“The Advantage”

Consultant Patrick Lencioni has published a new book called, “The Advantage.”  In it, he speaks about what gives an organization or business an “advantage” over another.  In a nutshell, the advantage is “Organizational Health.”  It’s all those things that can’t be measured.

Business leaders like when they can share positive new with “the numbers” they report, since their rewards are usually in the form of “numbers.”  A company improves revenue by 10%, so leaders receive a 2% bonus.  Phone call wait time is reduced by 20%, resulting in a 50% increase in customer satisfaction ratings.

Numbers are easy to evaluate.  That’s why officials in state and national educational offices like standardized testing – not because it sets a benchmark, but because calculations are an “easy” way to determine effectiveness, such as “proficient” ratings and “average yearly progress.”

Don’t be too quick to agree that’s “way too easy,” since teachers do it too.  If your school’s “grading scale” delineates 90 to 100% = A, you’re using “numbers” too.

It’s sometimes easy to spot a “failing” school – if tests scores are low, it’s usually correlated to a lack of financial resources.  If, however, that was the true measure of a failing school, it would stand to reason that every student in school districts which serve affluent communities would see every student score “proficient” – and that’s not reality either.

Sure, finances, resources, and quality teachers play systemically important roles in determining educational outcomes.  It’s not that good finances lead to better resources which lead to better teachers which leads to better educated students.  It’s finances, resources and teachers all work together systemically to create an environment conducive to learning and, more importantly, an “experience” that makes children want to succeed.

And it’s difficult to “measure” an experience.  Therefore, it’s hard work, and everyone wants an “easy” solution to make everything right.  As H. L. Mencken is quoted as saying, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong” (Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hlmencke129796.html, accessed 3.12.2016)

Want to create a great “experience” at your school?  About six months ago, this site pointed to Lencioni’s lecture about “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team” (which you can review at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inftqUOLFaM). While his presentation is intended for business leaders, it applies to any type of organization – non-profit, for-profit, even religious groups.

But for “The Advantage” that you can bring to your school as well as the school district, watch https://vimeo.com/86652680

At this point of history, where parents have a number of educational options for their children, this approach can have a significant impact on maximizing your school’s continued, or, perhaps, journey toward, success.

Posted in edu-cat-ion.