Strategic Directions – 2 teams and 2 distinct schools –
Sustain, Delete, Rethink and Add-Innovate
This section includes the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) assessments from 2 teams of educational leaders for two distinct schools in Canada and Paraguay. The teams focused on discovering strategic directions for two schools and serves as an applied learning experience for both leadership teams providing the review. One school, from Paraguay, had one of the educational leaders, cooperating with the SWOT analysis, identified as the principal for that school. The other team chose to review practices and habits of a former school, closed several years before. This school has no staff to apply the findings related to their SWOT analysis, but a school of similar name is planning to open in the same area in the next year or two, so the information can be useful if shared with the leadership of the newly reborn school organization.
Following Ethics Review approval, teams interviewed members of school organizations in Canada and Paraguay, reviewed strategic choices by ‘brain storming’ or ‘brain swarming’ and developed information for review of SWOT principles during the assessment process. This review allowed team members to understand SWOT methodologies for assisting with the development of an effective strategic response to the school and the strategic influences guiding them into the future. Teams also identified the skills necessary for strategically planning and navigating best practices for the future to help the organization gain the necessary skills and develop an effective strategic leadership toolkit for themselves.
Educational leaders followed the SWOT analysis steps by using Richard Lepsinger’s 6 Bridge Building Principles in Closing the Execution Gap (2010), Hughes, Beatty and Dinwoodie’s assessment tools and six step after action review (AAR) process for assessing organizational capacity for change in Becoming a Strategic Leader (2014, pp. 130-134). Teams used the tools outlined in the texts and assessed developed strategies for the schools to determine the anticipated success or failure of suggested changes for each school’s future practice and determine the anticipated success for the identified and suggested changes. Teams then submitted their results and findings to determine the likely success or failure of each school’s future in applying the changes to the SWOT Process.