school district

The End of the Tunnel - 12/1/20


Have you ever heard the expression:  There’s light at the end of the tunnel… In this COVID-era world, it sure does feel like the tunnel is long, doesn’t it?  It sure feels like this is not a light that we’ll be at in 2 seconds after the train goes another Read more

A Lesson in Gratitude - 11/24/20


Mr. Robinson went to the hardware store with his teenaged son, Steve.  Steve was starting his first woodworking project – building a small coffee table – and needed supplies.  As they walked the aisles, Mr. Robinson and Steve couldn’t find the exact type of wood they wanted, so Mr. Read more

Why Your Job is Important - 11/17/20


I was speaking with a client recently, and she was telling me about one of the classes delivered by their professional development team. Her description of the course reminded me of some client workshops we’ve conducted where a part of the outcome is having individual staff develop Personal Mission Read more

Listen Even When Nobody’s Speaking - 11/10/20


Online Chats are wonderful ways to provide customer service, except when they’re not wonderful ways to provide customer service.  Note the partial chat transcript below.  The company name has been replaced with STORE, and the location was changed to TOWN: STORE Bot at 9:54: Thank you. An agent will be Read more

Don’t Publicize Pain Points - 11/3/20


Years ago, a mining company received numerous formal complaints about the noise from its operations.  The complaints primarily came from one nearby neighborhood.  That neighborhood was the location where the mining company had to build a small above-ground structure to support the operations. The community was interested in finding ways Read more

The Masked Singer is Your Customer - 10/27/20


I cannot get into this show.  I have to admit it.  I’ve watched bits and pieces of it several times, but I just don’t totally get The Masked Singer, but it seems like it’s all the rage!  It seems like everybody wants to guess who is in that crazy Read more

I Think I Think is Wrong - 10/20/20


I think that’s not going to be feasible.  I think we can do that.  I think you’re on the right track.  Methinks thou dost protest too much. Please forgive the Shakespearean reference, but it seems to fit well here.  When we are talking to co-workers and customers, and we’re giving Read more

Be Slowest, and Be the Best – Chick-fil-A - 10/13/20


About one week ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had an article that analyzed the results of a SeeLevel HX research engagement on the customer experience at fast food restaurants.  The results were seemingly contradictory.  The fast food chain with by far the overall best drive-thru experience was Chick-fil-A, and yet Read more

Connect During Customer Service Week - 10/6/20


It’s Customer Service Week…woohoo!  This week should be all about the customers we serve and the staff who serve them.  This should be about conveying we value other people, and – hopefully – having other people convey that they value us.  It’s a week about people – about us. This Read more

Temper the Tone of THE VOICE - 9/29/20


The television show The Voice is a singing competition.  The opening episodes of every season begin with individuals singing while judges have their backs to the singer.  The judges can’t see the singer, so they are evaluating the performer purely based on their voice. Oftentimes, when the judge turns around, Read more

For School Districts, the “Nebulous” is Important

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Blog 4-20-15Parent satisfaction and student satisfaction are easily measured. The employment rate of high school graduates and the percentage of graduates moving to college are also easily gauged. The attendance patterns of students and ACT scores are both measurable.

But in the survey results for Springfield Public Schools, there was something overall that was highly important…and highly nebulous.

In a survey of students, employees, parents, and community members, the third most important “measure” of school success was “Communication, collaboration and critical thinking.” This attribute was only less important to respondents than “Highly qualified teachers” and “Employment rate.”

This is important, because when we think of outcomes, we think of graduation, employment, and college entry. But to the stakeholders in this school system, the most important “causes” of these “outcomes” or “effects” were teachers, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.

When many districts and other educational organizations work to improve student success, they work on the academic rigor, the testing, raising reading or math proficiency, and putting the right curriculums and programs in place.

But people make those approaches work, and what characteristics of the people and the organization make them work? Their communication, collaboration, and critical thinking make them work.

Whenever you launch an initiative to improve performance in your organization, don’t just create the perfect program. Ensure that the people are communicating, collaborating, and asking the right questions to make that initiative a success.

Did you like this post? Here are other Education-related posts:

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/education-industry


K-12 Sustainable Excellence? A School District’s Approach

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Blog 2-18-14In Tennessee, the Maury County Public School System is working toward a status of “Excellence” in the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TCPE). The TCPE is a statewide initiative modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige quality awards. And while Baldrige may be very familiar to manufacturing, healthcare, and other service industries, one can readily wonder why a school system is participating.

When an organization wants to adhere to the Baldrige Award Criteria, it’s important to understand to what they’re committing. For the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, the primary categories of evaluation are:

When you look objectively at these categories, you soon see that it’s hard to achieve “Excellence” in any industry without being at least “Above Average” in all of them. How easy is it to be an excellent performer without leadership that sets a clear direction and models behaviors to others? It’s tough to achieve Excellence without a definition of it and a Plan to get there. Excellence is often defined by the customer – the individual with the opinion and decision-making power to stay with or leave a business – so how can we be Excellent without an intentional focus on the customer? And how do you know when you’re straying from the path to Excellence or whether it’s a time to reward and recognize unless you Measure performance and continuously improve?

I could go on, but you get the picture. Organizational Excellence in Education, Sports, Healthcare, Government, etc., has several key components. This is particularly true if you want Sustainable Excellence.

To attain high levels of performance and continuously improve, make sure you have the plan, customer-focus, leadership, workforce, and operations that drive measurable results.

Did you like this post? Here are other Education-related posts:

Also, check out our Education site: http://cssamerica.com/education-industry