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Maximize PerformanceSo, we’ve set goals, determined the aligned strategic actions, and provided the development and coaching needed to support leaders to perform. To get results, people need to apply the standardized behaviors consistently and well. The goal is to shift validation from compliance only to a quarterly review of the individual execution of the action.

Validation is a formal process for leaders to determine how well “Always Behaviors” are being carried out. Are they being executed with high quality and producing the expected results? Below is a review of the validation process using leader Rounding as an example:

Dr. Steve Sperry is director of administrative and human resources in the School district of Janesville, Janesville, Wisconsin. In that role, Dr. Sperry supervises and evaluates school leaders. Each semester, he presents a leader rounding schedule to school leaders that defines expectations for the number of times school leaders will round with staff. Dr. Sperry validates in two ways: at a monthly meeting and by accompanying school principals on their rounds. School leaders are expected to keep a rounding log for each rounding session and to post and update a Stoplight Report, which includes the status of processes that can be improved and the resources needed.

At the meeting, Dr. Sperry verifies the number of teachers and staff on the rounding log and then asks the leader, “What are the main things you have learned from this past 45 days after rounding with teachers and staff? “What are the wins?” What areas are of greatest concern?” In this way, he engages the school leader in a process-improvement conversation by capitalizing on the wins and nothing the issues. The school leaders have a meeting with an action plan for engaging teachers and staff to create improvements.

So, why is validation important? Here’s what Studer and Pilcher have learned: Solid and high-performing leaders want validation processes in place because they realize it makes them better and more accountable. They’ve also learned, at first, superintendents and senior leadership teams tend not to see the need for validating. When results slip, one quickly realizes that the missing piece of the puzzle is a clear validation process for those actions and processes, in which doing them always is the only option.

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Maximize Performance: Creating a Culture for Educational Excellence by Quint Studer and Janet Pilcher will help education leaders engage in systematic reviews to diagnose, apply, assess, and validate the execution of strategies across school, department, and school system levels. Learn more about Maximize Performance at
http://www.firestarterpublishing.com/MaximizePerformance. Follow the authors on Twitter using @quint_studer and @janetpilcher.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems 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. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.