Representative Engagements

Leadership Development in an Urban School District

In an urban school district of 15,000 students, The Sanaghan Group was asked to create a leadership development program that would: identify emerging leaders in the school system and build the capacity of the leaders currently working in the system.

We created a "design team" of diverse stakeholders throughout the school district (e.g. superintendent, principals, para-professionals, teachers and central office administrators). We met several times over six months to determine the purpose, goals and guiding principles for a leadership development program.

Out of these meetings we helped create a twelve day leadership development program that was delivered over a calendar year. We identified 24 diverse individuals throughout the school district that would be part of the first "cohort ".

The first cohort consisted of:
1) The Superintendent
2) Several principals and vice principals
3) Central Office (finance, IT) personnel
4) Teacher leaders
5) The president of the para-professional union
6) A board member

The course focused on three essential themes of effective leadership:
a) Knowledge of self
b) Understanding the complexity of groups and,
c) Systems thinking.

The course combined both research and experiential learning and was facilitated by senior consultants from The Sanaghan Group.

Each session was evaluated and the average score for the course was a 9.1 on a scale of 1-10 (ten being excellent).

Over time, this school district created three cohorts over a three year period. Some of the outcomes were: the identification of several new principals and vice principals; better cooperation between central office and the schools; the creation of a system-wide council to manage changes throughout the school district and improved union relationships.

Higher Education Strategic Planning

In a medium-sized university, The Sanaghan Group consultants were involved in the design and implementation of an institution-wide strategic planning process. There had been a history of "strained" relationships between faculty and administration that was negatively impacting campus productivity and culture.

We met with the president and his cabinet and agreed that there were two primary purposes for the planning process:
1) A strategic plan that would help position the university for a complex and
challenging future and,
2) To improve communication, trust and relationships throughout the campus.

We created a steering group consisting of eight faculty members, six administrators and one board member. We spent several days off-campus with the steering group members learning about interactive planning models and building trusting relationships.

The outcome of the retreats was a planning process that was designed by the steering group to achieve the two primary purposes of the plan and align with the unique culture of the institution.

Over an academic year, several hundred internal and external stakeholders throughout the campus were meaningfully engaged in a planning process that created a shared vision and goals for the institution. The result was a planning process that people were committed to achieving. In the third year of a five year plan, 85% of the articulated goals had been accomplished.