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Can a Positive School Culture Emulate a Positive Corporate Culture?

When asked what we could do better to win our game of water polo, the coach said, “Get more goals than them.”

He was correct, but he didn’t answer the question. He focused on the word “win” not “do”.

What the team was asking is what can we do differently to change the outcome. What skillset, physical or mental, can we utilise that will give us the advantage to score the goals needed to then win the game.

All too often the focus of a school is to score more goals. In most cases, the goals are the NAPLAN results. We focus on specific knowledge deficits in the hope of bolstering the outcomes. Sometimes to the detriment of other skill processes.

There is a myriad of numeracy and literacy programs that can support student performance, but I believe there is an area that is overlooked that can be a game-changer – School Culture.

Companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple invest heavily in maintaining a Positive Culture that creates the results that deliver the purpose. And it is more than table tennis and chill-out zones. It is about creating a culture where people are encouraged to speak up, be creative, be trusted, experiment, and most of all be empowered.

An article by Tiny Pulse about the Top 10 Google Culture attributes highlighted two of the most important qualities of culture:

Open Communication

Communicates Core Values Clearly

Both of these are necessary for any culture. Easy to say. Hard to do.

Schools can emulate Corporate Culture, but not to the same financial extent. Schools can achieve the same cultural outcomes – happy, empowered staff making a difference to students' lives by using the Five Fundamentals of a Positive School Culture:

Purpose, People, Process, Communication, and Reflection.

As the model above illustrates, Communication and Reflection are constantly supporting the drivers of outcomes, Purpose, People, and Process.

By working on school culture, we can change the outcomes and improve the results.

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