Byron's Babbles

Driving Decision Making

Last night we honored our Outstanding Learning Coaches (parents and family members who work with our students in an online environment) of the Year as nominated by our teachers. It was an honor for me to be there and speak with these great parents and give them a COW (Creator of Wow) Award in addition to the Outstanding Learning Coach Award. I told these parents that with our new vision of “Success for Every Student in Indiana” that we must continue to improve our family engagement. Learning Coaches are a crucial component to the family engagement at Hoosier Academies Network of Schools. I am so proud of the work that our Community Engagement Coordinator, Rachael Borrelli does to engage our families and support our Learning Coaches. She and the teachers are to be commended for implementing this Outstanding Learning Coach awards program.

As I listened to the tear jerking, literally, stories of why these families want their children in our school, I realized we must continue to improve living out our vision, mission, and core values. Every student has a story and a context. These stories are why school choice is so important and parents must have the ability and right to send their children to the school that is the best fit for the context in which they live. This all fit with Lesson #49 of The Disciplined Leader by John Manning (2015). In this lesson Manning (2015) taught us that we must keep customers in the cross hairs of decision making. I blogged about whether we should consider students and parents as customers or whether society is the customer of schools in Leaders Listen, but regardless we need to listen to our families and engage their needs.

If we keep the interest of our families in mind and engage them in the process of educating their sons and daughters it is powerful in improving the achievement and performance of children. As Manning stated, “It is leadership’s responsibility to be an advocate for customers, so focus on them whenever you conduct any business planning.” (Manning, 2015, Kindle Location 2535) As leaders we must always make sure that those we serve are being considered in the decision making process. We will obviously never be able to please everyone, but we must be able to connected the dots between our customer’s needs and our core values for carrying out the vision and mission of the organization.

“You should also engage and align your employees to follow your lead when they’re making decisions, too. When those two strategies come together, you’ve got a winning formula for building customer loyalty.” ~ John Manning

It was so great to connect with a group of parents and students last night and it was even greater to witness our teachers interacting with those parents, families, and students. With our newly created vision, mission and core values I am confident we are continuing to improve our family engagement and decision making prowess. What does your organization need to do to improvement using customers in the decision making process?


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  1. […] honored our outstanding parents who serve as outstanding learning coaches. I blogged about this in Driving Decision Making. Every student has a story and needs some type of differentiation to make the school experience […]


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