Lessons From Game Changers

On October 25 – 26, over 70 superintendents and principals convened at Rackspace in San Antonio, TX for this year’s first Game Changers event.

Game Changers gives public school leaders the chance to tour and learn from innovative business leaders in Texas. Game Changers brought together business and school leaders to align the skills our students need to learn to be competitive in college and career.

This Game Changer event was hosted by Rackspace, a major player in the world of cloud hosting. They’re known for their fanatical customer service culture and two-story slide at their headquarters in San Antonio. The Rackers (as they’re called) are masters of environment. They offer employees an almost endless array of work spaces, meeting rooms, and walking paths to keep the creative juices flowing. According to Jason Bowling, Rackspace’s Director of Global Workplace Services, “Space is a reflection of culture.”

Over the course of the two-day event, Rackspace provided speakers and gave a tour of its quirky facilities. Attendees saw examples of modern, employee-centric work spaces that were multi-functional and accessible. And trust us, Rackspace’s headquarters made for some amazing photo opps! Many attendees chose to zip down Rackspace’s famous two-story slide. Here’s a video of Rackers doing a speed run:

Fun aside, attendees heard from Rackspace’s Human Resources and hiring leaders to learn about the traits students need to succeed in the workplace. The organization strives to actually achieve the outcomes they talk about. Instead of talking about the culture they want, they’re action-oriented and take steps to make it happen. You won’t find Rackspace’s culture on a dusty plaque: you’ll see it in action in their work, conversations, customer interactions, and products. “Our core values wouldn’t have the same impact if hung in the front office,” explained Workplace Design Manager Erin Diaz DeLeon.

Our core values wouldn’t have the same impact if hung in the front office, - Rackspace Workplace Desig Manager Erin Diaz DeLeon Click To Tweet

It’s this same orientation for action that drives the e2L team to partner with districts to make learner outcomes real, rather than something that’s theorized but never realized.

We firmly believe that Future Ready students are the leaders of tomorrow, and all students deserve to become Future Ready through our public schools.

Game Changers participants learned what makes a high performance culture from Shannon Buerk, engage2learn CEO, and spent some time reviewing the cultural tenets of several successful companies including Google, Whataburger and Uber. To fully immerse in the information, they created their own ideas for cultural tenets in small groups. Gathering ideas through the discussion provided each of them with ideas for how they may want to grow a high performance culture in their districts.

Rackspace prepared an extra treat for Game Changers, too: a panel of former educators who became Rackers. This panel provided a unique perspective on what it’s like to serve in public schools. Above all, panelists said they valued a collaborative environment in public schools as teachers. Collaboration made students more autonomous and engaged, while teachers felt more supported.

The superintendents and principals at the Rackspace Game Changers event were able to return to their districts with an actionable game plan. This game plan includes how to create a cohesive culture and public school spaces that work for both learners and educators. The Game Changers series is a fantastic way for these leaders to inspire real change in their districts and improving the learner experience in public schools.

 

Curious to learn more about Game Changers? Learn more about our Game Changers Coaches Academy (details here).


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