The Leading Edge where Mission Meets Market

I am deeply concerned that we currently have too many over-generalized, non-distinct, smallish private schools and colleges, with limited resources. They are all trying to find a way to preserve or return to a past that is declining. There simply won’t be room for all of them.

Ian Symmonds

Edge Presentation at National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Conference

What is a school to do?

Ian Symmonds advises finding the sweet spot where the needs of your market intersect with your school’s mission. With ongoing scenario building, a school can take full advantage of major shifts coming to education.

In this session, Ian Symmonds will review the trends he sees impacting education and the criteria for school growth and change. In identifying differences between red ocean and blue ocean strategy, the session will prompt participants to think of ways their school could break out of accepted boundaries within the educational industry that dictate the way we compete.

Elizabeth Hofreuter, Head of School, and Luke Hladek, Director of Advancement, will present the case of using COVID 19 as an accelerant at Wheeling Country Day School (WCDS) to develop a new revenue center to sustain the school and evolve student impact. As a small school (less than 250 students) in a declining demographic market, WCDS has become an innovative disruptor by leveraging technology to deliver specialized tutoring services through out-of-school networks in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. This innovation has had a multiplier effect on the campus and through their newly branded Edge division of the school. The pair will present their scenario planning, pitfalls and successes so participants can identify possible similarities in their own schools and learn to take on the task themselves.

We will turn to our audience to share their experiences of growth and/or aversion to risk to widen the breadth of perspectives and lessons learned. This in turn will grow the network of support for scenario planning.

By the end of the session, participants will better understand the trends affecting education and the plans other schools are making to strategically grow their programming and revenue. They will leave with a set of action steps for scenario planning and blue ocean thinking around school or program growth.

Watch Ian’s Interview with Paul LeBlanc About Innovation