Posts filed under ‘Boardsmanship’

One Best Thing to do to Reduce Employee Turnover! Surprising!

Lots of my clients got in a management position because they loved what they were doing: teaching children, making furniture, preaching — not because they wanted to read management books. Now, they are, however, managers. One of the biggest challenges is to keep good employees. Wouldn’t you like to know how to do that? How to reduce turnover? How to make good employees great? How to avoid having to start all over again with a new employee — that great gamble? And the answer is — based on both scientific study and experience and taught by the most famous management guru – drum roll — is staff meetings.

WHAT? Right. Ken Blanchard recommends two staff meetings a week. In these staff meetings, you let your employees know what you want. You find out what problems they are having. You let them feel like a team. You avoid conflict. You also train them. Good meetings are often overlooked tool in managing people. Bad meetings are bad. Good meetings work. I can help. I train managers (pastors, owners and whoever runs meetings) how to do better meetings. I can also be part of the training of your staff. Plan your meetings now.   Oh, an anyone who engages me during January 2017, will receive a 20% discount. Have a great year.

Advertisements

January 5, 2017 at 9:57 pm Leave a comment

Open Consultant’s Report to Pastor: You Have Options for Supporting Your Parents

A client asked me this question, and I realized every pastor in America should be asking it. Here is the question as I understand it: Although we have in the past promoted going to public school to be salt and light and also promoted the idea of taking advantage of educational offerings that were not specifically Christian, in a time when we feel out children’s safety, physically and psychologically will be at risk if they go to a school accepting federal funding, and we tell parents to remove their children from public schools and colleges, what options are there for supporting them in this endeavor?

Good news, you have a number of options. Here is a preliminary answer.

The primary concern at this moment for you is k-12, so let’s address those options first, and briefly mention others later.

1. Private or church school

The church can make a school. This is no small undertaking and there are many paths depending upon congregational needs. Nevertheless, given the urgency of the situation, let me give you general highlights of what I would recommend.

a. If the question is, how can I have a reasonable school the shortest amount of time possible, with the most limited resources, the answer I would recommend is be an ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) school. The upside is that there is much going for the idea of individualized education, that the plan can be instituted economically and obviates the need for highly educated staff. It has a long track record. The downsides are that it is too 2D, that the ACE organization is hide-bound conservative, and that the curriculum is weak in some spots, particularly at the high school level. However, these deficiencies are usually overcome by doing such things as purchasing other curriculum, bringing in guest lecturers, and planning group activities for the children, perhaps in the afternoon. ACE is the easiest to get into, but you will want to be supplementing it or migrating to AOP for the long term, is my guess.

Alpha Omega is a more popular curricula and has more choices. It too, is definitely evangelical. It can be used like an ACE school in that it can be all individualized and all not teacher directed. They still have print based material, and are now pushing computer delivered but 3-12 only. Indeed, AO has so many more choices altogether, so that for someone quite new to the situation, it might be overwhelming. But their staff is normally very helpful. They do have teacher training and support, but they do not have help organizing a school, because that is so state specific.

They have three options, depending on how teacher-led you want the school to be. They even offer dual credit (high school/college). So with a bit more learning curve, this is a great option, even for long term.

https://www.aop.com/christian-schools

b. In almost all cases, it is important that the school be a separate legal entity from the church. Normally it is best to start a private school with separate 501(c)3 status, with a charter that firmly establishes measures that insure the church’s views and oversight in the school.

There are, however, other means of setting up schools depending upon the obstacles of the particular case.

While it is not easy to start and get a 501(c)3, it is possible. Alternatively, it may be possible to have one established at the denominational/ fellowship level, with each congregation’s school a subsidiary chapter. Consult a denominational attorney about this.

C. Do not fail to consider insurances and legal retainer. Have a battle ready plan. Again, the denomination may be able to help: you may have a lawyer at the ready already, or if many churches begin schools, perhaps together you may hire such help. Many schools and daycares run badly and continue to do so. This OUGHT to be comfort to those that run well. Occasionally, however, very weird things happen: a parent gets mad, a public official over-reaches, or you get targeted by a wrong-headed activist group. This is not time to be frightened of this, as Franklin Graham said on the steps of our capitol building: “If someone offers to sue you over this, then tell ‘em, ‘come on’. There are more of us than there are of them.”

2. Homeschooling

Every state has different rules about this. When and where it can be accomplished, the results are outstanding. Every year since the 1980s, based on standardized tests, home educated children handily outperform their public school peers. My own observation is that they tend to be much more mature and better able to comport themselves socially.

Fortunately in Texas, we have a right to educate our children privately in our homes.

Today there are many options, including online, teacher-led options, and even free (but there again you are getting into public school). Consequently, if a family can provide care for a child even to the point of just safety and encouraging 2 or 3 hours a day studying, they can home school.

Families can hire instructors privately or in some combination to teach certain subjects. So for instance, parents get together and hire a coach and a physics teacher. Similarly, they could hire a tutoring service and select a curricula and send the child with the book to the tutor – and since the child is totally under the parents’ direction and spends most of their time with the parent then they can be called home-schooled. There are a number of models that are somewhat blended.

For the question of higher education, of course there are already many Christian colleges. Given that the public schools are now so costly, the Christian offerings do not seem so expensive by contrast. Further, given the low quality of public education, and the bias in the curricula, and the increase push to see all students go through college, there is a question about the cost/benefit of attending college. Tradesmen will be in short supply and so a technical school may be a more remunerative route. We will need the church to take up more of the critical thinking and higher education market, so we have some of that that is not overwhelmed by darkness, but I think that is afoot also.

The preschool arena is being swamped by the same sexual identity agenda that has recently hit the news, if more quietly. Because of this widespread concern, AOP is working on a preschool curriculum. Many suspect that the federal government is reaching toward control the curricula in order to control personality formation. So not just as an evangelistic mission, but also for any of the church’s children’s safety, having a full child development center is really a need.

2. Home – educators’ Cooperative

There is a possibility of making a coop. I hear of some groups of parents doing this. What is legal depends very much on the legal definition of home education and the rules in that state.

The definition of homeschooling in Texas is

A home schooled student predominantly receives instruction in a general, elementary, or secondary education program that is provided by the parent, or a person standing in parental authority, in or through the child’s home [Texas Education Code 29.916 (a)] (http://www.thsc.org/homeschooling-in-texas/the-thsc-definition-of-a-home-schooled-student/ May 18, 2016).

In the one such parent cooperative homeschooling school the parents take the entire responsibility for the children, must be physically present, and apportion duties among themselves. Some teach and other assist. There is one single mom who cannot make it all 5 days and the parents cover for her. Notice, that no one just drops off their children. While parents apportion duties, each family makes decisions about education and is responsible for their child’s supervision.

This group of parents does have an arrangement with a church. The church pays no extra insurance because the parents, not the church is responsible. The group has some very experienced educators and home-educators and is evidently a member/client of THSC. How much or whether they pay rent, I do not know.

This option of a home-school coop is very appealing but does have possible potholes. It is the one option most likely to be questioned by authorities. If you wish to research this option, you might consult the Texas Home School Coalition or the Home School Legal Defense Association names. I recommend every home educator be a member of one or the other.

BTW, This is the time for home-school conventions. THSC will have one in The Woodlands July 21-23.http://www.thsc.org/events/texas-home-school-conventions/. Every other metro area has a large Christian home schooling association. The THSC Woodlands should be the largest in the state.

CONCLUSION
There are options. They should be explored. While it is unimaginable that we are where we are, nevertheless, we should expect that if the measure is overturned, it will come back. You would be very surprised at the age cohort difference in views, such that young people today are far more…. liberal is not a good word here… unconventional?…. on these issue than their parents.

Please post your resources and questions. I will be glad to aggregate and curate resources for such endeavors. There have always been lots of reasons to start congregation affiliated schools. Now we have another — more pressing one.

I am glad to help in working with parents, boards, and administrators. Particularly in terms of organizational strategy, management development, sorting through pedagogical alternatives, and evaluating sales people’s claims I might be able to help. 512-534-5425

May 20, 2016 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

On Becoming a Leader

Warren Bennis On Becomng a Leader Addison-Wesley 1989

A classic. With experience on both the academic and practical side, Bennis covers the how of becoming a leader. The key to full self-expression is understanding oneself and the world and the key to understanding is learning – from one’s own life experience. It is more important then, to set out to express oneself, one’s mission, rather than to prove that one is a leader. The latter will make one driven, the former will make one successful.
So far I think this is all good news. He says that leaders are made and not merely board, which is good news. Discovered that leaders are self-expressive people. This is also good news, in my mind. Once you are formed correctly, then you can deploy yourself, so good management is authentic and comfortable.

However, there is some further surprising news for organizations. It is NOT true that the people with the right stuff naturally rise to the top. In fact, those with more promise have a harder time, because organizations favor those who have a more docile character, and so when they rise to the top, they are often not ready to be leaders. Since Bennis’ book, there has been more on constraint theory. Since we also have some data on our vast under-supply of creative leadership, this is a real challenge to our society. How are we keeping leaders down?

Further, he said that it is not what you don’t know that hurts you, but what you know that isn’t so.

So here are Bennis’ questions that we might adopt for our own, to spark a discussion.
What do you believe are the primary qualities of leadership?
What role did failure play in your life?
How did you learn?
What can organizational do to stifle or encourage leadership?

My star thought: most people SUCCUMB to just going along, and the outside environment approves, but this is the opposite of leadership. Leadership is being and then inspiring people to do the right, helpful, courageous thing. So how can you do that?

<a href="http://On Becoming a Leader” target=”_blank”>Available at Amazon – tho I don’t get anything for telling you. Just trying to make things easier for you.

March 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

Are You Coachable? 3 Questions to Consider

Ken Blanchard is the guru of gurus in the consulting/coaching world. Most owners and bosses could use organizational coaching and or personal coaching, but only the most wise seek it out. What are your thoughts? What kind of consulting or coaching do you find valuable? rare?

Source: Are You Coachable? 3 Questions to Consider

September 26, 2015 at 6:10 pm Leave a comment

Relaunching into Helping Organizations Be More Productive

I am an expert in increasing productivity, both for individuals  &  groups. Perhaps uniquely, I am an expert on the social dynamics of organizations — organizations like a workgroups, churches, or  associations. I still will serve teachers and educational institutions, but I am expanding. Actually, I started with helping small businesses, churches, and denominations back in the 19990s. I just became very focused on the special requirements of early childhood centers since 2000. Now that I have retired from teaching at the collegiate level, I will have time to serve more people.

Please let me know what challenges you are facing. My recent training in coaching will add to my ability to help you be more productive at work. My greatest expertise, however, is understanding the social dynamics of a group, and then helping people communicate better in it, so as to be more productive toward meeting their mission. Perhaps no one else has the wide range of sociological, psychological, business, boardsmanship, and pastoral training and experience that I have. Sure, I can stand up and teach. I can make abstruse research clear, too. More importantly, though, I can help you see your own organization, and how to make it better. That is a great value.

For instance, if your association has fewer and fewer members every year, do you want a seminar on membership, or do you want research, coaching, and a seminar if necessary, that really transforms the culture so that you have more members every year?  If you have a manufacturing business where waste eats profit, do you want a seminar on communication, or do you want to find ways to improve communication so as to reduce waste and thus dramatically increase profit? If you have a large corporation, do you want one division in the habit of screaming at the other? Or do you want the competitive juices going into improved specs and increased sales? It may or may not take a seminar, but it will take some research, some coaching, and some communicating.

Isn’t it the value in organizational transformation to greater productivity, and not mere training hours that you want? 512/249-7629

May 12, 2015 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment


What People are Saying

Would you like Sharon to come back? “Yes! Every day of the year!” Phillip Merritt Owner of ABC Preparatory Academies in Austin Texas

“Sharon has strong abilities in critical thinking. She also has excellent instincts in grasping issues before all the information has been revealed. There have been some occasions where I assumed what she was saying could not possibly be accurate, but in the end she was proved right when the facts were revealed. I trust (or at least pay serious attention) to her opinions.” Walter Lee, former Engineer, Retired Minister PC(USA), QVR Board Member

 

“Speaker was at ease and able to relate to all participants. All was very good! ” MNKA member

“You kept everything light and moving along. It was great.” MNKA member

“Thanks so much for doing this topic! I’ve been saying this for a long time and no one seems to be hearing me. You have confirmed that I’m not losing my mind. THANK YOU!” MNKA Member

“We sincerely appreciate the time and effort you put into your presentation. Your presentation was a real blessing to the participants, judging from their evaluations. –Terri Sloan, Weekday Ministries Conference

And what I like to hear most, I usually do: “We want to have you back. When can you come? “

Sharon’s books

The Government is not a Village. Dialogs across boundaries, busts myths, reveals real science. Offers a positive way forward in early education policy. Go to www.lulu.com or www.thegovernmentisnotavillage.com Swim with the Dolphins, not with the Sharks Sharon's classic book on conflict reduction available at www.amazon.com This is instrumental music, great for calming and focusing. I recommend it for your classroom. WHOLETONES

Easy Sign up Contact Form

This is a signup for starting a congregationally affiliated preschool and to be notified of related conference or products.

I will not explode your inbox. I will not sell or share your info.

Let me know what challenges you are facing.

We all face dragons and wish someone would come along side and help. Let me know what challenge you are facing. If I can't help, I might know someone else who can. Sharon@orgstrat.net . 512/534-5425 - direct line

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 454 other followers

Thanks to StatCounter for more stats on this site.

web
analytics