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Karl Springer, the superintendent of the Oklahoma City Public Schools (http://www.okcps.org/) shared that implementing a simple action as a response to their Support Card finding has completely changed the culture in the district.

The action? The Ten Foot, Five Foot Rule

What is it? Within ten foot of an individual you should acknowledge the individual with some expression, e.g., make eye contact, nod, smile, wave; and within five foot of an individual you should acknowledge the individual verbally.

Check out this YouTube Video about the Rule (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiRg9OIp-Q4).


As the author describes in the video, most companies incorporate the 10’ – 5’ Rule into their interactions with customers. He says, “Imagine if everyone you worked with greeted you every morning when you came to work or they smiled at you every time they walked by them in the hall…”

The cultural change in Oklahoma City Public Schools is an example of what can happen if this simple rule is what employees do every day. The District’s Support Services Survey results show the difference – a 7.8% increase in the overall mean and a 9.2% increase in the “attitude” construct (4.02 out of 5.00) between January 2012 and October 2012. Congratulations to OCPS employees for taking action to make the district and your schools a better place to work.




Hyken, Shelp. Ten Foot Five Foot Rule With a Twist. Available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiRg9OIp-Q4.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. To do this we work with school boards, leaders, and teachers to apply Evidence-Based continuous improvement processes and the principles from How to Lead Teachers to Become Great in their districts to get the best student learning results and create results-oriented school cultures. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.