Ever-Ready Leadership in a VUCA World - A White Paper

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Education leaders operate in a VUCA world—one characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. And they currently face the most disruptive period in education history with a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues and rapid technological changes all at the forefront. Add to that scenario a polarized country rife with widespread misinformation and mistrust. The end of the pandemic will not be the end of these problems. It is no wonder then that John Kim, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School states that “Running a school district is one of the toughest, most complex jobs in America”

This white paper provides research-based advice for leaders who want to prepare themselves and others to face the challenges of one of the “toughest, most complex jobs in America” – running a school district.

Article: How Teachers Can Make Better Decisions: 7 Tips from Experts

“Teachers make an untold number of decisions in the course of just a few minutes of class-time, everything from figuring out whether a particular student can go to the restroom to how to tweak a lesson on the fly because a video didn’t load properly.

There are the longer-term decisions: What should my unit plan be? How much late work should I accept? How should I changed my approach to disciplining students if it appears to be not as fair and equitable as it should be?”ve

Decision making is a skill that many are never taught. This article features tips from educators and experts about how to handle that dizzying array of decisions.

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Article: Is Your Head Spinning? 7 Decision-Making Tips for Principals

Principals are facing some of the toughest decisions of their careers as students return to schools this fall. Education Week interviewed principals and school leadership experts, including TregoED’s Alicia Tate, to get their advice on how principals should tackle tough decisions this year. The interviews are distilled into seven great decision-making tips.

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Article: Leaders Need Tools to Manage Change

Leading through Change – We’ve just been through one of the most challenging years that we will ever face in education. This year has forced us to learn new skills and continually adapt — as leaders, teachers, students and community members. We have an opportunity to apply what we have learned during the past year and create sustained improvement. If we fail to do this, it will be a huge miss.

Let’s face it: Change is not easy. It never has been, and for most it never will be. However, there are ways to make change more agreeable. Maximizing trust, transparency and communication helps reduce barriers to change.

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Article: Making Decisions Is Harder Than Ever. How District Leaders Can Manage Tough Calls

“Education Week interviewed district leaders around the country to better understand how they and their leadership teams make decisions in increasingly complex environments. What became clear in those interviews is that this trend started years ago, escalated during the pandemic, and will likely be the environment everyone is living in for the foreseeable future.”

The article features lessons from three district leaders on what they learned as they worked through complicated, volatile decision-making challenges over the past year.

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Article: Ready for Anything: Making Complex Decisions with Confidence and Clarity

This article in District Administrator features lessons learned by Superintendent, Dr. Victor Shandor and his team at York County Division Schools as they faced tough decisions in both “normal times” and when faced with a series of serious challenges –  a fire in a school’s electrical system followed shortly after by the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Learn about the work being done in this district to make sure that they have an “ever-ready” team capable of making complex decisions with confidence and clarity.

Article:  Ready for Anything:  Making Complex Decisions with Confidence and Clarity


How Leaders Use Balanced Decision-Making Skills to Move Organizations Forward

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Our parent organization, KT recently published this white paper that speaks directly to all decision-making leaders.

In every organization, decisions must be made and actions taken. Usually the realm of decision making is the responsibility of leaders. They must select the actions, determine how they will be carried out, and be accountable for the implementation of the decision and for the subsequent results.
Gut feelings and years of experience may be sufficient for most day-to-day decisions, but major decisions that move an organization forward come with a real element of risk. Leaders need a structured process that is based on an informed analysis and participation from key stakeholders to arrive at a balanced decision that everyone can support.

Find the Cause-Lose the Problem A White Paper

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Research shows that problem‐solvers often jump right to developing solutions—missing the
opportunity to fix a problem once and for all.
Problem solving that fully and permanently eliminates problems requires us to know true
cause. Too often problem‐solvers act quickly on one problem and then move on to the next
problem—only to have the original problem later reappear. Effective problem solving requires
us to:
1. Identify and understand the problem
2. Determine true cause
3. Develop a solution
4. Implement the solution
This white paper explores research on the common pitfalls of problem solving and
the best practices that ensure lasting solutions.


Creating and Sustaining Decision-Making Excellence - A White Paper

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Does your district…

  • See people at all levels and positions as capable decision makers?
  • Eagerly seek stakeholder involvement…even when conflict is likely?
  • Use data to assess results, measure outcomes and drive decision-making?
  • Have well-run, purposeful, and productive meetings?
  • Plan proactively for meaningful change?
  • Have a positive climate characterized by collaboration, trust, and transparency?

If you could not answer yes to all of these questions, you may be missing some key components for building organizational capacity.

Download our White Paper:  Creating and Sustaining Decision-Making Excellence

Case Study demonstrates Strategies that break down Workplace Silos

A recent case study demonstrates how one school district used an approach developed by Kepner-Tregoe to increase collaboration and build the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of departments formerly working as independent silos.  Read More

Making Tough Technology Choices

No school districts want to be featured on the nightly news because of their poor choices in technology decisions or for implementing technology plans that end up wasting the taxpayers’ dollars.

But technology decisions are tough, first, because there are so many options—simple upgrades, new purchases, different platforms, tablets, laptops, 1:1, BYOD—and second, because there are so many other considerations such as cost, curriculum needs, deployment, professional development, and public relations, which all seem to be the purview of individualized departments. Read More