A confession:  my all-time favorite movie is the Wizard of Oz. So, it’s probably no surprise that in my quest to build and sustain outstanding charter school boards, I built a yellow brick road for you to follow (aka the BoardOnTrack membership).  Our road design follows a Capability Maturity Model which we call The Path to Excellence…but feel free to think of it as a yellow brick road.

The Path to Excellence: A Capability Maturity Model

Key Elements of the Charter School Board Yellow Brick Road
  1. Great Boards Evolve Over Time You don’t wake up one day and have an outstanding charter school board. You must strategically assemble the right team and then learn how to govern together. Practice makes perfect.  All boards start at a Level 1, but with intentionality and discipline your board can evolve its practices over time.
  2. Evolution Depends on Both Board and CEO Progress You’ll notice the arrow on the left-hand side of the Path to Excellence image that states, “Board and CEO Progress Together”. It’s essential that both the board and the CEO learn to govern effectively together. A strong partnership between the board and CEO is essential for effective governance.
  3. Progress Through the Levels Shifts Board Work from Reactive to Strategic The core distinguishing factor of the progression from one level to the next is the amount of time the board spends doing strategic work rather than reacting to the crisis of the month.  The higher the level, the more time the board is spending on creating the future, and the less time on the fire fights.
  4. The Longer You Stay in the Lower Levels, the Greater the Risk to the Organization The longer you stay in the lower levels, the more you are reacting and not working strategically. A healthy organization needs a board focused on long-term viability and sustainability. The board should be focused on creating the future in partnership with the CEO. It is imperative for the board to continually push to be more strategic and less reactive.
  5. Mind Set Matters: Amateur vs. Professional In an recent blog post I talked about the difference between being an amateur vs. a professional.  If your board is ready to become governance professionals, take your first step on the yellow brick road.  Share the CMM with your board and have an honest conversation about where you are on your path to excellence and develop some proactive steps to get to the next level.

If I’ve piqued your interest, I provide a lot more detail about The Path to Excellence, in this quick on-demand webinar.

You can also download the details of the Path to Excellence here.

If you’d like to put a bit of a spring in your step, indulge yourself for .59 seconds.

And if your mind goes where mine naturally does, here’s another to brighten your day (don’t be afraid to sing along).