COO Blog

Learning from Covid and a reminder of the things that remain important

Keep Learning Image

A couple of recent conferences have helped me catch up with colleagues old and new; it's been restorative to share experiences, gain from external perspectives and learn new things. There is currently a common narrative to reflect on things learnt during Covid; what to keep and what to throw away.

The continuous thread

We serve children no matter what the context and how education organisations reacted to Covid showed that, even in the toughest of times, our schools and staff ensured outcomes for young people were always the first priority. This was done with integrity, innovation and inclusion; our values were central to our response and came through a significant test.

Widening communication choices to create efficiencies

Our staff are our greatest asset which makes communication our most valuable leadership tool. We may have missed face to face events and are enjoying the slow return to in person meetings but we shouldn't forget the value of remote meetings. They save time, reduce travelling and enhance functional, task driven meetings. They allow you to clear the clutter of the day to day detail so that when you do meet face to face it's about listening to all perspectives, generating strategic discussion and building strong professional relationships. Choose the right communication method that best suits the purpose of your meeting; enable this with digital transformation.

Networks can create a far reaching impact

Networks that work across silos and include different perspectives from different organisations enable the development and sharing of great practice in multiple areas; curriculum, finance, pastoral, safeguarding, human resources and more are all better if improvement is managed and delivered via a network. To be effective the network needs an agreed set of objectives to create a focus on the impact on young people. During Covid the value of networks has become even clearer and they are more prevalent and successful than before. This seems odd until you view this through the lens of a crisis which often pulls communities together focused on a collective goal.  

Some one liners I like...

Treat your personal energy like your cash; spend it wisely on your priorities.
Create professional friendships through generosity, kindness and integrity.
Stop talking in political language:

  • Remove “catch up” or “recovery” and add “acceleration”

  • Remove “ill health” and add “wellbeing”

If emotions were the ingredients in a soup, what emotions do you add to your team's soup?

And finally...

Don’t wait until tomorrow to be happy, wear your special pants every day.

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