Jul 25, 2014

Summer Reflection, Analysis, and Planning

When I started in my career in education, the summer was a time of great reflection, analysis, and subsequent planning. At least, it seemed that way to me.  That was in the late 1980’s and it was, admitted, a different world then.  It was a less complex, noisy, and interrupted world in which I operate in today.

From a strategic standpoint, things seemed to move slowly on campus from mid June to mid August, giving our teams an opportunity to get off campus and plan accordingly.  We took retreats – which I now call “advances” – and built team energy around goals.  We analyzed our data and results from the year and learned important lessons.  And, we responded accordingly, making choices about how the year would be different and how we should marshall our limited resources.  

We live in a crowded world with crowded schedules.  I am seeing fewer schools and colleges do the important work of summer reflection, analysis, and planning simply because there are too many competing interests.  On many campuses, there is still a new student class to marshall to the school.  And, there are still faculty to hire and key personnel decisions to be made.  Regardless of the challenges, the need for reflection and planning does not go away.  I actually believe that it increases with the noise in our lives and schedule.  

Depending upon where you live, you have between a week and a month or so of summer left.  Use it wisely and make sure you get that needed reflection, analysis, and planning done while there is still some time. If not, then make sure you build it into your quarterly workflow for the year.  

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