The most successful independent schools prioritize a few key ideas and this ensures that their time is well spent and goals are met.
Strategic planning isn’t just for businesses and nonprofits. Almost all organizations can benefit from developing and implementing a strategic plan, including independent schools. The most successful independent schools prioritize a few key ideas and this ensures that their time is well spent and goals are met.
Here are a few of the key priorities for independent schools that strategize successfully:
- Make the most of meetings. Because of the number of players involved when working in a school, it can be difficult to get down to business, developing effective strategies or making changes. When the Board of Directors meets, this is a valuable time for decision making. Therefore, it’s important to have (and stick to) an agenda for meetings. School Board members should spend minimal time on catching up or discussing current events so that they can quickly move on to the business of decision making.
- Like the most successful strategies of businesses and nonprofits, successful schools’ strategic plans involve clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each person within the organization. Responsibilities should be appropriate to the position an individual holds. For example, the Board should be responsible for defining a school’s goals and objectives and for creating the strategy to help achieve these goals, while individual teachers should be responsible for the everyday student-based tasks that move the school toward these objectives.
- Define the school’s KPIs and establish a method to measure and track progress. Along with this, it’s important to develop a system for reporting on a school’s achievements. The Board of Directors should be able to readily access these reports because analyzing a school’s progress is critical in deciding if adjustments should be made to the school’s strategic plan.
- Consider the bigger picture. The most successful schools address challenges in the moment, instead of waiting until these problems become major issues. If a school’s Board has an Executive Committee, this committee can be utilized to strengthen weak areas.
- Embrace technology. Computer programs can make task management easier and more efficient. A small investment in software can help an independent school’s Board of Directors focus on the projects that are most important to the school’s future, instead of trivial details.
A strategic plan is essential for schools, as well as other organizations. These priorities can help maximize the effectiveness of a school’s strategy to help a school run more smoothly.