Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. – Peter Drucker
We’ve all created plans that were designed to make a difference. I’ve had dozens of three-ring binders on my shelves with strategic plans and goal documents. I’ve served on committees that have spent hundreds of hours creating these plans – the very plans probably still sitting on shelves today. All the work . . . all the time and talent . . . are merely good intentions unless there is intentional, purposeful work to execute the plan.
Any plan requires hard work to make a difference. Every plan must provide checkpoints along the way for reflection, analysis, and corrective actions. The work doesn’t end with the plan . . . the plan is only the beginning. In Hilliard, our Innovation Campus started as an idea; create a new high school experience that inspires new pathways for learning AND utilizes the capacity of three high schools and three middle schools. From the opening of the ILC in 2013 to the expansion in the form of a campus with the opening of The Hub in 2018, it’s taken hard work, flexibility, a growth mindset, and skill. The idea became a plan, the plan was launched through hard work and lessons were learned through failures, and the journey continues today.
Plans are only the start . . . strategy is only good until it is tested . . . the real work is in execution, reflection, and continued growth.
Your first idea is wrong, so, as quickly as possible, implement a careful plan to learn which of your assumptions are flawed. – Rita McGrath
Great ideas require cultivation, execution, and reflection . . . then repeat. We live in a world of upgrades. From the beta version, to the live release, to version 2.0 and beyond . . . our world is about incremental improvement. An idea, true innovation, is born from the same seedling.
Your idea is only an idea until it is executed. True ideas require intentional planning, purposeful implementation, and honest reflection. We adjust and adapt to make each new implementation, each new version, better than the previous one. Each of us naturally has assumptions – we test them. Each of us has a bias – we face it. Waiting for the perfect time to launch that idea won’t ever make an impact . . . the time is now.
Innovation – something different that has an impact. – Scott Anthony
Innovation is more than an idea; it is more than a concept. Innovation makes an impact; innovation is positive change. The idea is only the beginning. The idea must be executed, reviewed, and improved. There is nothing simple or easy about innovation; innovation requires work.
Innovation embraces the uncertainty of process. It is the journey from the idea, through execution, to impact. We don’t innovate using the process already in place. We can’t evaluate success with the existing performance metrics. Education today requires an innovative approach in some areas. Let’s be intentional in the areas that we innovate to create the most positive impact for our students.
The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Peter Drucker
Public education has long been defined by outside forces. From legislators with political agendas to media outlets focused on ratings, from government bureaucrats to think tanks, external forces with divergent purposes all influence both the perception and the policies that govern the very schools we serve.
The time is now to take back the conversation . . . to shape the future that is required of us. We serve the students in our care; we serve our school community. Let’s eliminate the noise and set the course that best prepares our students for the future. We must stop reacting to unfocused, bifurcated messages. The best future for our students, for our country, is for us to write the narrative, to set the course for public education.
The thing that’s important for me is to remember what’s the most important thing. – George W. Bush
We all get pulled in a myriad of different directions each and every day. The stimuli we face in today’s electronic, need it now culture are multidimensional. From the ping of an alert to the vibration of a text message, from the constant flow of information on our computer screens to the video monitors on seemingly every wall, it is beyond easy to get distracted.
It has never been more important to develop discipline in our lives. A new attention to focus is required; developing filters to remain centered on what is most important is an essential still.
Be aware today of each distraction . . . of each “pull” in a different direction. Be intentional with your attention and your decision making process. For me, it is unnerving to be aware of each situation that distracts me. I must adapt and adjust to stay focused on what’s the most important thing.
We must never go back. There is no room for racism or other forms of ethnic or racial hatred in this country. – Ronald Reagan
On March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan delivered his famous Evil Empire Speech. In referring to the Soviet Union, President Reagan’s use of this Star Wars inspired phrase set the tone for the Reagan Doctrine; the collapse of Communist rule in Eastern Europe was less than a decade away.
In the same speech President Reagan championed the principles of the United States as his shining city on a hill; he championed the inclusive, welcoming country that was Reagan’s America. Today, 35 years later, it is just as important to live this vision for America. There is no room for racism or other forms of ethnic or racial hatred in this country. We are all Americans.
Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you. – John McCain
We live our lives with purpose. We are in service to others; we are true to our inner core. Each and every day people are counting on you, and you rely on other people. These relationships are built on trust and a common bond – the bond of shared purpose and experience.
Cultivate the connections you have with those in your work and personal life. Be constant in your commitment to a cause greater than yourself. When you act with purpose and intentionality, when you are true to your principles, you live a centered, balanced life.
It is your character, and your character alone, that will make your life happy or unhappy. – John McCain
Each of us know people who strive to be happy through acquisition of material things; we experience people who compromise their values to achieve temporary success. At the end of the day, true happiness can only be achieved by being true to our values. Life is about relationships; it is based on the care, love, and service to others.
Don’t compromise your character for the short term win or for the instant gratification. We all make mistakes – and we all learn from them – but be steadfast to your character and principles above all else.