Governance 101-201-301: Level Three Leadership for Heads & Boards
Developing the Board & Admin Team (Board Member, May 2004, Chait et al.) Governance 101 Reminder: The board’s two main roles are to… and to.
Governance: Power Bases & Job Descriptions PFB Tweet: “The half-life of a crisis for a kid is 20 minutes, but for some parents, it’s a week, month, or year. For parent trustees, a term.” The Board of Trustees The Faculty The Parents & The Parents Association (& The Advisory Board or Alumni Board) The Head & Administration Decision- Making Know & Love the Kids “Govern” the School Partner; Forum for Issues Manage & Lead
NAIS Case Study Vignettes Download films: http://client.blueskybroadcast.com/NAIS/case/http://client.blueskybroadcast.com/NAIS/case/ General Rule of Thumb: “Boards should err on the side of under- involvement in operational matters and over-involvement in reputational matters.” ~Dick Chait A Role Play: What do you say when you get the “concerned parent” call? IGE’s 4-Way Test: 1. gut test; 2. the legal test; 3. front- page test; 4. role-model test. NAIS Case Study #1: Harsh Transitions in the Second Grade#1 NAIS Case Study #2: Shock and Scandal#2: NAIS Case Study #5: Clash of Styles of Leaders#5 NAIS Case Study #9: Administrative Evaluations#9 NAIS Case Study #11: Digging Deeper for the Campaign#11 NAIS Case Study #13: Taking Charge…by a Trustee#13 NAIS Case Study #15: Marriage of a Student#15 NAIS Case Study #28: Peanuts Allergy#28 NAIS Case Study #29: Anonymous Letter from the Faculty#29 NAIS Case Study #30: Breaking the Rules…by the Adults#30 NAIS Case Study #31: Admissions Package Deal#31 IGE’s 4-way test: i.) gut test ii.) legal test iii.) front page test; iv.) role model test
Problem Solving via Strategic Governance (cf. Dick Chait’s Governance as Leadership) Needed: Three Levels of Trusteeship Level One: Fiduciary (oversight and assessment of mission & finance) Level Two: Strategic (“less management/more governance” via scanning and planning) Level Three: Generative (shared visioning, R&D orientation for imagining and experimenting). PFB’s 3 lenses: oversight, foresight, and insight Use the power of setting the agenda to build a strong process
Teaching by Analogies (e.g., Robert Frost: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between….” Our board is to our school as is to. Problem Solving via Strategic Governance (cf. Dick Chait’s Governance as Leadership)
Three Levels of Board Governance Source: Bill Ryan, AISNE Governance Workshop, Oct 23. 2007 Loose steering wheel is to auto Fingernail is to blackboard Hamster is to wheel Analogies revealing some level of dysfunction: “Our board is to our school as…
Three Levels of Board Governance (Adapted from Board Member, May 2004, Chait et al.) Board as Control Mechanism Board as Direction Setter Board as Meaning Maker Dam : River Curbstone: Road Border Collie : Herd Traffic Tower: Pilot Governor: Engine Landlord: Tenant Anchor: Ship Compass : Navigation Headlights : Auto Guidance System : Satellite Periscope : Submarine Flight Planner : Pilot Rudder : Ship Inspiration : Poet Values : Choices Designer : Work of Art Spirit : Higher Purpose Lighthouse: Ship Fiduciary Oversight: “Doing things right”Doing things right Strategic Foresight: “Doing the right things”Doing the right things Generative, Visionary Insight: “Leave a legacy” Move from micromanagement to macro engagement. Employ the 3 lens rubric to problem-solving: Rising benefit costs? Adding Chinese or Hindi? Immersion? …but not the captain of the ship
GovernanceGovernance “Local” Issues Supporting the Head Building political capital. Circling the wagons Confidentiality: “Loose lips sink ships.” Leadership transition/succession planning (head, chair, other key administrators) The change dynamic. Three Levels of Governance in Practice: Strategic Thinking around benchmarks for your Schoolyour School Strategic Thinking on Trends (“Strategic planning is an oxymoron” ~ Henry Mintzberg)Trends Strategic Thinking around Your Schools Specific Challenges around… Boards: Make-up (Recruitment; Vetting; Terms; Diversity) & Committees (Charge; Agenda; Meeting Pattern; Meeting Management; Executive Committee; Governance Committee; Advisory Board; etc.) Enrollment Management, Value Proposition, Marketing, Tuition Discounting Enrollment ManagementDiscounting Advancement: “Friend-raising” & Fund-raising Advancement Diversity: Program, Population, and Perception. Diversity Communication: Social Media; Internal Messaging; Difficult Conversations. CommunicationSocial MediaInternal MessagingDifficult Conversations. Campus Planning: The Green Future Campus Planning Choosing, Evaluating & Compensating of the Head of School
Great Schools: Be “Great by Choice” ~ Jim Collins Principles Fanatic DISCIPLINE: setting performance markers with self-imposed constraints, largely within the organization’s control to achieve; proper timeframe, achieved with high consistence. Roald Amundsen October 1911, rigorous research and testing of conditions and equipment and adoption of “the discipline of the 20 mile march” vs. Robert Falcon Scott and his team, same starting line and time but relying on intuition rather than empirical testing, and haphazard daily goal setting, resulting in getting there second, but losing all lives on the return trip. Productive PARANOIA. Bill Gates and Microsoft: Maintain hyper-vigilance in good times as well as bad. 100% certainty that eventually conditions will unpredictably at some time turn against one’s fortunes so imagine “nightmare scenarios”; “create conditions for the best” but “prepare for the worst.” Empirical CREATIVITY: First “shoot bullets, not missiles.” Bullets are low cost, low risk, low distraction to the current business vs. missiles, high cost, high risk, all in with huge consequences for failure. Small experiment first, then take to scale what works. 1911 Race to South Pole: Be Amundsen, not Scott
Bassett’s 25 Indicators of Great Schools Bassett’s 25Indicators Great Schools 1. Create and perpetuate an intentional culture shaped by the adults, rooted in universal values of honesty and caring, and relentlessly oriented toward achievement. 2. Eclectically capitalize on the best ideas about what works in schools, those gleaned from the past as well as those deemed best for the future. 3. Manifest a coherent philosophy of learning for students, be it constructivist, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, Montessori, strengths-based, progressive, traditional, 1:1, or whatever — so long as it remains open to ongoing discussion, testing, and constant refinement. 4. Make a substantial commitment to professional development for faculty, expecting teachers to grow as learners themselves and to develop mastery in the art and science of teaching.
5. Develop collegial means to professionalize the profession, such as rounds, lesson study, digital faculty portfolios, and the like, adopting professional development strategies that are prevalent in high- performing schools and countries around the world. 6. Adopt a big vision, one that continually refreshes itself in order to sustain the enterprise along the five most strategic continua: demographic, environmental, global, financial, and programmatic. 7. Define the school’s “playground” in expansive ways, beyond the school’s borders into the local community, the region, and the world. 8. Demonstrate the public purpose of private education locally, nationally, and globally through a variety of means, including modeling experimentation to improve schooling and partnering with the public sector at the school and university levels. 5. Develop collegial means to professionalize the profession, such as rounds, lesson study, digital faculty portfolios, and the like, adopting professional development strategies that are prevalent in high- performing schools and countries around the world. 6. Adopt a big vision, one that continually refreshes itself in order to sustain the enterprise along the five most strategic continua: demographic, environmental, global, financial, and programmatic. 7. Define the school’s “playground” in expansive ways, beyond the school’s borders into the local community, the region, and the world. 8. Demonstrate the public purpose of private education locally, nationally, and globally through a variety of means, including modeling experimentation to improve schooling and partnering with the public sector at the school and university levels.
9. Embrace stewardship of the school and its resources, renewing and growing the school’s physical, financial, and human resources to achieve financial equilibrium. 10. Enable constituents to donate their time and treasure consistently by providing the metrics on school volunteerism, financing, and eleemosynary benchmarks, and by telling the school’s story in powerfully moving ways. 11. Pay it forward by building endowment and thereby sustaining intergenerational equity so that the next generation of families will be at least as well served by this generation as the current generation of families has been by its predecessors. 12. Commit to diversity of all kinds and at all levels to create the conditions and school culture so that students learn how to appreciate and map differences, then navigate and ride the waves of change.
13. Redefine the ideal classroom setting as one of intimate environment, not small classes, since the former can occur in schools or classes of any size and even online, and the latter can miss the point of intimacy. 14. Create a financially sustainable future by means other than persistently large annual tuition increases, recognizing that being the best value, rather than the highest price in town, offers the strongest value proposition. 15. Achieve extraordinary parent and alumni participation in annual giving, reflecting superb volunteer organization and execution and a grateful constituent base. 16. Adopt and fund “3 Rs” talent strategies that position the school to recruit, retain, and reward the best and brightest teachers, school leaders, and board members.
17. Compensate staff members fairly and competitively related to performance and contributions to the well-being of the school and in acknowledgment of the staff’s tremendous responsibility for and impact on students. 18. Provide leadership paths for teachers wishing to stay in teaching, rather than jump to administration, by creating a host of academic and task- force leadership roles. 19. Track student outcomes over time, beyond the years in one’s own school, seeking data on how well the school prepared its students for the next legs of their life journeys — be it the next levels of education or life beyond. 20. Seek data to make data-rich (not opinion-rich) decisions, embracing former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings’s observation, “In God we trust; all others, bring data.”
21. To avoid unnecessary distractions, educate the board and parents thoroughly about “how schools work,” and about what student and parent needs a school can and cannot meet. 22. Market their schools with “sticky messages” that tell a compelling story. 23. Know their priorities when making difficult decisions, ranking first “what’s best for the school,” then “what’s best for the student,” then “what’s best for all other interests.” 24. Know that one’s mission-match with a prospective student (on the intake) and matriculating students (on the outtake) is the controlling factor in admissions and secondary school or college placement.
25. Find the right balance for the drivers of financial aid to achieve school goals of diversifying the school, managing enrollment, and attracting a talented class of students. All schools have the capacity to become great schools. All they need is the focus and leadership to create the proper conditions for the board, school leadership team, staff, and constituents to do so. Schools can, in Jim Collins’ words, be “great by choice.”
“Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.” ~Warren G. Bennis Examples of a board doing “things right”? Return
What Leaders Really Do ~ John Kotter Management: Manages Complexity by… Planning & Budgeting Organizing & Staffing Controlling & Problem- solving Producing predictability, order, and consistency Leadership: Leads Change by… Setting a direction Aligning people Motivating and inspiring Producing useful and dramatic change Examples of a board doing “the right thing”? (i.e., “doing things right”)(i.e., “doing the right things”) Return
Parish School Case Study Founded by a local church as part of its ministry and residing in the church’s buildings, Parish Day School, known as “PDS” in the community, enjoys a substantial following of families in the community, some but by no means all faithful members of the parish. As the school has grown and the parish struggled, the vestry of the parish, which “owns the school” and populates a significant portion of the school’s board, has become more involved in the operation of the school, and placed more financial obligations on the school, much to the chagrin of members of the board more allied with the school than the church. Tensions have begun to arise around several matters.
Parish School Case Study 1. ) Income disparity between congregation and school, leaving the congregation increasingly dependent on the school and the school wondering what the congregation will want next; 2. ) The congregation looking upon the school as privileged on the one hand (not in their own understanding of mission) and on the other hand a potential source of both money and parishioners (and subsequent disappointment when they do not get the people from the school in the pews); 3. ) Demographic disparity between congregation and school, the former struggling, the latter growing; 4.) Lack of understanding on the part of the congregation on what being “an independent school” means and its ramifications for accreditation; 5.) Some degree of disagreement between the rector and head of school on authority matters 6. ) Some confusion over who is in charge of the religious life and curriculum at the school.
Parish School Case Study Solutions: 1.Conduct facilitated discussion with honest voicing of expectations 2.Address conflict around explicit and especially implicit expectations on both side, since the latter are “resentments under construction.” Know how to manage “difficult conversations” 3.Negotiate and sign a very explicit Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Return
Patrick F. Bassett, NAIS President firstname.lastname@example.org Strategic Challenges: Enrollment Management, The Value Proposition, Marketing, and Messaging
Value Proposition Equation for Parents Perceived Outcomes Perceived Price = Value PFB Note: For prospective parents, as perceived price goes up, value goes down unless perceived outcomes increase proportionately. A six-year old’s take on it: “Mom, I know how much you pay for tuition…”
“St. Louis Magnet Schools offer an EXCITING, TUITION FREE alternative for students of all ages and abilities.” Trend: Magnet & Charter Schools Competing on Brand, Price, & Uniqueness * High Tech High (CA) & * Capital City Day (DC) * Denver Charter Schools (CO)
Trend: Market Segmentation as the New Marketing Imperative Sticky Messages?
Competing on Uniqueness 1.Friends Schools 2.Waldorf Schools 3.Reggio Emilia Pre-schools 4.School of One; High Tech High; 1:1 Schools; etc. 5.Avenues School & Washington International School 6.Bilingual Schools 7.LD Schools 8.School with “Centers of Excellence” & Signature Programs (STEM, robotics, entrepreneurship; leadership; sports; etc.): Shattuck – St. Mary’s, Garrison Forest School, Culver Academies; Hawken; IMG Academies; Lamplighter; etc.
What’s Your Made To Stick Message? Six Principles of “Stickiness”: 1.Simplicity 2.Unexpectedness 3.Concreteness 4.Credibility 5.Emotion 6.Context in Story Road Kill Café (MI): What’s the message? How is it “sticky”? Country Music Titles: What’s the message? How is it “sticky”?Titles What should be your “sticky” message? How are these “sticky”?... “Independent schools deliver on the promise.” “Independent schools: As unique as your child.”unique Fed Ex’s “Nothing’s More Important” campaignFedEx’s “MasterCard's What Matters Campaign
MasterCard “Priceless Campaign” “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” The Priceless campaign emphasizes MasterCard payment cards as convenient for paying for “everything else” AND “for what matters.”
Your School’s “Priceless Campaign” School Tuition $26,000 Books: $500 Laptop: $2000 Your child jumping out of bed excited to get to school: priceless
Messaging WoM: Word of Mouth Marketing (cf. The Clue Train Manifesto: #1: All marketing is conversation) Compelling, “sticky” stories (backed by data) 1:1 in person marketing: o in neighborhood coffees o in social mediasocial media o in teacher & graduate profiles o in video testimonials by parents & kids o at Saturday morning “discovery camp for toddlers”
Enrollment Demand, Price, Revenue & Elasticity* Moderate Tuition Demand Full Paying Students Price Enrollment 0 High Tuition Low FP Enrollment High FP Enrollment Low Tuition Tuition Revenue (Price X Enrollment) Tuition Revenue (High Tuition Low Enrollment) Tuition Revenue (Low Tuition, High FP Enrollment) Selective Discounting: Merit Aid? Return
Patrick F. Bassett, NAIS President email@example.com Strategic Challenges: Internal Communications & Difficult Conversations
Daily Good News Digest 1. Push vs. Pull “Good News” 2. Communicating with Staff 3. Social Media Presence 4. Clue Train Imperative (Blogs, Tweets, Likes)
Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen You’re going out of the office in flip flops? What if the university president saw her crossing campus? Unprofessional. Are you serious? Going to a campus meeting. Why would anyone care about my footwear, so long as I do the job well? How dare my boss impose unnecessary dress code rules! The Boomer Boss /Millennial Staffer Version (“Generation Vexed,” Case Currents, Oct. 2009)
Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen. Can it wait? I’m busy Puzzle: Mishandled conversations create the very outcomes we dread. She doesn’t get what my work demands.. Fine. You think you’re only busy one? You don’t love me. The Spouse/Partner Version Return
Patrick F. Bassett, NAIS President firstname.lastname@example.org Strategic Challenges: Diversity
Characteristics of Culturally Competent Leaders? Accepting of a lack of full closure, of ambiguity and ambivalence Recognizes there is much denial about diversity challenges Articulates well why diversity is mission-critical: –classroom experience richer; –faculty problem-solving is more innovative; –demographic imperative is addressed –benefits all: in some ways benefits white affluent students most (IHE) in terms of growth of critical thinking –improves the likelihood of leadership success, since the workforce with be more diverse and culturally complex
Diversity & Complexity - Scott Page In any and all systems (nature, corporate, educational, disease), the more diverse the system, the stronger and more likely to persist and succeed. Mathematically demonstrable: a formula to predict the higher likelihood of success of diverse systems If you assemble the 100 “smartest” people you can find in one group and a random and diverse set of people in a second group, the second group outperforms in decision making every time.
Demography favors those who embrace it. You are smart to be ahead of the curve. You’ll be better leaders as you become more diverse. Those that refuse to embrace diversity will miss the boat to the future of the species. Return
“ Independent Schools…As Unique as your Child” Implied Sticky Message? Return (Collaborative Ad by ISSL, Independent Schools of St. Louis)
Growing the Culture of Giving 1.People give to people, first and causes, second 2.Parent & Trustee Donors: Ask to move your school up the priority chain of giving 3.Male vs. Female Donors: Who gives more? 4.Use the NAIS data on schools: “We’re not average in any other way….” 5.Appeal to the elephant (the heart) & the rider (head)heart 6.Recruit Type A campaign chairs for each segment of potential donors 7.Recognize and thank donorsthank 8.Start Young: Class of 2014 Return
Capturing your Story in a “Sticky Message” Tagline: Highlights of Country Music Themes "How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?" "How Can You Believe Me When I Say I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life?" "I Meant Every Word That He Said“ "I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me than a Frontal Lobotomy." "I'm So Miserable Without You, It's Like Having You Here." Your schools’ 1-sentence tagline that tells your story/promise? Your “Values” value proposition? Return
What do I say when… An alum wonders, “Why isn’t there more transparency & communication from the board?” A neighbor calls to complain that “All the parents are upset about….” A senior staff member intimates, “Things are not going well, and faculty morale is the lowest I’ve ever seen it.” You child says, “My teacher is mean, we’re all bored, and no one is learning anything in this class.” Your spouse/partner says, “What happened at the board meeting about the controversy? Return