Do You Need a Strategic Change Portfolio?

By Doug Eadie

In these always changing, frequently challenging times, the leadership “gold standard” for school boards is making strategic decisions that address critical issues facing your district.

The objective, of course, is to take the initiative in leading that change, rather than merely reacting to what occurs in your district. The bad news is that traditional comprehensive long-range planning for arbitrary and largely meaningless three- to five-year periods has proven to be a weak change leadership tool -- better at describing what is already happening than generating significant change.

Here is the good news: Your district can take advantage of a dramatic advance in the field of strategic planning. Known as the strategic change portfolio, this tool makes it possible for your board to play a meaningful, high-impact role in leading change in your district, going well beyond thumbing through a finished 2-pound long-range tome.

The defining characteristic of this relatively new planning approach, which has been successfully tested in many public and nonprofit organizations in recent years, is that it generates a kind of institutional investment portfolio. The end result has above-the-line change initiatives that have been developed to address particular high-priority issues that the board has played a strong role in identifying. 

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