Leadership Blog

Strategy Now Focuses On Change

Nothing could be more true for K-12 education than this by a team of seasoned management consultants writing in the MIT Sloan Management Review: A fundamental assumption underlying traditional approaches to strategy is that industry boundaries and economics remain broadly stable over time. This assumption is no longer realistic... Change, not stability, are the key drivers for most organizations today, and that was true even before the triple tectonic shifts of 2020: pandemic, economic disruption, and acceleration of the long battle against social injustice.

Tue May 14 08:39 AM

Real Change , Even in the First Year of a New School Leader

Four years ago when I published #EdJourney, I posited that significant changes at individual schools might take place over a period of 3-15 years, depending on leadership, intentionality, and focus. I have really never seen an example of significant change (other than in schools where a wolf is at the door) in the first year of a new principal or head of school. New leaders almost always use that first year to listen and learn the culture of the school, which is not only good, but very much in line with what we see as the successful “architect-leader”. Until now.

Tue Apr 09 08:29 AM

Superintendent Position Announcement

By: Dr. James Hutto, Superintendent Search Consultant McPherson & Jacobson, LLC

Tue Mar 19 09:25 AM

What Super Bowl Commercials Teach Education About Media and Product Literacy

Let’s be honest. Taylor Swift aside, it seems that Super Bowl viewers are divided by those watching the game versus the commercials. And the commercials in this month’s (2024) Super Bowl seemed to bring out more “Stars” than usual: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Tom Brady, JLo, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Jenna Ortega, Chris Pratt, Addison Rae, Jelly Roll, Judge Judy, Ice Spice, Lionel Messi, Kate McKinnon, Vince Vaughn, Quinta Brunson, Wayne Gretzky, Christopher Walken, and more.

Tue Feb 27 08:50 AM

The Teachable Leader

Leadership is a generally broad concept that has been extensively examined, variously defined, and vigorously debated. Studies of leadership have produced multiple theories focusing on style, level of performance, a particular set of observable character traits, and numerous other variables believed to be associated with effective leadership. As interesting and entertaining as some of these theories may be, those of us who have had the opportunity to occupy the seat, with our name on the letterhead, know all too well that it is more often the practical and not necessarily the theoretical that will carry the day in real time and in the real world. We have all likely been confronted with situations that somehow were not covered in our graduate studies, the latest books we’ve read, or that seminar we recently attended. Oftentimes, when these situations arise we find ourselves smack-dab in the middle of one of leadership’s teachable moments and we better learn the lesson well.

Tue Feb 06 10:28 AM

Look Ahead 2024!

For those of us who have had the privilege to serve, we know that leadership is far more than a designated position or title. We clearly recognize that effective leadership also entails its own unique set of challenges, some universal and others unique to specific roles, responsibilities, and work environments. These emerging and presenting challenges can be both highly complex and numerous, requiring a healthy perspective, perseverance under pressure and ultimately the sheer courage to lead!

Wed Jan 17 09:22 AM

season's greetings
Season’s Greetings and Appreciations!

Over the course of this past year, we have continued to witness the innovative and compassionate response of educators across the nation as they continue to accommodate the educational and social needs of their student populations.

Tue Dec 05 07:54 AM

Give Thanks
Happy Thanksgiving from The Akribos Group!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Akribos Group! May the holiday bring you good things in abundance that stay with you all year long!

Wed Nov 22 07:37 AM

Three Truths
Three Truths for the Future of Education

We are living through an inflection point— a wake-up call, a call that has the potential to bring about a fundamental reordering and rebuilding of the entire education system. In the third decade of the twenty-first century, it is reasonable to expect that all children should have free access to a system of learning that is grounded in the latest research for how human beings learn, grow, and thrive, and one that mirrors, honors, and nurtures all children. It is also reasonable to expect that all adults within that system of learning are provided the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive as the mission driven professionals they are.

Tue Nov 07 12:52 PM

Twelve Critical Components for (Continuous) School, Staff, and Student Improvement: Motivation Cannot Compensate for a System with Systemic Deficits
Twelve Critical Components for (Continuous) School, Staff, and Student Improvement: Motivation Cannot Compensate for a System with Systemic Deficits

While I love to celebrate the successes attained by the students, staff, and schools that I work with as a consultant, part of my job is to focus on the “half-empty” glasses, facilitating the processes needed to “fill them to the top.”

Tue Sep 26 09:21 AM

new way
Our World Needs a New Taxonomy of Learning Imperatives

As we get ready for the new school year, I want to share this with you in case you did not see it at the beginning of summer. I won’t re-state my argument here; just click through to this article that I published in June via Next Gen Learning Challenge. The big question that I hope you will ponder: Might it be time to refresh education around a taxonomy that addresses today’s hurdles and biggest learning challenges? Should we not retire what was, in essence, the taxonomy of the Industrial Age learning imperatives... With one that addresses the realities of today and tomorrow?

Mon Aug 28 08:08 PM


The Alabama School Grant Consortia Program is a partnership between the Alabama Association of School Boards, the Winning Grants Institute, and The University of Alabama Center for Community-Based Partnerships. The program is based on a concept model that has demonstrated highly successful outcomes in a multiyear delivery system. The program facilitator is David G. Bauer, acclaimed author and grants trainer.

Tue Aug 15 09:41 AM

Designing For Civility

A key takeaway from Wisdom Road is not a surprise: America has seen a dramatic loss of civil discourse in the last decade. The skills and practice of civility itself have become endangered by a toxic stew of political, social, and opinion-masquerading-as-news media. I believe that the very foundations of our democratic society are rooted in civility. Without the ability to be human with each other, not through digital interfaces, but face-to-face with others with whom we may have significant disagreements, the system is destined to fail.

Tue Jul 18 08:35 AM

The Winning Grants Institute
The Winning Grants Strategy & Process

Giving USA 2023: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2022 has just been released and the latest data on charitable giving is exciting. It is important that school districts throughout Alabama know these grant facts so that they can develop successful strategies to tap these remarkable sources of funds that never need to be repaid. Alabama school districts need to rid themselves of the notion that grant seeking is too much work and that failure is a given no matter what.

Tue Jun 27 08:32 AM

Dr. Amy D McFarland

The Akribos Group is pleased to announce that Dr. Amy D McFarland has joined our team of Professional Associates. Dr. McFarland received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Washington State University and holds a Master of Arts in teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Puget Sound.

Tue Jun 13 08:42 AM

Leading Change: What Will You STOP Doing in the Year Ahead?

By: Julie Jungalwala (formerly Wilson), Recognized Thought Leader and Akribos Guest Contributor The summer professional development season is upon us and I have been enjoying working with several schools as they continue the work of translating their pedagogical and curricular vision into reality. A key part of this work is deciding on the work to be done - all while holding it lightly and with a spirit of iteration. During these conversations, we typically add things to be done - very rarely do we discuss what we might stop doing. A helpful exercise I often facilitate is called KEEP/STOP/ START. Try it with yourself and your team and commit to the changes that emerge :)

Tue May 09 08:51 AM

Leadership Qualitites
Becoming The Leader Your School Needs

You’re still celebrating being named to a new leadership role in your district and you’re ready to get to work and move your school(s) forward … now is the time to consider your strengths and weaknesses carefully and to introspectively analyze your leadership style.

Tue Apr 18 09:03 AM

The Winning Grants Institute
The Winning Grants Institute

Grant dollars have always been available for K-12, but I would submit that we are seeing a record amount of grant dollars being announced by multiple funding sources. What problem or challenge would you solve if you had the money? Those funds are likely available in the form of a grant.

Wed Apr 05 09:29 AM


Team building is an essential component in industry and in education. Teams offer a systematic structure to address prevent and solve many of the problems we face in education today that are too difficult for one person or one group to solve.

Tue Mar 21 12:05 PM

So What Now What
"So What Now What"

A flashback from Dr. Kevin Elko, Guest Contributor

Tue Feb 28 08:15 AM