Written by: Ted Stilwill
Shannon has already mentioned in her introductory blog that Snow Consulting occupies the “middle space” between the initial visioning that drives project planning and the actual execution of the project. As a team, we are also committed to three critical issues that drive our work in that middle space. We know that we will have to know about the details that shape our client’s program direction as well as the client’s philosophy and strategies for operations. But we also believe that we have to gain a third important client perspective. We call it community, and it is our client’s grounded commitment to the stakeholders that they ultimately serve. I would like to single out that community perspective for comment today and we will take up other perspectives in future posts.
For educational institutions, community is where they hope to have both immediate and long-range impact. For a non-profit or early childhood provider, community may be the families in a neighborhood. For a school district it may be the district’s students and their families. For community colleges, their impact directly affects students as well as the economic potential of the region. In my personal experience, the strength and effectiveness of the community connection is the most critical factor for achieving success in education. The community connection means that the educational institution has data, stories and relationships that help them to understand and connect with their community.
We help clients nurture that unique community focus and establish important partnerships whatever their community, because an effective educational organization has a truly symbiotic relationship with its community. Snow Consulting is committed to using both objective data and personal perspectives from the client and from community to help guide the success of any project.
Ted Stilwill is a Senior Project Facilitator with Snow Consulting Services. He has worked in education at the local, state and national level. He most recently headed the Learning Community in Omaha, Nebraska.