These are the questions that guide consulting engagements and how we measure impact:
- What do I need to know and do to be an effective steward of my schools resources?”
- How do we identify, orientate and ensure engagement with our community?
- How do we evaluate our performance relative to the school’s vision and mission?
- How do we evaluate the Head of School and ensure a strong and productive relationship with her/him?
- What is our role in developing a strategic plan and how do we provide continuity in leadership to ensure the strategic plan is implemented and evaluated?
“Michael’s work with the AISG Board of Directors has been focused and efficient. He structured two-day retreats on goal setting at both the beginning and end of the last school year. His positive personality encourages participants to engage in what he has to offer. That he’s taken time to get to know the school well, increases his effectiveness.”
Dr. Bernadette P. Carmody
American International School of Guangzhou
Target Group: Residing Governors, Board Chairs, Heads of School, Parent Association members, and other executive stakeholders
School boards can be amazing forces of change, unfortunately, though, the forces can yield both negative and positive ripples through our school community. The most traumatic cases of school board dysfunction are often caused by conflicting values and beliefs, which could have been surfaced and dealt with more productively earlier on. Common reasons for School Boards to seek the assistance of a professional facilitator are:
- Orientation for new board members
- Orientation for a new Head of School and/or Senior Leadership Team
- Fund Raising
- Strategic Planning
- Leading the school through significant changes
- Debriefing results from major milestones, projects and dilemmas
Governance does not directly involve budgets, personnel issues, and compliance; it is value driven, ensures the school serves its core purpose and puts in place a mechanism for long-term strategic planning. Good governance does include financial stewardship and fiduciary oversight; boards also have the responsibility to indirectly influence recruitment and marketing by consistently promoting and communicating the school’s values and core purpose.
If your school board is either looking to get more involved or perhaps finding ways to extricate itself from the day-to-day operations of the school, then professional facilitation will help to surface stakeholder interests and concerns to ensure a successful transition. If the school board has had strategic objectives sit dormant on the agenda for successive years, then facilitation can help to dissect the underlying impediments to progress and identify steps to move forward.
The initial goal of any engagement with a school board is to help Governors and Executive Stakeholders to learn the knowledge and tools to identify and orientate themselves to fulfil their fiduciary and strategic role.
We work with both Management and sitting Governors to better understand the role and responsibilities of Governors, develop their governance skills and identify unique challenges they’ll face in the upcoming school year.
Objectives we seek to achieve for governors from both proprietary and non-proprietary organizations, as well as for boards that are either self-perpetuating or fixed term, are to address problems, such as:
- Uncertain how to prepare for the accreditation visit;
- Lack of trust between the Board and Management;
- Lack of engagement of governors for fiduciary and strategic matters;
- Overly engaged in the operational activities of the school;
- Lack of experience as governors and basic training;
- Consistent high turnover of Governors and Management;
- Lack of buy-in to strategic planning;
- Uncertainty for how to Evaluate Management; and
- Uncertainty for how to evaluate the Board.
We have also established a YouTube channel where we regularly upload webinars and newscasts related to school governance. Our webinars are topically themed where we introduce specific tools and strategies that will help you build more effective, inclusive, and sustainable governance. Newscasts are commentaries where we touch on current affairs that affect boardrooms, such as admissions for LGBT+ students and board diversity.