Thursday, February 7


Last week, I helped the leaders of the International School of Belgrade (ISB) develop their vision, refine their mission, and identify strategies to achieve them. I began the process with a brief introductory email survey with members of the board of directors and administrative team. This survey focused on key strategic questions to help me better understand the school's issues, provide context for the planning documents I had been sent, build buy-in to the process, and begin to develop a relationship with school leaders.

Once I arrived, I conducted one-on-one interviews with each board member and met with the admin team to listen for where there was consensus and where there was not. By the time we met for the day and a half retreat, I had been able to summarize what I heard in a set of draft documents that included a shared 10-point vision, a mission statement, 6 strategic issues and 18 month key strategic priorities. We used these documents as a springboard for discussion and decision-making at the retreat, resulting in a clear, compelling vision for the school and agreed-upon strategies and action steps to real-ize its vision and mission.

I felt a real sense of accomplishment to wrap up the retreat with board members asserting that their highest hopes had been surpassed. Helping people in organizations work with purpose and harmony. What could be better?

In addition, I got to work with some amazing folks who treated me with the greatest generosity and kindness. I got to see Belgrade from the inside. And I had some really serendipitous moments, such as being a guest in an authentic pizza parlor packed with Italian diplomats and reporters the night the Italian government fell.

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