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August 26, 2010

ISD 191 – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

by Chris Lindholm

The over-simplified stages of becoming a team = forming, storming, norming, performing. 

Both the Executive Director of HR and I are new members of the superintendent's cabinet this fall.  The sup has been in the district for two years, the Executive Director of Finance has been in that role for about 7 months, the Communications Director is a new face to the cabinet and the Sped Director is relatively new…  It's an entirely new team.  We be storming and norming and storming and norming (4 hours this morning – ugh…)… 

The superintendent is transparent with the board.  He's zeroed in on student achievement like a laser.  He is encouraging rigorous debate and is putting real data on the table.  Some of it isn't so good.  He smirks when the debate gets lively, and he wants real answers that are right… not the easy ones that are consensus.  I'm likin' that!!   =)

The principal team is almost entirely new in the past 5 years.  A few have some years of experience but most are relatively new to the principalship.  As a group, we're storming and norming and storming and norming.  Frankly, we're just forming as a team.  

My time in ISD 191 is going to be a good ride.  It's starting to feel like the geological build up of pressure below some kind of seismic change.  I'm just starting to wrap my head around some of the dynamics and getting fired up to focus this team on doing what is right for kids.  We will build a culture of Greatness with disciplined people - practicing discplined thought - and disciplined action.  We will build a culture that doesn't make excuses.  We will build a culture that expects exceptional results.  Afterall, these are children.  We don't make trinkets.  We can't afford bad days.

It takes at least 5 years to make real changes in an organization - but we don't have that kind of time.  Game on 191…  I'm in it for the kids.  Every one of them.  How about you?

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