We often forget that schools are often like businesses and need the same consulting when they are dealing with mergers and acquisitions. Re-establishing the culture is critical, but we need to also plan for steps to help build up that desired culture. The challenges we often see are the lack of strategies and planning that happens with school mergers or acquisition. Here are some quick tips to best address the challenges and rebuild a strong school culture.
Merger and Acquisition Plan
1- Asses your leadership team: Who will be leading the school, what are their leadership style, what will be the new mission and vision
2-Go back to the foundations: Have a series of meetings to establish the values, mission, vision, and strategic goals for the school.
3- Keep educators, staff, and parents informed of the changes: Have town hall meetings, set up an online Q&A, build a online community to share the updates and process for the merger. Be open, clear, and consistent with your information.
4- Find different channels to communicate the change and strategic plan: Use email, letters, calls, and meetings to communicate the steps to merger the schools.
5- Greet anger, confusion, and frustration with empathy: Listen to the angry complaints and come from a place of care to address people. People resist change and helping that process the emotions will help gain-buy in and transition the school more peacefully.
6- Facilitate a leadership meeting to rebuild the team: Leaders need to re-establish trust, learn each others strengths and weaknesses to help each other through the merger and plan for the years ahead.
7- Create a Change Agent committee to support the changes along the way: Have them handle questions from educators or parents. Have them roll out the communication items and next calls to action.
8- Plan for opportunities and challenges: Have a meeting to discuss all the items that would bring value or hold the school back. Then create a plan of attack to best prepare for the challenges and proactively open your schools to be ready for the opportunities.
9-Celebrate successes along the way: Having mini celebrations or incentives when you reach milestones can help your team stay motivation.
10- Be consistent with your message: The less ambiguity in your process and change, the less resistance, and confusion you will bring to the school. Be structured and clear in your delivery.
These are some simple steps to help with school mergers or acquisition. Bring in help to consult and facilitate the process to ensure a smoother more successful process.
Until Next Time…