Sunday, October 30, 2011

Finding Opportunities

The difficult economic climate presents many challenges for schools and school leaders.  While tough times may cause decision paralysis in some, the more effective leaders will find the opportunities created by these challenges and act upon them.

One way school leaders, especially private and independent school leaders, can capitalize on lean times is to critically examine their schools, identify the core elements that speak loudest to your mission, and refocus operations on maintaining those programs while working to improve current programs that are less "mission obvious."

When the economy was strong, many schools, "made hay while the sun was shining."  The resulting growth likely added programs, people, and infrastructure at an unprecedented pace.  Now that growth has most likely slowed (or stopped), school leaders can catch their collective breaths and use this time wisely.  Examining your school and its operations to find hidden opportunities can help differentiate your school from competitors and strengthen the ethos of your school.

It may have a touch of Darwinism involved, but the schools that use this time wisely to strengthen their ethos and work to offer mission-focused programs will have an advantage when times begin to turn around.  The resulting focus will help you identify your top priorities and put your school in great shape to act quickly, decisively, and effectively when the sun shines again. 
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