Speaker: Randy Dowell, Executive Director, KIPP Nashville
You recently used Possip to ask your team what could be taken off their plates. What was the inspiration for this question?
Randy Dowell: in the fall, we were leading arc of the year reviews of all of our schools and through those, I realized that our team had created a volume of work for teachers that was just bureaucratic and weighing people down and preventing our teachers from doing the things that mattered most. And making their worlds much more complicated than they needed to be, you know, the real job that matters most is, you know, being able to help every child grow every single day in every single class. And so I wanted to ask our teachers, hey, what can we remove from your plate that distracts you from these things? And I was originally gonna send an email to everybody and just ask that question, but then my Chief Talent Officer was like, don't do that, you'll get a huge volume and it'll be tough to manage. Let's run this through Possip. And so that's what we did, we did a Staff Pulse Check to ask that question. We got amazing feedback. It was really helpful, changed a lot of the way we do things in a very quick quick order. That's been really healthy.
How did you act on the results of the question?
Randy Dowell: So before asking the Pulse Check question, my team committed that we're going to act on the results. We just weren't sure what the results were going to be but that we were, it was important that we be definitive and act and act swiftly and with resolute commitment. So we, within two weeks, what we had done after receiving the results, my team broke them into four buckets and basically said, here's how we think we want to prioritize these, We met with principals got their feedback on the priorities we set and then we just started saying, okay, here's the things we can pull off the list. Here's the things we can maybe stop doing permanently. Here's some things we can stop temporarily and just push pause on. And then I sent a note to the entire team saying you're going to expect these changes at the high school level, at middle school level, and the elementary school level. And I gave them a date by which those would start. All of their principals then had team meetings prior to that date to let everyone know specifically on the ground at our school here's what these changes mean for us.
What has been the long-term impact of that question in your network of schools?
Randy Dowell: The biggest impact of asking that question has been just modeling for the leaders on my team that we can and should be listening to our teammates who are closest to the most important work. And that most important work is making sure that every child is growing in every single class every single day. And so that's our teachers, right? And our, our staff that are in classrooms and we should be asking them for feedback and then we should be acting on it and, and really pushing as many, kind of meaningful, really important questions down to that level so that our people that are kind of closest to the most important actions in our organization have a say, and what I've seen as a result of just this one exercise doing this this one time, I think it's, it's created a bit of a positive, cycle, where I've seen principals begin doing that more and I think that's been healthy. I've heard it from teachers. They definitely appreciate being seen and being considered and being heard.