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PNAIS Leadership Conference June 2009

PNAIS Leadership Conference June 2009



This presentation is titled Shared Vision, Shared Understanding, Shared Leadership building on the idea of to engage in strategic thinking, an organization needs to develop strategic thinkers. And, ...

This presentation is titled Shared Vision, Shared Understanding, Shared Leadership building on the idea of to engage in strategic thinking, an organization needs to develop strategic thinkers. And, an effective organization needs a diverse, collaborative group of talented, motivated strategic thinkers, some of whom have positional leadership roles, others do not.



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  • Activator: my primary strength. Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus BuckinghamStrengths 2.0 by Tom RathGallup org even has strengths assessment for teensEmpathy, Leader, Adaptability, Connectedness – my other strenghtsKnowing these has been very meaning and a source of development. Would recommend this as an exercise to start process for your leadership to get to know one another. Many questions can come from looking at the team’s collective strengths.What is our primary strengths? What strengths are not represented? Where might we be over-represented? How can we assign projects or teams based on strengths?
  • Here is the thing: There are no easy answers. There is no set formula, no silver bullet.If you look for that silver bullet long enough, you’re gonna end up here.
  • Leadership in our schools today is centered on sustainability:Financial sustainabilityProgrammatic sustainabilityRelationship sustainabilityStrategic thinking is critical to sustainabiliy planningTo me, leadership development – of myself and any team that I work with is about developing strategic thinkers.Leaders Think- above all things a leader needs to do – thinking is more important and place to look to develop.Leaders are very intentional about and conscious of their thinking. They think about how they are thinking. They think about what they know and what they don’t know. They think about the assumptions both articulated and unarticulated.Intention – not left to chance because of time, because of purview, because of pragmatics. Plan to learn all the time.Leaders Invest in themselves (time, money, effort) in themselves and the people around them.
  • At the beginning of the school year last year, one of my schools had the whole school do the Discover Your Strengths profiling and Myers-Briggs during inservice.What we did was all of the structural teams determined their strengths profile and their Myers-Briggs and asked to think about what that might mean to them based on their experience of working together and on going forward.It was fascinating. Mostly detailed (S) and feeling (F) and introverted (I) – not just on the teams but throughout the whole organization.Critical lack of big picture thinking. Lack of strategic thinking and lack of people who voiced and take initiative throughout all the adults on campus.This probably was the first inkling of the idea for micro-leaders.Micro-climates, micro-preneur, micro-brewery - all analogies for micro-leaders Big influence in a little sphere where conditions are right, with little capital neededHave to think about types of leaders – not positional leaders (authority) but there is room in our systems for all types of thought leaders – you see this mostly know in the tech area – distinguish themselves for benefit of whole system in tech area.What other areas would benefit by having thought leaders? This is a great question.
  • Great groups are mission driven. Missions are extremely important in keeping your team focused on why we are here? The leadership team should base all decisions on mission fulfillment. The culture should effuse mission fulfillment. More schools than not have a rather complacent, entitlement culture that works better for the adults in the system than it does for the students on campus. The culture is an interesting thing to observe and quantify and develop to be mission-driven.
  • Make a list – What are the conversations around questions that count at your schools?When and where should these conversations take place?Who should be present?Who should not be present?What shall we do with what we learn from these conversations? Can we make a list and refer to it often? Can we map the patterns that we hear?Are we digging deep or living in the arena of politeness?
  • Success can be dangerous. You want to take what is working and hold on to it forever. I know schools that preach about their 150 year tradition and how what they do is tried and true – implying for that 150 years. This is fine, well, and good in the stable environment of the industrial age where the environment and market assumptions are static and stable, and in an environment that highly values the end product – conforming and consistent. Now we are in a wholly different environment and it is here to stay:Dynamic, fast, fluid, interconnectedProcess more important than content.End product still very important but now it is about Higher Order thinking skills, communication in all medium, synthesizing, experimentation, designCan’t rest on laurels. Must always be looking ahead to be on the curve of the marketplace/culture to maintain relevancy.Important example: school’s use of social media like Facebook, Linked In, Twitter.The schools that figure out how to use these well will have a competitive advantage with your customers.
  • Another key element in creating sustainable culture change is to align the need to change with the right motivating factor. The need to change is not created at the whim of the leader. The current marketplace/culture conditions are causing this great disruption is what has been an extremely complacent and stable environment. The needs of our learners are markedly different.Tony Wagner, The Global Achievement Gap“Rigor Redefined” articleWe need to develop these needs in ourselves in order to develop them in our learners.
  • Organizations might stop talking about change because everyone always fears and resists change.Talk about relevance. Relevance is the path to sustainability. Relevance means dynamic consistent alignment.Talk about adaptation. It is the rare organization that embraces change. Although, I am starting to see many groups motivated to do things radically different now because of the current economic environment – example: going paperless in all ways possible in order to save money and Potentially increase efficiency and effectiveness. Benefits come from starting to talk about relevance and innovation and creating value.Change then becomes a means to an end, instead of perceived as an end.
  • Shared Understanding ishared Knowledge.Again, not left up to chance. Talked about. Wrangled.Systematize how we intake and come to own knowledge.Conversations around questions that count.Google’s 20% rule – minimum 20% of your time – I would say your waking time (much can be learning through observation of relationships to other people, other situations) should be devoted to the type of generative thinking, reflective or observant thinking that I am talking about.Remember back to MBTI – if you have a rather myopic bent to your group, get outside influence. I got a call just before I left from a rather high brow, we’ve been doing it this way for 100 years type school that has started to recognize that we think in a small box. I observed their meetings for 3 months two school years ago, wrote up reflective notes after each meeting – who talked to whom, topics, depth, what was not said. To fearful to dig deep. Economic crisis hits. All of a sudden digging deep looks necessary. Here is where they are going to start – shared understanding. Want me to have focused conversation with strategic leadership team of 6 people every two weeks. Seeking new influence.
  • Alignment and Relevance / strategic thinking: they require us reconsider what we know (unlearning) and discovery (relearning) based on not an iteration or mere extension of what we are doing. But radical alignment to what the culture needs.Incrementalism will never get us far enough fast enough
  • In any organization, you get hired to do a job and you work in a department, and we have separate designated physical space, and actually we develop separate designated psychological space based around the personality of our division and our focus in the organization. And, a school is no different. Because of the time constraints of teachers being in classes and having less time to get together as a division or a whole organization, schools may be more like this. Today’s session is built around a wholly different perspective: taking a look at the integrated whole and how it is more than the sum of its parts, if you will. Our main premise is that more can be accomplished more easily, more consistently, and more successfully, when the whole system understands the whole. Loosely these concepts center around three things:CustomerCultureCommunicationBusiness acumen – everyone needs the big picture.
  • This first concept is from Ram Charan. This concept turned out to be hugely important to us in the hotel business. Our hotel was in downtown Memphis, directly across the street from the flagship, world famous Peabody hotel. There we were – new and unknown, and different (not a chain). We knew that we would have to make it by distinguishing ourselves by any and every way that we could. This concept helped us penetrate the market.Knowing the difference between the consumer and the customer is knowing your audience and what their needs are in using your service. What school thinks deeply and seriously about being user-friendly? Working backwards from understanding their distinct and separate needs, you can design a good, authentic, appropriate experience for each audience.This requires the steps of fully analyzing and understand the needs/wants of each segment – Customer is the paying/1st decision makers. Sell him or her hard/authentically. Do what you say you are going to do. Underpromise/overdeliver.In the hotel business, we did a lot of corporate business. So our customer was the local ad agency or speakers bureau or Research Department bringing someone in that needed a swank, reliable place to stay. The customer needed personal, flexible, high touch service – when they called, they wanted to be able to download all their needs on us and not to worry about it and to be billed. The customer was rarely on property.The consumer, however, was the person who showed up tired and frustrated from his trip and actually put his head on the pillow that night.
  • In schools, you have the same dicotomy. The parents, sometimes the grandparents, have made the decision to place their child there and are not on property nearly as much as the actual user who is the student.What does it mean to be user-friendly to each different audience/constituent/stakeholder – whatever you like to call it?Designing a good, authentic, appropriate experience for each – Parent Education PlanReal mentoring of new parents, new people to your systemRole of 21st century parentThis requires the steps of fully analyzing and understand the needs/wants of each(can use Maslow to answer this question)
  • Segmenting the audienceDesigning a good, authentic, appropriate experience for eachThis requires the steps of fully analyzing and understand the needs/wants of eachExample from Jeremy re: dad looking at the artwork and saying it looked like scribble – did he know better? – was the teacher’s assumption valid? What can she do about it?The needs are not the same across the spectrum for the child or for the parent. But, many schools do not do a detailed analysis from the user’s perspective of what the needs are and design backwards from there.Example: 3rd old parent – threw child’s work away – teacher angry – but I had to question the teacher on why she thought it was a good assumption that the parent understood and knew what to do. School is the EXPERT – what does that responsibility and opportunity mean. PEPPat Basset’s example that kindergarten is a long time to keep your shoes on.Example: schools that serve breakfast – yogurt and toast – bananas – we are not talking a huge expense here but what is the message?Does school work, is it well designed, for its different users? Role of Expert in school not to be taken likely and characterizes the parents’ expectations – how school benefits from educated, “led” parentsTeach your customers how to value you and validate what you do
  • This example from the hotel businessCustomer stays in one of our rooms – there is a selection of Memphis music CDs, a freezer full of ice cream, faxed a grocery list and the few things he requested are in the refridge, two types of pillows sanitized and wrapped waiting in the closet, and at least one window cracks in every room for fresh air.He reports to FEDEX or UT that paid to put him up there HOW WONDERFUL THIS PLACE IS AND TO ALWAYS PUT HIM UP THERE – or it could go the other wayPLACE TOO WACKY, not conforming enough – please give me a plain reliable hotel room.POINT = the Customer – the person making all the arrangements and paying the bill, is going to listen and make all future decisions based on the feedback.
  • In a school situation, the situation is the same. We see this all the time. I am not sure we pay attention to it.Ex: kid gets in trouble at lunch and is called out, embarashed in front of his peers, and it wasn’t really his fault. Goes home, tells mom and you know how the story grows and goes from there. email. At the playground etc etcHow could this situation been influenced differently if teacher or DH was keenly aware of feedback? What other choices might the teacher have if she were more aware of how the feedback works? It means everything to feel in control and able to manage a situation proactively.Bad feedback management leads not only to people looking at other schools but their influencing their peers to do the same.Feedback loop is about managing expectations. Transactional Expectations. Heard it around dinner last night – We are paying for this.Here is the thing – whether it is the dry cleaners, FEDEX, my doctor, my kids schools – whenever I pay out money – whenever you pay out money, it creates transactional expectations. Schools don’t get a pass in this arena. Behooves you to understand and decide proactively about customer psychology.
  • X = the customer’s felt experienceCE = customer expectationsInteresting to not that it takes a lot more effort to generate good word of mouth.Managing customer expectations. Managing Word of Mouth.Now we have to contend with YELP, Great School.org, School Review. This is going to be more and more pertinent
  • Who hasn’t experienced this?Example about the purse stolen from the car at GSL. The mom reply-all emailed the list an irate, blistering email; apologized later but who knows that part.Example: 5th grade teacher whose reputation is so solidified. What is she doing to manage word of mouth and to know and manage customer expectation of her. Also about managing our personal press.For every negative communication – look about many good exchanges have to happen.What this knowledge invites everyone in the system to do is to think of ways to delight the customer.Must accurately understand customer expectations. What would it take to exceed them – to delight authenticallyHow can you disarm the negative buzz – more directly and sooner is better
  • This is the beginning of the GSL Professional Learning CommunityNext move – how to make it consistent, shared effort, sustainableSchools should be full of learners, especially the adults on campus. Everyone who works on school campus should be knowledgeable about education challenges and opportunities. No excuse for business manager or development officer not to know the education industry specifics.www.gslbookconversationsforfaculty.blogspot.com
  • I thought school people would be better, more enthusiastic learners. They are not as open-minded as I expected.Time is a huge barrier to learning. It is very worthwhile to have discussions centered around how to learning deeply and quickly. How we can help each other learn.
  • Chuck Close detail.Is this meaningful?Sense of connected to whole?
  • The while – must more important. Of which the detail is very important. The detail cannot be a silo, integral to the whole. They work together.Only the whole offers meaning.
  • The leader is like the artist. The leader has agency, responsibility to make meaning. Leader has the intention, creative power. Leader has, guard, spreads, builds the vision
  • This is a map of one’s school’s strategic direction. It is the whole picture from the head’s perspective - mapping the resources he has to allocate. One is missing: timeView from the job of the Head of School in implementing the mission of the school
  • Like a nerve cell. See where the energy is concentrated. That is like the strategic leadership team to me. The threads of everything flow from the strategic leadership team.
  • Another nerve cell
  • Another nerve cell
  • Another great analogy is a jelly fish. Like the jelly fish because it is always on the move. You have to be always on the move. Not flippantly, or wrecklessly, but always on the move intellectually, physically, in your mindset, in our personal and professional growth.
  • Another jelly fish
  • A lateral thinking map.Can see how everything is interrelated, dependent upon one another.
  • Each one of our organizations has inherited most likely a hierarchical model – right – most traditional, historically male head of school – mostly women support staff – if men, more likely to be in leadership roles. No malevolence – just traditional.Head of school/head of family.It has been my experience that schools are full of hard working people who really want to please. I also find them full of lots of habitual thinking – that is the way we have always done it. And, there is nothing “wrong” with that, I will just say that I think it can be very limiting.We started to talk about and experiment with this observation of culture at GSL as a result of Tom experiencing frustration over having to think and decide everything – partly out of deference and, I pointed out, out of conditioning from the system.To start to break this habit we used conversation cafes. We learned over and over the GSL organizational metaphor was: – we are a family – unconditional love -Head of table in meetings – what signal does this send?People talk to and try to please Daddy. People talk only to Daddy, not laterallySibling rivalry between departments/divisional silos“Lunch bunch” family meal – (At St. Jude’s Hospital, all the researchers eat in the cafeteria with the cancer patients everyday to reinforce their purpose. How does your culture reinforce purpose/meaning?)What is wrong with this type of environment? Wears the leader out and really short circuits innovation and movementAlternative – developing more collaboration and microleadership or distributed leadershipTeam approachEx: meeting re: creativity – “we don’t have permission to” tearsCode of ethics and Growth and learning EVAL packet?POINT – you have to pay atttention to your culture because mindset can be limiting
  • The specificsMeta-cognitvie – fly on the wall about ourselves.What are our individual strengths. Where are our gaps? What are we too heavy on?Heavy on responsibilityLack of long view
  • These are the areas of my focus for the next year. I am presenting at NJAIS in the fall – meeting that they have with HOS and Board Chair.Get out of the current frame of your thinking. Extend toward reaching onto the culture curve and make take what you can grab and influence your school culture.You will be met with lots of alignment because the kids are already much further along in tech and inquiry in some ways. – They will welcome the gap in the middles being lessened. Conversations can make all of these things understood and mission-driven.One of the most important things from Google “Never Settle for the best.” best is a moving target. Innovate all the time for relevance
  • Learning is a combination of knowledge, practice and self-reflection.Changing yourself will change everyone around you.Your team will reflect you and what you believe in. If you become a better, more effective learner, so will they. If you hold yourself to high standards, so will they. If you are positive, so will they be. If you take risks, so will they. If you become customer-centered, so will they. That is the beauty and possibility of leadership, it can change everyone.
  • Feel free to get in touch
  • Can do this same analysis withRestaurantsHotels - Best product – Four Seasons, Best Process – Japanese hotelTransformative – Joie du Vive or Kimpton Hotels
  • I own a smart car. It has been a transformative experience as the user and it is an easy car to evangelize for. I must have about 6 times each day someone stops me to talk about this car. I tell how it delights me, makes me happy.What if users of your school were so jazzed about the experience?What is the experience of school were really transformative? For the customer and the consumer – what would that look, feel, taste, smell, sound like? Imagine/design
  • Where are you better off?Is everyone – internally and externally – seeing, experiencing, selling the same school?At GSL, the first time we talked about this, there was no consensus. There is more consensus now but not everyone is representing the same type school. The admissions and development people are stuck in best product, of which we would be about #8 on the list, is the only type of valued school. Important, too, for teachers to understand this because it should be an integrated, consistent presentation:Example: math packets – handwritten, memeographed for years. What statement is that making!!! What would a transformative delivery of summer reading and math packets be? ImagineThe medium is the message.
  • Search you tube for Taiwan Garbage -- that is pull leadership
  • The story is now the valued added – has to be about value added.Story is more authentic and more revealing than traditional marketingMarketing people will be more resistant to thisEverything you say and do is part of the story like how the classrooms look, how the teacher is dressed, if she smiles a lot, if parents are welcome on the campus, in the classrooms, if you are really rules and protocol oriented – it is all part of the story. So, you can be aware and intentional about the story or you can leave it to the individual people read between the linesBetter to choose your stories well and guide your community into understandingExamples: Max – parents couldn’t come, community cared, we are sensitive to working parentsScott – he struggled and we didn’t give up but met his hard work with belief. The result was transformativeThe look of emails, invitations, etc, etc, etc.It is all storyAnother reason you want to tell the story and over and over and over is so that your community will pick up the language and the points and tell it for you.Story resources in the packet:Made to Stick – Chip and Dan HeathAndy GoodmanChristina BaldwinAuthenticity – TRUST - Why story kicks ass in this environment
  • Creation story - story of how and why the institution was foundedEmblemic victory stories/Hero stories - effectiveness over timeWhat-we-learned-in-defeat stories - exemplify your reflectiveness in recounting lessons learned. They also bolster your staff’s courage by modeling risk-taking without the need to be perfect.Performance stories - show the levels of professionalism, creativity, and commitment your people bring to your mission. Include Striving to Improve stories.Fundamental-nature-of-the-problem story - show the current face of your mission and what is needed to keep it moving forward. Story of the nature of our challenge in the 21st century and of how we offer value.There are also the day-to-day stories that are passed around that are not-so-happy tales. This is called the "profane bundle" and it can teach you a lot about areas of your organization that need attention.
  • The Power of Story

PNAIS Leadership Conference June 2009 PNAIS Leadership Conference June 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • Shared Vision,
    Shared Leadership,
    Shared Responsibility
    Jamie Feild Baker, Reverb Consulting
    PNAIS Leadership Conference
    June 28-30, 2009
  • Activator
  • “To think strategically, you need strategic thinkers.”
    - Jamie Baker
  • Jamie is an ENTJ.
  • Business is essentially human.
    Conversation is the language of commerce.
  • 5 Characteristics of Great Groups
    Greatness starts with superb people.
    Every Great Group has a strong leader.
    Great Groups are full of talented people
    who can work together.
    Great Groups think they are on a mission.
    Great work is its own rewards.
    from Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman
  • “The hallmark of successful individuals is that
    they love learning, they seek challenges,
    they value effort, and they persist in the
    face of obstacles…Some display these
    [growth mindset] qualities and others do
    not. Why? This is what my work asks.”
    - Carol Dweck, author of Mindset
  • Vision,
    Growth and Learning
    Be what you want to create
    2008 Reverb Consulting
  • Developing Effective Leadership
    (Capacity Building)
    Shared Vision
    Shared Understanding
    Shared Leadership
    2008 Reverb Consulting
  • "People can work well together, can be
    creative and caring and insightful when they
    are actively engaged in meaningful
    conversation aroundquestions that count.”
    - Margaret J. Wheatley
  • Use Pink as a lens
  • “Nothing recedes like success.”
    - Walter Winchell
  • Wanted for the 21st century workforce:
    Resilient, independent learners who have flexible skills and competencies, work well in teams and can lead themselves and others to perform up to and beyond their potential.
  • “If you don’t like change,
    you’re going to like
    irrelevance even less.”
    - General Eric Shinseki
    U. S. Army Chief of Staff
  • Shared Understanding
    Shared Vision
    Shared Responsibility
  • Zero gravity thinkers possess three key characteristics:
    (1) psychological distance
    (2) Renaissance tendencies
    (3) related expertise.
    Zero gravity thinkers are able to escape the
    gravitational pull of both "Expert Think" and
    "Group Think" to generate innovative new
    ideas for organizations.
  • “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who can not read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
    - Alvin Toffler
  • A school is an integrated system
  • Service Provider
  • Service Provider
  • Service Provider
    Merged during Early Childhood
  • Service Provider
  • Service Provider
  • X = CE tell 0
    X > CE tell 3
    X < CE tell 9
  • “The key to success in any organization is having employees continue to learn and grow, yet too often this is not a priority for leaders…Strangely and sadly, this lack of appreciation and understanding about the importance of adult learning is true even in education. If any setting should evince learning among employees, it is schools, yet often they don’t.”
    - Thomas Hoerr
  • Shared Understanding
    Shared Vision
    Shared Responsibility
  • The Meaning Maker
    - agency
    - intention
    - vision
  • Shared Understanding
    Shared Vision
    Shared Responsibility
  • We are the people we’ve been waiting for.”
    - Barack Obama
  • Systematize
    Innovation --
    Observe, Develop,
    Implement, Assess
    Create a
    Creating a Sustainable
    Learning Community
    Innovations to all stakeholders and Increase Community Connectivity
    Align Curricular
    Programs to the vision
    Enhance and Integrate
    2008 Reverb Consulting
  • Questioning creates new growth
  • How does your system reflect?
  • Acting Googley
    Vision of (Reggio-inspired)
    10 Tweets of Wisdom
    How do__________Create Value
  • “To think strategically, you need strategic thinkers.”
    - Jamie Baker
  • "When stuck in a spiral, to change all aspects of the spin,
    you need only to change one thing."
    - Christina Baldwin
  • Blog: sharedleadership.blogspot.com
    Please subscribe!
  • © Reverb Consulting
    116 ½ South Front Street
    Memphis, TN 38103
    Jamie Baker
    901 337-0525
  • Best Product
    Best Process
  • Transformative
  • Best Product Best Process Transformative
    1. 1. 1. Or Here?
    2. 2. Here? 2.
    3. 3. 3.
    9. Here?
    Choose and Go
  • ….and she said,
    “Dad, they all have classes!”
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Push / Pull Leadership: Taiwanese Garbage Pick-up
  • The “Pull Leadership” Manifesto by Stever Robbins
    - Create organizational systems that people want to join
    - Make is possible for everyone in the system to succeed
    - Model what you want others to become (learning / EQ)
    - Create understanding that everyone is a
    steward of the mission
    - Actively shape and manage the organizational culture
  • The Sacred Bundle
    Creation story
    Emblemic victory stories/Hero stories
    What-we-learned-in-defeat stories
    Performance stories / Striving to Improve stories.
    The Profane Bundle
    We recommend: Andy Goodman Storytelling i-School
  • “Stories create the emotional context people need to locate themselves in a larger experience.”
    -- Scott Bedbury, The Brand New World
    “A good storyteller can paint a compelling future that employees find motivating. When this works, you can hear your people saying, ‘How can I help to get us there?’. . . Your mission should feel like a natural extension of who you are.”
    -- Chip Conley, Joie de Vivre Hotel Group
    “Stories are important cognitive events, for they encapsulate, into one compact package, information, knowledge, context, and emotion.”
    -- Don Norman, Things That Make Us Smart
    “Companies will thrive on the basis of their stories and myths. Companies will need to understand that their products are less important than their stories.”
    -- Rolf Jenson, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies