  • What are we deeply passionate about?
  • (Need all three to be great.)

Hedgehog Zone
G2G Principle 4 Hedgehog Concept
  • Social Sectors Variation
  • Must rethink the hedgehog concept without the
    profit motive i.e., challenge is to define and
    achieve greatness not profit.
  • Flywheel concept in social sector case Building
    momentum by building brand (i.e., deep will of
    emotional goodwill and mind-share of supporters
    and potential supporters).
  • In for-profits, money is both an input and
    output in non-profits, its only an input.
    Mission achievement is the output, defining
    metrics by proxies for greatness (e.g., Cleveland
  • In the social sectors, performance is measured
    by the results and efficiency in delivery of the
    social mission.

G2G Principle 5 Culture of Discipline
  • Disciplined People, Thought, Action
  • Environment of freedom circumscribed by a culture
    of discipline.
  • With disciplined people, you dont need much
    hierarchy or bureaucracy (since self-disciplined
    people dont need to be managed).
  • With disciplined action, you dont need many
  • Combining a culture of discipline with a spirit
    of entrepreneurship creates success.
  • Discipline is as much about saying No to
    temptations that are not ones core business as
    it is about saying Yes.

G2G Principle 5 Culture of Discipline
  • Social Sectors Variation
  • Greatness is not a function of circumstance
    greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of
    conscious choice, and discipline.

G2G Principle 6 Technology Accelerators
  • Never use technology to introduce a
    transformation but rather to accelerate it.
    Technology is not the core concept but can drive
  • Baumols Disease Schools less efficient not
    more because of technology.
  • With some notable exceptions, most schools not
    yet using technology to accelerate core

NAIS Environmental Scanning Forecasting
Independent School Trends to 20015
  • NAIS Vision Creating Sustainable Schools for the
    21st C.
  • Demographic Sustainability (becoming more
    inclusive and representative of the
    population--student and faculty-- and less
    unapproachable financially and socially)
  • Environmental Sustainability (becoming more
    "green" and less wasteful)
  • Global Sustainability (becoming more
    internationally networked and less parochial in
  • Programmatic Sustainability (becoming more
    attuned to developing the skills and values that
    the 21st Century marketplace will seek and reward
    and less constrained by the traditional
    disciplines approach to teaching and learning)
  • Financial Sustainability (becoming more
    affordable and less inefficient and costly)

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NAIS Independent School Faculty Survey, 2008
NAIS Independent School Faculty Survey, 2008
NAIS Independent School Faculty Survey, 2008