Start your engines!
The world is changing at a rapid pace. We are going from zero to sixty in a blink thanks to technology, add in AI and VR and we see a revved up climate for change that is unprecedented.
Keep up with the change. Find your partners who can help you resource your school and support your students every step of the way into the world of work. Here's a 2017 Resolution--Make partnerships a priority. Become the ENGINE for resourcing your school through the strategic building of partnerships with business and with higher education, with agencies and with entrepreneurs. Look beyond the micro-community of your school to the bigger pond, the external community where thanks to innovation in communications, you can reach out to any entity. Find potential partners in an individual, a local group, a mid-sized business or even a corporate partner. Offer them value, the opportunity to help prepare students for the new workplace in ways that helps them resource themselves. Partners give value to each other. Many of these entities, want to help, but they don't know how to get started. You have to take the lead. Be the engine of connection. Be a brandED leader and you can tell your partners how to help.
Your first step is to make sure you have a personal professional brand to share as a leader. As the engine, you will drive the effort to build relationships for your school. Model your brand persona, then gather a collective to design and build a school brand that's fit for partnership. You must define who your community is and what it stands for, what it's successes are, what are its challenges. Your collaborative effort to tell this story about your unique value communicates to a wide range of local and even global partners who can say..."They are like me! I want to help them!" Empathy becomes a great connector. An entrepreneur or a corporate giant can see the common ground between their own BRAND and mission and your local school BRAND and mission---if you take time to define and shine! Get your story of your brand out into the many channels that digital and social provides.
This post is inspired by one such channel, Twitter, in a post by Dwight Carter, New Albany HS Principal, whose "whatever it takes" mindset would resonate with any potential business or agency resource partners. And apparently it has from the his recent tweet citing the partnerships @napls has developed in the community!
PARTNER AROUND GEN Z
Plenty of topics bring business and education together to get the motors running for partnering. In the world of business marketing the diverse population that is sitting in our schools and one day will be the major consumers of products and services creates a conversation just waiting to bring us together. When we read the results of the 2020 Census we'll see the American landscape change to a minority majority demographic. A major shift powered by the rise of Generation Z, who are now 18 years and under in age: the most diverse demographic in the USA. We know this will be relevant on a wide scale. Let's not wait until 2020. Let's partner now.
This one topic alone gives us common ground upon which to partner. Schools will be challenged to create solutions to address educating these students to become civic and economic mainstays of their communities and the digital citizens of the world. Businesses see workforce needs and structures changing rapidly in front of their eyes. They need to open conversations with educators about the changing world of commerce where these students will be seeking jobs. Marketers can join the conversation with industry and schools so they can to educate themselves about speaking to this demographic who will need to become more intelligent consumers that keep the economy robust through the shifts of a modern, automated workplace. Again, let's let them know how to start to help.
Strategic Partnering is priority. Build a brand that gets you connected to the right resources for your school so our kids can motor on the open road of the future with a finely tuned direction supported by the worlds of business and education co-existing for success. Power up your school brand!