Home' Teacher : October 2010 Contents 56 TEACHER OCTOBER 2010
Have you ever heard the word 'strategery'? It first saw the light of day, as Douglas Reeves
explains in Leading Change in Your School, in a Saturday Night Live sketch in 2000. Strate-
gerising captures the idea, says Reeves, that many strategic plans are merely grandiose and
self-serving documents. More often than not gathering dust in three-ring binders, they fail to
lead to implementation because they focus on too many initiatives without allowing schools
the time or resources they need to implement them in a sustainable way.
To implement strategy rather than simply strategerise, we, the executive team at Marist
College in Canberra, decided that the implementation of the strategic plan would remain
separate from the day-to-day running of a large and successful educational establishment such
as Marist, a Catholic school for boys with 390 students in Years 4 to 6 and 1,240 students in
Years 7 to 12, and 117 teaching staff and 53 non-teaching staff.
We began the strategic planning that we describe here in 2006, using a model that allowed
for broad consultation with the college community while at the same time ensuring that a plan
would be ready for implementation at the beginning of 2007.
A structure for implementing strategy
To enable implementation on that timeline, we created a leadership structure that gave specific
portfolios to various members of the college executive in terms of the strategic plan. We estab-
lished what we called the implementation working group comprised of the college executive and
a member of the college advisory board and, below this, four separate priority working groups.
When we established this structure, we also explicitly described the roles of the various
groups to ensure that the strategic plan could be implemented.
The role of the executive was to analyse and consolidate the plans of the implementation
working group for referral to the Headmaster and, in turn, the college's advisory board.
The roles of the implementation working group were to:
monitor and control the overall strategic plan
oversee the detailed planning and implementation of the priority working groups
undertake six-monthly reviews of the strategic plan and progress on implementation
analyse and approve priority working group project plans, and
advise and support the executive and Headmaster.
YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO IMPLEMENT YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN RATHER
THAN SIMPLY STRATEGERISING? FIND OUT HOW WITH IAN HEWITT,
CARMEL LUCK, CHRIS MORRISSEY AND RICHARD SIDORKO, FOUR
EDUCATIONAL LEADERS WHO EFFECTED REAL CHANGE IN THEIR SCHOOL.
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