Adaptive Thinking

Adaptive Thinking We continue to adapt our thinking around COVID.  Just when we have it all figured out, something changes.  In times of certainty we look for technical solutions.  Now, in times of UNcertainty, we seek adaptive solutions. Here is a big picture look at Adaptive Thinking: Bay of Pigs: It was clear to his…

Read More

Adaptive Tools for UNcertain Times

Adaptive Tools for Reopening Starting Strong: Every year we hope for a smooth start.  Every year brings surprises … wrinkles that always take more time to resolve than we expected. Here are some tips and tools for starting strong from a group of great superintendent colleagues: Getting ready for reopening … Before … During ……

Read More

Student Voice

smiling woman in gray hoodie beside smiling boy in blue and red jacket

Know better … Do Better … Listening to Student Voice Want to build back better? Listen to student voice. Students are in class all day every day.  Their wisdom will astound you.  And hopefully change you for the better.   Those are some of the take-aways from this interview with Jenn McDermott, Director of Innovative Initiatives…

Read More

Learning Improvement – Steps to Success

How Seattle Keeps Improving Learning In 2017 Seattle was ranked third among large urban districts for student growth. And they keep striving to get better.  Seattle’s improvement journey illustrates the three aspects of a “community of practice:” Domain:  Student-Focused Collaboration has been a steady focus. Community:  District teams keep working to get better as do school…

Read More

Growing High Capacity Direct Reports

 Grow High Capacity “direct reports” who can share the load Situation The pace of change spins faster and faster.  Challenges keep coming … more quickly than we can respond. Do your direct reports pick up the slack?  Or are they awaiting your decisions? Solution Senior executives must step up.  No longer can they remain siloed…

Read More

Supporting our Staff through Adaptive Leadership

man holding incandescent bulb

Lessons Learned – Supporting our Staff through Adaptive Leadership Instructional Memos Use instructional memos to inform, instruct and inspire.  Here is an example. Dear Leadership Team RE: Adaptive Leadership 2.0 These are definitely challenging times for all of us.  I can’t thank you enough for all of the hard work you have been doing to…

Read More

Renewed Calling

person in red sweater holding babys hand

Dear Larry: I would love some advice on how superintendents can continue to stay motivated when they feel under attack from their staff, community, or other groups. Little by little, the joy we once experienced erodes, and we’re left with a hollow shell of an office and—even worse—a job, not a calling. Dear Friend: I hear you.…

Read More

Communicating When the Chips are Down

black and gray i love you print textile

What to do in the heat of the moment (when you have no idea what to do) Leading in uncertain times calls for different leadership skills. Now is not the time to be large and in charge. Now is the time to be thoughtful, transparent, and in the moment. When the chips are down and…

Read More

Lead Bravely in Uncertain Times

brown brick wall with no smoking sign

Ten Tools for Leading Bravely in Uncertain Times Dare to Lead Brené Brown’s book, Dare to Lead, is about brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts. It shares research that will help leaders to be successful in a complex, rapidly changing environment where we’re faced with seemingly intractable challenges and an insatiable demand for innovation. Brown…

Read More

Racial Equity … One Place to Start

brown and white wooden round frame

Racial Equity … One Place to Start Robert Iger says he was named, improbably, CEO of Disney because of three key priorities. Three Only “This is a battle for the soul of the brand,” he was told by a friend. “Talk about the brand, how to grow its value, how to protect it.” Then he…

Read More