innovatED Magazine - Issue 3 - Autumn 2019


A lively mix of news, articles, opinion, research, insight and regulatory updates. We take a global perspective and bring the latest developments and outstanding practice from across the world and across different sectors to enable educators to deliver the very best for their pupils. Produced by an experienced and knowledgeable teaching and school leadership team, innovatED is a termly must-read for all staff rooms.

An approach to considering your ‘Vision, Values and Strategy’

Why we start with WHY?


I don’t know how many school open events you may have attended, but in my

time, I have been to many and have led many too. I have also read countless

glossy prospectuses and navigated my way around many an interactive

website. All schools do a great job of highlighting and showing us WHAT they

do and many are able to explain to us HOW they do this, but it is the truly

outstanding schools that draw us in by articulating WHY they do it.

Cath Bufton-Green

ISP Network Chairwoman

Simon Sinek’s philosophy in his best-selling

book ‘Start with Why’ (2011) resonates as a great

model for arriving at a school’s vision, values and

strategy. It focuses on starting from the inside out

and taking the time to focus on the WHY – the

purpose, cause or belief for your school and its


WHAT - Your offering

HOW - The Process


do you do

what you do?

Why start with WHY?

Those who start with WHY never manipulate,

they inspire and provide people with a sense of

purpose or belonging

People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY

you do it

Our WHY is offered as the reason to join our

school and the WHAT serves as the proof

Knowing our WHY is essential for continuing

success and helps a school avoid being

lumped in with others

The WHY wins hearts before minds

When a WHY is clear, those who share the

belief will be drawn to it and want to be a part

of bringing it to life

A clear sense of WHY sets expectations.

However, a WHY will not be successful without

the clarity of HOW and WHAT. A WHY is just a

belief, the HOWs are the clearly articulated

actions taken to realise this belief and the WHATs

are the results of those actions.

Why not try and use this approach when

reviewing your school’s vision, values and

strategy? Involve your staff in the process. "The

role of a leader is not to come up with all the

great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an

environment in which great ideas can happen” •

Autumn 2019 | innovatED | Issue 3 | Page 35

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