1. LEADERSHIP: Leadership is seen as a central variable in the equation of organizational success.
2. EFFICIENCY: Begin with adoption of efficiency-oriented recovery strategies rather than with entrepreneurial or strategic moves. Gains in efficiency are absolutely essential to successful recovery, yet schools tend to concentrate on strategic work, and this is not a wise approach to turnaround.
3. FOCUS: Concentrating on key basic strengths is essential. Focus is also about concentrating on the customers and results.
Leadership issues must be addressed. A recovery plan should begin with the assumption of leadership change. Such a change might not be inevitable, but the burden of proof for not changing leadership should fall on those who argue against leader change. The adoption of strategies that do not pay explicit attention to leadership in their design would appear to be questionable. The absence of attention to leadership, including changes in leadership, is likely to hamper the ability of school turnaround models and efforts.
Efficiency moves are essential, as it is difficult to simply grow one's way out of a turnaround situation by focusing on new programs. Recovery efforts should begin: (1) with efficiency/operational moves rather than with entrepreneurial/strategic moves, and (2) by amassing resources to engage the turnaround, focusing primarily on freeing up less productive assets for more productive use.
Understand the customer and focus on their wants and needs. Do not lose focus on the customer by getting caught up with completing tasks and procedures or creating a producer-driven culture. Put the customer first and turn around or rebuild the organization from the customer back.
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