I see Whirling Dervishes - and sugarplum fairies
Leaders are readers and in our field that means staying as informed as possible on the trends in various segments of education, demographic trends, market movement, and examples of innovation from other industries. We struggle to balance our commitment to the ideals of those that came before us with the pressures of today’s fast moving changes that disrupt the way we do things. I ran across this particular statement on a listserv recently from an organizational theory and governance master whose books I have been reading for some time now:
Entrepreneurial thinking is employed by every exceptional [leader] we know. But, it is driven by value to [students and families]; not just financial return. On the for profit Boards on which I serve, we see the company’s job as finding a hole customers want filled and to be the place to fill it for a cost less than the price they are willing to pay. On the nonprofit Boards on which I serve, we see our job as finding a hole our members or mission need filled and making sure it gets filled the best way possible. A subtle but significant commentary on culture. Form follows function and function follows purpose. (Glenn Tecker, November 2017)
With the holidays nearly upon us, I am sure that in your school the anticipation of the break is becoming more real and palpable every day. Students (and maybe some faculty and staff members, too) are squirming more than usual as we head into the last few weeks of projects and tests and holiday performances. Staff members are moving at lightning speed, engaged in a myriad of different activities. There are multiple events and parties, each with unique setup and catering needs. The tax year needs to be closed out with the requisite filings and wage forms issued. There are final board meetings filled with budget and enrollment planning.
Very soon, this whirlwind we are all experiencing will be replaced with another, more personal one. Visions of sugar plums will dance in our heads as we move at lightning speed to prepare our homes for the arrival of family members, friends, and neighbors. Some of us will stay home (and rest!) and others will travel short distances or long, celebrating traditions that were passed down to us that we in turn get to pass to the next generation. We will take comfort in these traditions and in the rituals of the season.
When we hit January and the second semester, we will have the chance to take up the conversations about change and the elements that are causing it and MISBO will help you take up the mantle to lead your community to the solutions that matter. In fact, next month I’ll share more information about our amazing calendar of 2018 events. In the meantime, save those dates and take some downtime to recharge – 2018 is going to be great!
We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Probably not the best holiday reading, but an important collection that you should get around to.