Communication literally rules the nation right now. We all walk around with a direct source to our news and access to contacts at our fingertips. Even with all the advancements in technology communication can be lost. It is important to use new and traditional communication methods to educate, inspire, and inform the audiences connected to our messages. But even with technology to help us spread messages, there are still times where communication of a message is missed or in some cases not communicated at all. Communication has a lot to do with intent and delivery. When both are formulated to capture audiences, powerful things happen.
When a school district decides to start a new initiative 90 percent of its success rate will be based on how it was rolled out to stakeholders, both near and far. If the vision of the leadership is unclear, it is impossible for followers of the new vision to implement the plan with fidelity. In many cases, the failure of new initiatives falls flat in year one because knowledge about the plan was not well known and delivery methods were either not considered or omitted. There are a few very important areas to address when districts set out to inform stakeholders. Who, What, When, Where, and How.
When considering the WHO, the district should first inform its internal audience from the top down. The biggest support for anything new should be based on those who will help carry out the vision. From the superintendent to the custodians on each campus, informing internal stakeholders is key to moving a vision forward. Identification of which campuses and teachers will begin the implementation process is also extremely important; it is crucial to Identify and inform your WHO!
Once your WHO is established, understanding how to REFINE the message for the audience is essential. Changes don’t happen overnight and that should be communicated. Giving the audience CLEAR and CONCISE messaging about the district’s vision, WHY the plan is being initiated and how it will impact internal and external stakeholders is key to understanding WHAT the plan is. If they can SEE it…they can help you ACHIEVE it!
Timing is everything! Knowing when to launch a new vision is a strategic first step. Leaders should survey the climate of the community, the school, the campuses, and anything else that could impact the message. Working with implementation partners to assess district events and possible conflicts to rollout is a must. Be sure to take a look at times when training opportunities will be provided and when designing will occur.
When districts are transparent about the vision and allow for coffee talks, town hall meetings, district, and campus meetings, surveys, and questionnaires, then there is a unified understanding of the new vision. Click To Tweet
Understanding your audience is valuable and strategic, no rock can go unturned. Using social media is now an essential asset to push your message forward, but good traditional communication methods should also be utilized. When districts are transparent about the vision and allow for coffee talks, town hall meetings, district, and campus meetings, surveys, and questionnaires, then there is a unified understanding of the new vision. Informing external stakeholders is crucial to the success of a message and vision. Has the media been contacted about any events connected to the new vision? Do investors understand the plan? Do you have the support of parents, business partners, and community members? These are just a few questions to consider when looking at how to spread the message.
Similar to a fingerprint where no two are the same, every district is different and so is their vision. It is important for leadership to capture that essence in the messaging. When partnering with e2L, we will help walk districts through the intricacies of how to establish their vision and successfully roll out that new vision to internal and external stakeholders.
Widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership studies, an American scholar, organizational consultant, and author Warren G. Bennis said, “vision animates, inspires, transforms purpose into action.”
Using these Actionable steps, take the steps to move your district’s vision to the next level.
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