Strategic planning is about change. Often, change is rooted in trying to fix something broken. For many educators, most experiences in strategic planning have been about trying to make the current systems and processes better—or solving lingering problems. If you consider the great works in human history—grand cathedrals, moon landings, iPhones, colossal stadiums, inspiring works of art, etc.—few, if any, were designed to fix a problem. People pursued these grand plans to fulfill a dream—to create, to build where there was once a void.
This same thinking can and should be applied for strategic planning for schools, writes BFK's Mike Nicholson in this article for the Michigan Association of School Administrators' (MASA) Leader magazine. In short, we should “dream, don’t fix,” for garnering system energy toward successful strategic planning.
Toward this end, there is an innovative movement afoot in the work of school system strategic planning that dreams. This movement is centered on the work called, “Portrait of a Graduate.” What are our aspirations for graduates of our schools and districts? What knowledge, skills, mindsets, and literacies do our graduates need to thrive in a rapidly changing landscape?
Aspirational thinking breathes new life into strategic planning. The Portrait of a Graduate sets the community’s vision framed by student success, based on the many ways our students can have bright futures. The Portrait helps us set our sights for 21st century learning experiences and educational transformation to frame your school system’s future.
Published: Spring 2018