How might we use the habits and mindsets of designers to reimagine the future of our school?
Ready to chart the next phase in its history, Head-Royce School partnered with Leadership+Design in 2015-2016 to engage in a highly collaborative, human-centered year-long strategic planning process. The school assembled an inclusive team of school and community stakeholders to lead the effort, a group that began by generating the big, "beautiful" questions that would guide their research into the challenges and opportunities facing their school. Before launching their research, the group also carefully considered the school's unique history and its context in the larger Oakland community.
The committee then divided into smaller groups to engage in extensive empathy work around topics they had identified as important to the future of the school, including wellness, 21st-century teaching and learning, space and place, community outreach, and inclusion. They got out of the committee room and dove deep into the life of the school, observing, interviewing and collecting stories to bring back and share with the larger team. In order to gather as many perspectives as possible, the committee also conducted parent and faculty think tanks. This work surfaced human needs, around which the committee worked together to develop strategic goals and generate several possible strategic initiatives for the school moving forward. Throughout the process, feedback was solicited and incorporated in the plan as it evolved. Thanks to a highly inclusive strategic planning process, Head-Royce is now well-equipped to embark on its next chapter under new leadership.
Experience Designer: Carla Silver