Strategic Agility in Practice | Teachers College Columbia University

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Strategic Agility in Practice:
Leading Change in Uncertain Times in K12 Educational Organizations

April 27 - 28, 2020

April 27, 2020 - April 28, 2020

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9:00am - 5:00pm EST each day
Teachers College, Columbia University
New York, NY

Registration Fee: $1,295

Includes continental breakfast and lunch both days.

Group/Team Discount (2 or more): Contact

Units Awarded: 12 Clock Hours, 12 CTLEs

This workshop is limited to 35 registrants

Learning to lead change is a critical area of professional growth for school leaders. The challenges of thinking and executing strategically have perhaps never been as pervasive as they are now. In today's organizational environment characterized by intensifying change, uncertainty, and ambiguity, how do school administrators create value for children, families, teachers, and administrators in K12 schools?

Strategic Agility in Practice provides K12 school administrators with the tools, practices, and skills to lead change initiatives successfully by strategically repositioning their organizations to become more competitive in terms of 1) student enrollment and demographics, and 2) talent recruitment, management, and retention. Strategic agility is the ability of leaders to respond in real-time to change and uncertainty, consciously using tools and practices to effectively apply strategic thinking for institutional learning and creating innovative solutions that establish a sustainable advantage for their education organizations. Specifically, Strategic Agility in Practice supports administrators to engage in strategic thinking and strategic learning in ways that impact both organizational development and personal leadership development simultaneously.

On the individual level, participants experience personal benefits through reflective practice, exposure to the latest research, analysis of multiple leadership inventories, and exposure to divergent points of view. On the organizational level, participants work alongside colleagues to simultaneously learn, apply, and adapt strategic agility tools and strategies for common problems of practice, including: enrollment and changing demographics, leading change initiatives, and talent management.

Examples of applications of the tools and practices in educational institutions are provided throughout this hands-on two-day workshop.

Strategic Agility in Practice builds leaders’ capacity for strategic thinking, skill development, and a greater openness to leading school improvement and change initiatives.

This two-day program provides participants with the tools and practices to effectively apply strategic thinking for organizational learning and creating innovative solutions that establish a sustainable advantage for their organizations. The participants will leave with an enhanced ability and practical tools to apply these practices in their organizations, specifically in the areas of: 1) student enrollment and demographics, and 2) talent recruitment, management, and retention.

Built around frameworks tested and applied in a range of organizational and institutional settings, this program helps participants to apply key strategic learning tools and practices for creating strategic insights, identify the most important stakeholder or member of the stakeholder value chain, and foster alignment for leading strategic change.

SESSION TOPICS will include:

  • The implications of complexity and ambiguity for strategic thinking and innovation
  • Problems when organizations do not think strategically
  • Overcoming the paradox of experience: Key strategic learning practices
  • Understanding the real competitive advantage
  • Strategic Visualization and Innovation
  • The importance of understanding an organization’s value chain in developing effective strategies
  • Moving from a strategic mindset to organizational innovation, alignment, and strategy execution
  • Overcoming resistance to change
  • Integrating strategic learning tools into existing organizational structures of K12 schools
  • Case studies from K12 educational settings (traditional public, charter, private, independent) focusing on the issues of 1) student enrollment and demographics, and 2) talent recruitment, management, and retention.

During the program you will learn and experience:

  • An improved capability for using strategic thinking tools and practices
  • Building enhanced capacity for strategic alignment
  • An approach for leading strategic conversations
  • Identifying the Most Important Stakeholder in your organization's Value Chain
  • A method for determining your organization's Value Curve to identify your strategic Elements of Performance
  • Finding your Strategic Mindset Skills and Competencies
  • Assessing your organization's strategic innovation culture
  • Strategic approaches to managing change initiatives relating to 1) student enrollment and demographics, and 2) talent recruitment, management, and retention.

Key Takeaways include:

  • Enhanced capacity to think strategically and to learn from experience
  • Practical tools for thinking strategically and overcoming organizational barriers to gaining alignment and execution
  • Heightened observation and questioning capability to reveal strategic opportunities
  • A strategic mindset for creating breakthrough innovation and proving stakeholders value
  • Action plan for your organization to manage change initiatives relating to student enrollment and/or teacher recruitment and retention


Lyle Yorks

Professor, Department of Organization and Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University 

Lyle teaches courses in adult learning, strategy development as an organization learning process, strategic human resource development, and research. He is also a lecturer in the Executive Master of Science Program in Technology Management at the School of Professional Studies, Columbia University where he teaches a course in Strategic Advocacy. Lyle has over 30 years of experience working with organizations in diverse industries,including higher education, worldwide on projects involving action learning, strategic organizational change, and management development. Lyle earned his master degrees from Vanderbilt University and Columbia University and his doctorate from Columbia University.

Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg

Executive Director, Arete Education

Sarah serves as the executive director of Areté Education (Areté), a 501(C)3 corporation which extends the traditional school day, week, and year with enhanced learning experiences for youth in historically marginalized communities. As Executive Director of Areté, Sarah leads a team of dedicated educators, youth workers, and advocates for community and educational change in the Bronx and Harlem. At Teachers College, Columbia University, Sarah served as a professor for aspiring school leaders and as the Associate Director of the college’s Urban Education Leaders Collaborative, developing and delivering professional learning programming for district-level and building-level leaders in schools across the country on a vast range of topics relevant to leaders in urban public schools. Sarah brings over 20 years of professional experience as an educator, administrator, researcher, and advocate in P12 public education. Sarah earned her masters degrees from Columbia University and Tufts University and her doctorate from Columbia University.


This program is for high potential leaders, including Principals, Superintendents, Administrators, and Executive Directors, in positions requiring enhanced strategic thinking or who are transitioning into new roles requiring them to move from making tactical to strategic decisions in an institutional environment of increasing complexity and ambiguity. Leaders of public and private P12 organizations are encouraged to attend.

Continuing Education

Participants who successfully complete the workshop will receive 12 Clock Hours, 12 CTLEs and a Certificate of Participation.

Please note, we are not able to offer partial Clock Hours or CTLEs for those who cannot attend the full workshop.


"I found the content interesting and engaging. The tools and strategies are practical for thinking through the process of developing change in my school, and in myself as a leader."

"Directly connects to the work my school needs to take on. Great tools to move the conversation forward."

"Very relevant. I am in a huge change process at my school."

"I learned many new tools that I will use with my leadership team"

"I recommend this to anyone who has even the slightest interest in strategic planning/innovation."

"I am happy to have an action plan drafted and a colleague with whom I can process and put everything to use."

"The workshop was more about mindset and tools to move toward that mindset. Very helpful to our work."

"Adapt or die! I recommend one person from our admin goes each year."

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