“The survival of our ego is at stake. Our vision begins to be stated in things we don’t want- ‘I don’t want to fail,’ ‘I don’t want to be unhealthy,’ or ‘I don’t want to want to be poor.” (Crum, 1987) Our current educational environment often contributes to ‘moving away from’ rather than moving toward a goal or a vision, even though it is often stated otherwise. The fear of failure often precludes the joy of success. The affect is not the desired outcome. Destination thinking replaces old habits with new ones, moving toward achievable and realistic success. A holistic approach includes the development and nurturing of the creative nature within the human being, at the core of our being human. An integrated system naturally addresses inherent conflict and provides tools to ascend from it, using the conflict to engage creative thinking rather than rote action.
Utilization of those who have gone before often stimulates positive change to a greater degree. Optimal change agents, in this case, span several areas of concern, expertise, and professional endeavors. Presentations and networking are a core competency of our sales effort; know face-to-face communication is the most productive and builds the greatest rapport. Civic organizations, angel investor groups, local and national corporations, philanthropic foundations, and various ‘Anonymous’ groups hold the capacity to capitalize on concern, holistic philosophy, professional contacts, and resources unknown. This strategy facilitates a truly Win/Win for the business units, community and participants, direct or indirect.
The foundational fabric of Spectrum Academy empowers the development of leaders, within the organization, the student body, and interacting with the community. The transformation of disenfranchised youth spills over into the entire environment of the Academy. The Co-Directors, examples of charismatic and transformative leaders, instill the need for achievement through progressive opportunities for the youth to do and be more than in their past living habits. This gratifies the need for personal power in the progress toward meeting goals and objectives while increasing cognitive ability, interpersonal skills, self-confidence and changes in ethics. Although the staff and peers display some managerial behaviors in this process, such as interpersonal, informational, and decisional roles, the collective leadership methodology and philosophy of the organization achieve the results.
Spectrum Academy’s strategic plan denotes three specific areas within the school’s management matrix. These areas include Education, Commerce, and Community. The Education Group facilitator shares the vision and has an in-depth understanding of educational systems, including effective school administration, exemplary exceptional student services, outstanding curricula and faculty development, rapport-building student promotion and retention, and innovative information technology systems. The Commerce Group facilitator also shares the vision has an equally in-depth understanding of State and Federal laws and regulations, creating collaborative alliances, supply chain integration, sales and marketing, and information technology. The Community Group facilitator shares the vision as well and has a mastery of marketing school programs, adult education programs, grant research and writing, after-school program development, and information technology. The Co-Directors hold the vision and have an understanding and mastery of strategic planning, educational and organizational development, business administration, and information systems integration.
“Communication plans should be divided into two categories: project communications and constituent communications. Project communications include the interaction that is required in order to deliver the engagement with quality. Included in this category are the project plan itself, the memos and status reports that the team distributes to one another, the team meetings, and the minutes that are issued from them. In the realm of constituent communications are the executive briefings, auditorium presentations, newsletters, "lunch and learn" sessions, posters, brochures, focus groups, and feedback mechanisms like e-mail and voicemail suggestion boxes.” (Freedman, 2000)
Best practices in pro-active management include up-to-the-minute reporting in order to anticipate and resolve problems before they have a chance to impede progress of the project. Along with the items mentioned above, we will be including e-room, net-meetings, and video-conferencing via the Internet. Technology use will be an asset of the curriculum and functioning of the school and a key feature of the process and stakeholder training. The Education, Commerce, and Community group facilitator determines the lines and types of communication necessary to serve their group, while maintaining the integrity of Spectrum’s open communication philosophy. The organizational chart has the appearance of a hierarchical structure yet, the communication lines are more flat-lined and organic in the actual workings of the organization.
The management team is forming. Features include academic and experiential expertise that leads successful educational institutions, law firms, civic organizations, social services, and technology companies. Diversity in the core team is critical and demonstrates the holistic approach of systems-thinking.
Robin J. Engel, MAOM, BAEd
Ms. Engel is a life-long learner, dedicated to the study and practice of state-of-the-art educational foundations. Her desire to serve youth and ability to explore alternative educational methodologies for students provides a solid foundation for development and implementation of curriculum designed to meet the needs of diverse and gifted learners. Ms. Engel’s resume is in the Appendices: Robin J. Engel