I am not a big fan of the education system. I don’t know whether it is the fact that my children spend more time with strangers than they do with me, or that some teachers just seem to have been born to be teachers and I could not see them functioning in the real world on the outside of a school (this from a man married to a teacher by the way), but it doesn’t usually excite me or tick any of my boxes.
However, on my youngest son’s parents evening this week, I was very impressed with one aspect of the process.
For each teacher, once we found them dotted around a big school (in my day they all used to sit in the school hall) they would sit us down and give us some general feedback, and then the process became very interesting. They move on to talking about the targets that they had set for Sam when he completes his GCSE’s in four years’ time, where he was now in relation to that target now and how they expected him to get there between now and then.
The school sets targets! The children know about the targets and are coached by the teachers to achieve them. The parents are involved with those targets and encouraged by the school to monitor progress.
The school is acting as any sensible business owner should act in relation to the growth of their business. I am genuinely, amazingly and surprisingly impressed.
One of my sayings is that there is ‘No Treasure Without Measure’. The school know what treasure they want my son to achieve and they are measuring his progress towards that goal, with support all of the way. This is absolutely brilliant.
How about you? Have you set targets for one years’ time, two years’ time and five years’ time? Are you working alongside a coach or a consultant to show you how to reach those targets, to set short term and long term goals on the way to those targets? If you are, you are probably a million times better placed to achieve them than those who write a ‘wishy washy’ five year plan, then put it back in their top drawer and never review it until five years’ later, if they are still in business at that point that is.
All of my consultancy clients have financial and other targets which are at the top of the Marketing Action Plan I review with them each and every month. They can’t hide from the targets that they have set as they know I will be measuring and monitoring progress towards them. They understand that there is a possibility that they might not hit them, but they also know that there is a real possibility that they might exceed them and have to set new, bigger targets.
I have a lot more respect for the education system taking care of my son now, and I hope that it shows you that if an educationary establishment can set and monitor goals, you should be able to do the same for your own practice. Doing so is a very smart thing to do.
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