One of my favorite things about my school and the team I get to work with is their openness to new ideas. Their willingness to pursue new adventures that add to our students’ experience is so refreshing, and it pushes me to seek opportunities for improvement to our school’s overall program. This, of course, would not be possible without an administration who encourages risks, innovation, and room to try something new, reassess, and improve it moving forward. As we have rolled out some fresh concepts over the last few years, I have learned a few lessons (some on the front end; some after the fact—and it’s okay).
Craig Groeschel urges leaders to not only consider could we do this? but also should we do this? Any new initiatives should share a direct connection to the school’s mission and vision. If this is the case (should we do this?), then let’s figure out the implementation (could we do this?) and put it into action. Having the answers to these questions also increases the likelihood for buy-in across the board.
Beg, borrow, and steal! Reaching out to – or even visiting – other quality schools is one of my favorite professional activities, especially when looking to implement something new on our own campus. For the most part, schools are more than happy to share their process and even provide honest critiques of their initial rollout, which can be invaluable in avoiding potential missteps along the way.
Finally, take the time to reflect after trying something new. One of my teammates has a fantastic habit of pulling out some paper immediately after an activity or event and asking us for some things that worked and should be repeated. We will also discuss some things that need tweaked before we do them again, and sometimes there are things that we end up tossing altogether. This practice seems simple, but I am often quick to move past it on my way to whatever is next without prompting.
While putting new ideas in to place can be intimidating, working through it with a great team and support from administration makes a world of difference.