I feel this level of strategic planning is critical in providing those within the organization a frame of reference for decision-making and “sense-making.” When state mandates force a local district to recalibrate its direction, that process is much easier on staff if their intended course is already well understood. As a leader I have always built annual plans around the district’s longer range strategic plan. To do so I utilize a team planning model to:
a) integrate budgets into action plans,
b) exercise discipline when forecasting timelines,
c) help define what excellence will look like,
d) delegate individual responsibilities, and
e) utilize feedback mechanisms to keep the process working. In this approach I instill a sense of connectedness in what Weick calls “…a loosely coupled educational system.”
The leadership of a district is a tremendous responsibility, one that should be undertaken with humility and integrity. To achieve goals focused on effective communication, developing high quality programs, ensuring fiscal stability, supporting quality staff development and fostering safe / supportive schools requires a focus on others. Leadership is not about personal successes, but about collaboration and how the organization is thriving.