School Leadership Brandedu

Bring the Romance Back to Leading: Three ways to Create Heart for Change

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Once upon a time in America,  TV wasn't a 24/7 source of entertainment. Black & white TV broadcasting stopped at a late hour each night respectfully allowing Americans to rest. It was a stressful time for adults and kids with the possibility of atomic attack threatening post WW2 lives. Americans needed their sleep and endless broadcasting of breaking news wasn't a glimmer in any programmer's eye. Each morning Americans woke to an expected reveille of sorts in front of a TV static test pattern. A few years into this watershed communication era, product line extension featured color TV, and more programming filled the night. 

Change happened in those days as this evolution of TV shows us, but the future beckoned in those days in a way that was romantic. Black and white TV's were the window into that future. In those bygone days we were protected as we faced those future visions of what was out there for us. The messages on TV were about being  patient. We saw the promised land of products and services, but the tone was "Get Ready" because the best is yet to come.  We set our sights on it, saved for it and imagined how good it could be when it came. From where I sat as a kid, the vision of a Jetson's like-world promised a romantic view of what life would be for me. Now, as I Skype my conferences and speak to a virtual assistant it seems worth the wait.

Today, the age of impatience is here, coupled with an age of acceleration in tech and media. Wait? Who waits? Change happens at a rate that is close to breakneck speed, taking with it our time to romanticize the future, and robbing us of the opportunity to get  ready for what is coming, We've lost the chance to think our way into believing what lies ahead is better than what we are experiencing which is important in changing an attitude and action. I teach this historic view as I teach international business students about marketing and see its application to leading.

I think leadership today has lost its edge in the romance department.

 

ROMANCING LEADERSHIP

Because of the rapid pace of change. Romance, the ultimate feeling of well-being that was a large part of a pre-digital world, has gone missing making life harder for agents of change today. Who has the time for romancing the future? In the world of social relationships any app will create a reasonable facsimile of romance in a matter of minutes. But that's not where organizations need to go with their future ready eye to change. An app is not going to create the human to human or H2H feeling that helps organizations grow.  A leader with an eye on romancing the near future could try out that classic view of being future oriented with a bit of patience. Remember Yogi Berra's quote, "The future ain't what it used to be!"  So true today because of the galloping rate of change that is part of modern life. We are leading our organizations into territory of robotics, VR and AR with little time to process the change these exciting tools bring. How can we lead our teams into this time rapid change? 

 Creating a commitment to well being through change and fostering some small but human behaviors can help you show the love that a fast-paced multi- generational workplace needs. Put a bit of romance, a throwback to an earlier time, into your leadership. These three touch points can inspire without buying everyone on your team  flowers and candy.

1. Create Well-being  The field of social science is a place to access  strategies that develop well-being in this tumultuous time. Neuroscience thought leaders and their content are available to you on Twitter and through platforms like Medium. Do some DIY work on brain research and give yourself a solid grounding. You will see your time spent on building well-being is worth it. It takes you back to a classic point of development for change. Don't think of leading change as a pitch or a sales job. Look at it as a change to tell the story of where the organization is and the story of the near future. Be the story-teller-in chief. Use the research on getting people into "The Zone" for change using a supportive model like Seligman's PERMA model featured in brandED. Work by Adam Grant is also an access point around creating well being. His book Give and Take is a great place to start. 

2. Think H2H  Leaders in business use a Business to Business (B2B) or a Business to Consumer (B2C) model as they develop change.  Bryan Kramer's work  is as close to being romantic in leadership as you can get. Human to Human behavior (H2H) is needed as we look ahead into our future of machines in the workplace. Look ahead to a world where "HR Dept of Machine Interface" will exist. How do we meet the change that brings this evolution of co-working with machines and more into our workplace.? We do it by valuing our human brand. Leading with an eye on the romanticizing the human experience as we move toward interfacing with efficient machines and robotics is essential. Personal brand development is needed for leading and building teams. As change occurs threading that value through leadership will distinguish  any leader 

3. The Power of Small  Wherever you are leading...in a start up, a school, a company take the romantic view of the small moments to heart. They create big gains in your organization. The pressure to innovate is high in the accelerated age. The power of new is upon us and  the noise of constant new ideas competes across media channels for our leadership attention. Don't get pressured into riding the wave of the next big thing that comes across your screen. Great leaders know how to tune out the shiny objects and dig into the small, classic pieces that are working in their organization and then refreshing them rather than getting into the next big thing. There are plenty of new things in the near future that look interesting to you, but first take a deep dive into what is the core of your product or service and do as the Sparks & Honey  cultural trend agency shows us. They offer support in following trends in an element of culture called the "Refreshed Classic". It's quite a romantic thing these days to be seen as a classic, even in a rapidly moving time. 

 Use approaches like these and pace yourself through new times as a classic leader.  What is often missing in change is the heart for it on the part of your organization. Adding a bit of business romance may help you create some magic in your role as change agent. 

Why be Fragmented in 2017? Unifying School Brand is your PD New Year's Resolution

 'Tis the season for making New Year's resolutions ranging from calorie counting to writing your great American novel. (And yes, my own novel, a YA read, is currently on my desktop next to my Weight Watcher tracker!) But whatever progress on the personal word and weight front I make going forward, I have a true resolution keeper for you in the 2017 school year. Make a new brand promise: disrupt the diminishing energy of a divided school agenda. 

RESOLVE TO STOP FRAGMENTING YOUR SCHOOL IDENTITY

Stop fragmenting a school's identity and build a unified school brand. Put that on the top of your list. Look at any winning brand in today's market. The success of that brand with their loyal audience comes from clear, connected messaging. Let's see this proven business brand element live in our schools in a unifying way. Look at increased competition brought by charters and vouchers and you will see the need to define your school is a priority. A unifying brand creates contagious community commitment: we know what we are about and who we are. We stop the fragmentation madness. Any decision we undertake as a school community is made with the brand of the school at top of mind. Turn attention to stopping the fragmentation of a school identity and you put a school's communication on a diet while you create storytelling power-- you address weight and word of messaging that gets the brand on a unified track to satisfying audiences. In our book, BrandED, Eric Sheninger and I offer practical strategies that help make that resolution possible.

WHY IS YOUR FRAGMENTED SCHOOL IDENTITY AN ISSUE?

The fragmented identity of your school is weighing down the exchange of clear communication  It's 2017, and after our 2016 election process, we see the continued power of targeted delivery of engagement-- in even 140 characters. A connecting brand voice is missing in your school improvement plan if your school messages are fragments.

A school without a brand unifier is trying to be all things to all stakeholders. In that fragmentation, a school's power to communicate efficiently diminishes. The array of agendas, initiatives and mandates that are part of a day to day delivery of service needs a unifying umbrella. How do we keep those seemingly disparate pieces in focus? We develop a compelling thread of content and activity across our initiatives that shows why we do what we do for our kids. We deliver that message every day across select digital, social and traditional face to face engagements.

HOW DO I ADD THIS RESOLUTION TO MY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN?

Address the school IMAGE, make a brand PROMISE and attain new RESULT. Stop doing the same things over and over for little result. Innovate in our fast moving world of communication with a solid school brand presence. Understand the weight and the word issues in your current communication platforms. Create a powerful, deep connection to school brand using a map, a BrandED Strategic plan. Take on a PD journey to school strategic development. The BrandED plan unifies and defines--and you and your team co-create it in the new year with a map based on 5 elements--BrandED Drivers . 

Make a commitment to brand part of your New Year Resolution for Professional Development. Lose the word weight and gain communication storytelling power through a bold BrandED professional development experience that skillfully brings about a unique, unifying school brand . You and your team may just write the great American story of BrandED success as you brand build together using the power of BrandED!  Cheers! 

Why Does it Matter?: Educational Leaders Can Embrace a School Brand Strategy

Why Promote a School Brand?

Brand evolved out of a revolution in the last century that is touching every of corner modern life. A respected voice in its evolution is the father of advertising, David Ogilvy,  who said, “Today, brand is the intangible sum of product attributes, the name, the package,the price, the history, the reputation and advertising ” (Oglivy, 2012). If this is true, how do we align this advertising stance in  schools ? Educators don’t have an Ogilvy advertising agency budget to create intangible brand loyalty for their stakeholders, but we can surely adapt, and we don’t need advertising to create a brand.

 

 

The term “promotion” takes the place of “advertising” in  BrandED strategy. It’s the necessary adaptation. Unlike advertising, promotion doesn't cost a thing and it is required in today’s world of education to create brand power. It’s essential for educators to promote themselves in this digital world of connection. Who is better at sharing the story of the wonderful work of the school than those stakeholders who are creating this? Kids, teachers, staff can be the genuine voices of the narrative of success that is built through promoting the school’s brand. Educators who are strategic in promotion can reach stakeholders through the tangible and intangible connection of brand awareness. You don’t have a marketing department, but leaders can promote and advance BrandED’s foundation: image, promise, and result for connectivity. These three brand elements form the focus of a leader’s plan to benefit your school. Thanks to our world of digital advantages, brand is a fit for this journey.

 

 

Today, a teenager on his own personal brand journey on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram is pursuing the same brand elements: image, promise, and result. That average teen is not as informed as a professional, but is selling and promoting like a pro to his or her audience. Why? He or she wants to matter. There’s surely a lot of emphasis on image and result on that kid’s part, and maybe some attention to genuine promise. Teens are sailing on the social media sea  delivering personal brand value for better or worse. Recognize that their search to communicate a brand that matters is real. These young stakeholders are sitting in our classrooms. They can be among the first  to embrace and power the new school brand and they can fit into a systemic role as a school brand is developed and promoted. Leaders come from all levels. Their voices matter.

 

Jahana Hayes: Servant Leader and our National Teacher of the Year 2016

Jahana Hayes NTOY 2016

CBS news has done it again.  I was thrilled and excited to meet, Jahana Hayes today thanks to the CBS This Morning show. What an inspiring, honest,genuine, fearless and totally captivating personality is Ms Hayes. I would hope people google this name...not just educators, but people across communities can be inspired to action through her brand. Jahana spoke with passion about her mission. It is pure Servant Leadership that is part of the book BrandED that will be out in 2017. The brand I see in her was captured by her comments about community service that all teachers need to embrace. In a digitally transparent world this is so possible. She spoke of the need for schools to build "Conscientious Members of Society". That sounds like a brand to rally around. My masters in Public Administration head just perked up at that! I recall her students cheering her with such love: it brought tears to my eyes. The most memorable of comments came when she stated, " All the mistakes I have made  have made me the best I can be." She's a treasure. I think @hillaryclinton could choose her as VP! I look forward to hearing more from her as she spends a year sharing her lessons with us...and one interesting point...the last person CBS news brought to my atttention was my co-author----

In 2009 I was "introduced" via a CBS interview to  Eric Sheninger