Spurring Creative Thinking in Your District

By Doug Eadie

The following story is fictional, but is based on the real-life experience of many public and nonprofit organizations, including school districts, in leading change.

“Good afternoon. I’m delighted you’ve joined us here at district headquarters,” said Brightstone Public School District (BPS) board president Joanne Stewart, welcoming the chief executive officers and owners of 25 medium to large businesses who’d accepted the district’s invitation to serve on the new BPS Business Advisory Council.

“I know,” Stewart continued, “that I speak for my board colleagues, Superintendent Rollins, and his senior administrative team in saying that BPS is 100 percent committed to close cooperation and collaboration with the business community, and we really welcome your best thinking on practical ways we can strengthen BPS managerial and administrative systems and practices. Now I’ll pass the baton to the chair of our board’s performance monitoring/management improvement committee, Tom Halloran, who will run through a draft version of the Business Advisory Council’s mission, which we’d like you to refine and fine- tune this afternoon and, if possible, adopt before we adjourn.

The BPS Business Advisory Council is one of six “out-of-the-box” change initiatives currently being housed in what the district calls its “change investment portfolio.” How did these six major change projects make their way to the district’s change investment portfolio?

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