If you enjoy theater, you know how magical it can feel when the lights go down, a hush falls over the audience, the curtain goes up and the play begins. In a quality stage production it is true magic. Everything is seamless. Props show up where they are supposed to be. Actors step into the right spotlights. Everyone on stage is easily heard. When everything goes right, you can feel transported into a different world.
We had the opportunity to talk to a theater stage manager. It was fascinating to hear the intricacies of all that goes on backstage. In order for the audience to become immersed in the magic, there is tons of planning, coordination and practice by all of the technicians. It is a continual process of coordination, communication and adaptation. If they don't have their act together, there is no magical transformation for the audience (no matter how good the actors are).
It is the same in quality organizations. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. These organizations understand the importance of constantly evaluating their priorities, programs and policies. By assessing and making modifications they keep their product or service top notch and their audience engaged.
We have been lucky enough to see this type of passion and dedication put into practice with the Griffin School in Austin,Texas as they fine tune their “backstage process”. We educated and guided them as they developed a Campus Improvement Plan. This is a multistep process that consists of organizing Griffin’s strategies and resources in a more cohesive, transparent way enabling them to create educational magic for their students and families.
As with any new process, there have been some bumps in development and implementation. In January we conducted a day-long retreat to initiate the Campus Improvement Plan Process. We met with them again in June to see how things were going and to evaluate the plan for the rest of the year.
What did we find?
First and foremost, amazing people doing amazing things!
Second, introspective people who were dedicated to identifying what needed to change so that they could work more efficiently and balance the workload effectively for all involved.
Third, passionate people who brought joy to their work, making the day fun and productive.
Thank you Griffin School for showing us again the work behind the magic.
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