Our second action planning meeting with the Senior Management Team was just six days after the first, and was only three hours versus the eight-hour retreat we had as our first meeting.
Our second action planning meeting with the Senior Management Team was just six days after the first, and was only three hours versus the eight-hour retreat we had as our first meeting. We would have liked to have more time, but Salem’s Senior Management Team is extremely busy -- as is the case with any senior leadership team at a school district -- and they were only able to give three hours of their time for the second meeting. As with the first action planning meeting, we created a workbook to guide the activities of the second meeting.
Welcome & Introduction
- Purpose: Reassure Senior Management Team members that their voices and concerns had been heard and that this final stage is always challenging in any strategic planning process.
- Activity: Superintendent Ruiz opened this meeting with a brief welcome and framing of the meeting agenda. She also acknowledged that she knew some team members were slightly frustrated by the previous meeting and the seemingly slow/repetitive nature of the process of finalizing the strategic plan. Following a brief refresher of the group norms as well as a reminder of the responses to the icebreaker activity from the team in the first meeting, New Profit led the team in the first activity of the meeting.
Pair Discussion of Scenario 1 and Scenario 2
- Purpose: Allow time for all team members to read through and reflect upon each of the two scenario options for a set of 3-4 BHAGs.
- Activity: After a brief introduction by New Profit explaining how the two scenarios were created, the group was asked to break into pairs. They were asked to spend 15 minutes per scenario discussing the following questions, noting that the pairs do not need to reach consensus:
- How well does this scenario reflect and honor the work of the work teams?
- How compelling is this scenario in terms of helping the district achieve its vision?
- How well does this scenario support the development of the top six 21st century skills and qualities of an SPS graduate, as identified by the community?
- How exciting is this scenario to you?
Full Team Discussion of Scenario 1 and Scenario 2
- Purpose: Understand team members thoughts and reactions to each of the two scenarios and obtain consensus on what the BHAGs should be.
- Activity: Prior to the meeting, we created large sheets of flip chart paper with Likert scales (from 1-5) for each of the 4 questions above, for each scenario. During this part of the agenda, each team member was asked to place a dot on the Likert scales for each question within each scenario. This was followed by about 40 minutes of full group discussion, during which the goal was to reach consensus on the final BHAG categories.
Closing & Post-Meeting Work
We had originally planned for the team to work on mapping the strategies over time during this meeting, but we ran out of time. We felt that it was of primary importance to ensure that the team had sufficient time to discuss the BHAG categorization and reach consensus, so we decided to use the time this way rather than trying to rush that decision in order to fit in the conversation on timing.
Following the meeting, we integrated what we heard from the team into a revised goals and strategies document as well as a theory of action. We also drafted a set of "conditions for success"–or qualities and assets that must be present in the district in order for the goals and strategies laid out in the plan to be successful. We shared these with the team by email prior to the next meeting.
Action Planning Meetings
Big Hairy Audacious Goals
A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is a strategic business statement similar to a vision statement which is created to focus an organization on a single medium-long term organization-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.