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Social Entrepreneurs Transforming Education

Posted July 7, 2009 3:19 PM by Ted Jackson

At a panel discussion at Harvard Business School Global Business Summit the topic was how to address the national crisis in public education. The all star list of speakers endorsed different approaches and yet agree on the fundamentals of how to transform the education system through disruptive education.

The key areas of focus agreed upon by the speakers include:

- People: improve and incent teachers, engage parents and communities

- Schools: introduce new types of school

- Performance: implement curriculum optimizing tools and interpret student performance

- Institutional Barriers: reinvent educational systems

The best way of affecting these areas could clearly be debated for hours, days or weeks. But the point these panalsts seem to agree upon is that these are the critical levers to pull.

I cannot help reflecting on the old adage we used to throw around when working with new clients implementing new Balanced Scorecards: "What gets measured gets done." So, let's measure our progress through this transformation of the education of the system. Let's measure it on a macro level and on a micro level.

Let's have a high level balanced scorecard for the national education system, district level and even school level. If the conclusions of the panel in the HBS Global Business Summit are correct the scorecard is relatively straight forward:

People: Invest in People

Key Internal Processes:: Introduce New Schools; Optimize Learning through curriculum & technolcoy; Establish Supportive Educational System

Student: Student Sucess

Impact: Thriving National Education System

Now, as with any Strategy Management System we need to agree on how to measure progress against the objectives in this simple strategy map. This is the way we will achieve results. Decide what to do and measure it. Measure it, publish it, learn from it. Continuous learning from performance results is the key to success. Any transformational model is destined to be at least partially flawed – so if we are willing to examine data and learn from it along the way we will make great strides toward the impact we are seeking!

To read the original summary of the HBS Global Business Summit see

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