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As the primary school change agent, the principal can take significant steps to help assure that strategic plans are successful. Use these 10 simple steps to move your success forward:

  1. Pick a successful strategic planning model and stick with it. Numerous models exist and can help schools learn from the mistakes and successes of others in determining the process.


  1. Recognize strategic planning is not simply a linear process. Multiple steps may be going on simultaneously.


  1. Be persistent. With determination, set some benchmark dates with expectations. Know your goals and work toward them. Like many things in schools, if the principal is not going to be excited about strategic planning, no one else will either. Tweet this As you approach a benchmark and meet with success, take the time to celebrate along the way. Encourage those in the trenches. Tweet this


  1. Build a team that will encourage support and accountability. Strategic planning is not to be created or implemented in a vacuum.


  1. Create a communication process that shares information—successes as well as needs—and motivates the entire school. Make sure it is an honest set of activities sharing both the good news of the district and the reality of the needs, too.


  1. Become process-oriented in addition to results-oriented. Become an expert in change theory and change implementation. Most will follow but some will need extra motivation to move toward the goal. Process-oriented leaders are good listeners and motivators. Encourage, nudge, prod, and confront those who are unable or unwilling to change.


  1. Be realistic! If, historically, teachers and staff smirk and roll their eyes at the latest strategic plan initiative, then determine what needs to change so that this time around things will be different.


  1. Deal with the financial aspects of strategic planning. Too many plan items are later recorded as unfulfilled due to lack of funding. Commit to the item financially in the budget and/or commit to fundraising processes or personnel that will seek out the funds outside of the budget.


  1. Be aware of the need to revise the plan along the way. Perhaps your community situation changed. Maybe you realize that your initial basic assumptions were incorrect. If so, then admit it and move on.


  1. Initially schedule or select for implementation some plan items that you are confident will be completed for the sake of the students. All organizations need momentum. Be sure yours gets off to a good beginning.

Thought for the Week

AI can teach and share knowledge, sure, but it lacks the key elements of human modeling, nurturing, and connecting that are essential components of a comprehensive learning process.

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