Pre-season training – Development plan or no development plan?

Where are we going? I discovered this wandering around Brunei recently

Where are we going this year? I discovered this wandering around Brunei recently, a great name for a road

I’ve just been putting together the finishing touches of a rough draft of my own development plan for this year. This isn’t the whole school one but obviously there will be more than a degree of overlap. As part of this process I have been looking again at the one I completed last year, as the year progressed I was continuously reviewing this perhaps apart from the last 5 weeks of term. Looking at this again now over the summer has been interesting food for thought, here are some reflections in no particular order.

80% Completion rate – is that good?

I actually only completed around 80% of the development plan, the remaining 20% now a year later is neither needed nor relevant any more. Is this a bad thing? Does it mean that that I didn’t complete my development plan accurately in the first place? Overall I am pleased with what has been achieved but whilst reviewing this it is a good opportunity to actually spend time on looking at that remaining 20% because the are some important lessons to learn here with areas that didn’t work which will influence this years plan.

“The journey is better than the inn at the end” Cervantes

I have always liked this quote and it is certainly true about a development plan, what is most interesting about last year’s plan is that even though 80% of my objectives have been achieved and some even surpassed probably only half of these were achieved in the way that I first planned out. Once again does this mean that the plan wasn’t ‘right’ in the first place? However by setting the strategic goals at the beginning and working in creative ways to get there has meant that I have learnt much more from the progress over the year than the end result.

Convergence and Divergence a-plenty!

This reminds me of a diagram I saw a long time ago I think whilst completing NPQH but I am not sure who this is by sorry but is a diagram looking at Learning as a change process. Throughout the journey of changing there will always be times when you move away or change direction from your journey but there is nothing wrong with this.

What do you think of this?

What do you think of this?

Looking back over last year there have been many examples of this and it important to allow this to happen, to have the courage to not stick to the plan and be flexible. When this has happened it has led to something else exciting to develop.

How do you get ready for the new year?

Whether you write yourself a development plan or not what is important as an effective leader is to devote some thinking time to reflect on the longer game and your own personal leadership development. I write the development plan but as part of this it is a time for me to reflect on three core areas:

My values

My vision

My Leadership journey

I do this actively by verbalising and recording my vision and values and look to see if they have changed over time. To review and top up my leadership development I read over my leadership journey as a senior leader through courses with the National College, NPQH & Headstart and think about where I am going next.

Whilst doing this today I read through the old publication from the Hay Group The ins and outs of successful leadership’ it is worth a quick read.

Good food for thought

Good food for thought

How do prepare as a leader for the new academic year?


on “Pre-season training – Development plan or no development plan?
4 Comments on “Pre-season training – Development plan or no development plan?
  1. I agree with your approach and find this process energising also.

    Our values are constantly challenged by change (new opportunities) and we need to be close to them.

    Plans are good when they’re cogent, flexible and driven by the right foci from evaluation.

    A school development plan can only succeed when colleagues understand their unique role and are actively involved in making it happen in their daily working practice.

    Our job is to create a culture that enables this.

  2. Interestingly I was just under 80% also, with some partial completed tasks also. Last year we moved to Schoolip – starting with the Academies priorities, all additional aims were mapped to those signposts. With a section for impact – it was clear that work expenditure and impact were rarely congruent.

  3. I completely agree an integral part of the successful implementation is through a shared vision and ‘connected’ daily working practice. I think having a sophisticated information system can help connect the dots for you. Thanks for the comment

  4. Thanks for the comment – I feel better that you also achieved around 80%. I wonder if this is ‘normal’ whatever that is. Have heard of Schoolip how is it going? We use Bluesky. I agree as you say it is important to ensure the impact is there.

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