The Head's Tales: Think Big Act small

As St. Margaret's begins to build on its strength and implement its Strategic Plan, I have come to realize the importance of "THINK BIG but act small".  Our wonderful learning community, which is comprised of nearly 400 girls from ECE to Grade 12, allows us the privilege of knowing all of our girls (their strengths, their aspirations and even their fears/challenges) and personalizing their learning to meet their unique needs. We maintain a balance between aspiring toward a big cause and still focusing on the "essentials." This is what sets us apart from our competitors.
As organizations strive to become bigger, seek out efficiencies and offer more choices, smaller companies focus on upserving rather than upselling its clients.  This is an important distinction as a small organization recognizes the importance of remaining committed to its core purpose, keeping the needs of its clients at the foreground of its decisions, and finally being responsive and transparent in dealing with challenges and embracing new opportunities. Smaller organizations tend to focus on:

Value creation - creating value by anticipating and satisfying customer needs.

Entrepreneurship - developing a sense of urgency and a risk-taking mentality that is anticipatory of new opportunities.

Customer focus – understanding and building relationships that align expectations with realistic options.

Knowledge - constantly seeking out new and innovative ways of doing things.

Change - recognizing that the status quo and holding on to the past is not going to necessarily ready you for the future.

Humility - minimizing egos, practicing teamwork and inviting suggestions from everyone.

Shared ownership - being transparent with challenges but also inviting everyone to be part of the solution.

St. Margaret’s differentiates itself from others by frequently re-evaluating its capabilities and discussing ways in which the school can develop unique offerings that set us apart from our competitors. It is not because we are an all girl school that sets us apart; rather, what makes us unique is what we get to do because we are an all girl school. We recognize the importance of relevance, flexibility and adaptability as we navigate the new educational landscape.

Suggested readings: 
Think Big, Act Small   by Jason Jennings
Bigger Isn’t Always Better by Robert M. Tomasko
 

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