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PNAIS Board Chairs Workshop Building and Maintaining Effective Relationships in the School Context Jean Orvis May 22, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "PNAIS Board Chairs Workshop Building and Maintaining Effective Relationships in the School Context Jean Orvis May 22, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 PNAIS Board Chairs Workshop Building and Maintaining Effective Relationships in the School Context Jean Orvis May 22, 2010

2 Themes Leadership in Our Times Nature of School Dynamics: Implications for Relationships 2 Important Concepts: Alignment and Same- Paged-ness Head/Board Chair Relationship 2 Helpful Tools: Decision Quality and Party Lines

3 Leadership In Our Times Exponential Change Uncertainty Anxiety Adversarial relationships in the name of accountability Opportunity

4 Our Changing World “We are entering an era of permanent white water, a river of endless rapids with no patches of lake-like calm. What is new is the speed and extent of change and the vulnerability of organizations to decline rapidly.” Rob Evans, The Human Side of School Change, 1996.

5 The Board Chair’s Metaphorical White Water Angry Parent (s) Rogue Board Member Difficult personnel issue Rumor mill run amok Financial issues Unplanned leadership change Faculty “revolt” Tragedy or other crisis

6 Leadership and Teamwork i

7 Leadership and Teamwork in the 21 st C.

8 Nature of School Communities: Dynamic Tensions

9 Alignment

10 “The inability of boards and non-profit executives to keep their organizations focused on a clearly articulated mission is a significant and overlooked governance problem.” Mission-Driven Governance, Fisman, Khurana, and Martenson

11 Misalignment Pain (Insecurity) Irritation (Crankiness) Inflammation (Factions) Imbalance (Confusion and mistrust) Deterioration (Loss of identity and/or market appeal)

12 Same-Paged-ness

13 “Teams on the way up unify behind a decision once made and work to make the decision succeed, even if they vigorously disagreed with the decision.” Jim Collins, How the Mighty Fall

14 Risks To Alignment and Same- Paged-Ness Leadership Change (Head) Major New Initiative (New building or campaign) New Strategic Plan (Big, audacious goals) Financial Stresses (Enrollment or fundraising downturn, unexpected capital expense) Institutional Change (merger, new division) Crisis (tragedy, scandal) Flawed Decision-making

15 The Board Chair’s Role Focus on the big issues and help set a course for the future Work with the Board and Head to assure alignment and same-paged-ness with the broad school community Make effectiveness and performance top priorities

16 Your Changing Role: Managing The Hats

17 Building Relationships

18 Establishing Trust Integrity Respect for Boundaries Availability Communication Channels Candor Confidentiality

19 The Key Relationship: Head and Board Chair Life as Head of School Role of the Board Chair in the Relationship Mixing and Matching Leadership and Managerial Styles The Revolving Door Nature of the Board Chair Position: Impact on the Head and the School.

20 Nature of the School Head’s Job Time intensive (average hrs/week) Emotionally intense Tightly scheduled Fragmented Highly visible “Lonely”

21 Role of The Board Chair in Relationship BFF! Partner and Teammate Boss Mutual respect, trust, support Reciprocal Communication Shared Purpose (alignment and same- paged-ness)

22 Mixing and Matching Leadership Styles 1. Micromanage? 2. Coach? 3. Engage in Socratic Inquiry? ( i.e., ask the generative questions ) 4. Abdicate? ( delegate and disappear ) The best style is situational and depends on the developmental level (confidence and competence) of your teammate(s).

23 Some Tips for Working Together Know each other’s schedules. Exchange preferred times for phone conversations. Be on each other’s speed dial. Request a “heads up” on all issues with wildfire potential, even if those issues are outside the Board’s purview. Laugh a lot!

24 Two Great Tools: Decision Quality Governance is group decision making. How a decision is made can have profound impact on what decision is made, and whether or not the decision stays made. Communication Clarity “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

25 Decision Quality

26 Communication Clarity Achievement of teamwork, alignment, and same-paged-ness in complex organizations during challenging times requires clear and direct communication. Consider developing “Party Lines.”

27 “Party Lines”--Alignment Who we are and who we are not. Why we are who we are. What we believe. What we do. How we do it. Why we do it. How we know we are successful.

28 “Party Lines”—Same-Paged- Ness What we intend to do. Why we intend to do it. How we will achieve this goal. What will change. What will not change. When we will do it. How we will assess progress and achievement.

29 Questions, Comments and Discussion…


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