The International School of Indiana (ISI) was founded 27 years ago. ISI is an international school educating children from age 3 through grade 12 with a full continuum IB program and language immersion in Spanish, French, and Mandarin. From the beginning, its vision has been to help the State of Indiana attract foreign investment, foster workforce development, and help persuade trans-national companies to locate in Indiana. When Elizabeth Head came to lead the school in January 2019, it had the typical strategic plan that most schools have… a multiple-page plan in a three-ring binder. It wasn’t an active document that detailed how the leadership team planned to run the school daily. Nor was it actively holding people accountable. It wasn’t necessarily data-driven, and it wasn’t something that people had to review monthly to make sure that they were meeting their objectives.
The school wasn’t using data-driven metrics because things were typically seen as subjective and holistic. Sometimes how people felt was what they perceived as results. They wanted to move forward and away from the three-ring binder. The old strategic plan was outdated, and it was time for a new one..
According to Ms. Head, “Our One Page Consultant, Craig Anderson came to us and said, ‘Hey, check out this One Page Plan. It’s a way to document and hold people accountable for a strategic plan. Why don’t you look at it?’ When I went through it, I thought, this is outstanding. I mean, I’ve been head of a few different schools, and all do the typical development of a plan… you get everybody involved, create huge documents, and then they sit. When I realized that this was a way to succinctly and concisely develop a plan that created action and movement and hold people accountable. I loved it!
Implementation was easy… I had no pushback. Our leadership team had all been part of other schools, where strategic plans would take weeks and weeks to develop and tons of writing to put together, and then they would sit on a shelf. Craig had a lot to do with our success. He met with us and showed us how to build it… and sat in the room with us while we were working on our plans.
I’ve asked the leadership team, are you sure we want to keep doing this? Is this an effective way to run the strategic plan? And everyone said, oh, yes, this is much better than any other way they’ve ever seen before.”
“The One Page Business Plan system has made an incredible difference for ISI in several areas. One is it gives us very succinct, concise, and focused objectives that are data driven. Every person on our leadership team now has a clear One Page Plan that shows what objectives their department needs to achieve. Those objectives are measured monthly with clear data to show that we’re achieving and moving toward fulfilling our five-year mission.
I would also say that every member of the leadership team is clear about what every other department is working on and the progress they’ve made. We can see results from one step to the next. We’re much more focused because we know that we’re all working towards the same vision. I would say that’s made a huge difference. It’s created a healthy working relationship among the leadership team… they trust each other because they know what the others are working on. There’s no room to judge or criticize when it’s all transparent and being worked on as a team.”