Donovan Group Insights

The Magic is in the Vision

Education is changing. Today, parents and other stakeholders are rightly demanding more communication from their local school districts, meaning that communicating is not just the superintendent or principal’s job. It’s the responsibility of everyone who is in touch with the public.

This begs the question: how do you help build the kind of capacity that is necessary for this kind of communication? How do you ensure that all of your communicators are on the same page and working from the same playbook?

Certainly, building communications capacity goes well beyond what I can share in a short video, but for now, consider the example of the online retailer Zappos.

Zappos is fanatical about customer service. Not only do staff not read from scripts, but they are authorized to do almost anything to achieve the company’s mission: “To provide the best customer service possible.”

Stories about Zappos’ customer service are legendary. They describe initiatives such as sending flowers to a customer who ordered shoes because her feet were damaged by harsh medical treatments, buying shoes for a customer from a competitor when Zappos ran out of stock or sending a free pair of dress shoes overnight to a best man who traveled to a wedding only to realize he had forgotten his.

With that in mind, consider what can be accomplished if you create a common vision with staff for your school or district. Give them ownership of that vision, and encourage staff to do anything they can to advance your shared mission, including ensuring that every student and parent understands why the vision exists and how the mission will be accomplished.

In the case of Zappos and other organizations like it, the magic is in the vision.

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