Trinity launches roadmap to build and maintain ongoing strategic strength.
When most schools embark on a strategic planning process, it is usually the job of a small group of trustees and the head of school to write a prescriptive list of tasks for the next five years. In 2017-18, Trinity was determined to break that mold and build a strategy that was inclusive, data-driven and adaptable to future needs.
The result is “Honor the Mission
,”’ a thorough roadmap in five parts, each of which specifies five outcomes to be achieved over the next five years. The final theme, “Building Strategic Strength” aims to equip faculty, staff and students with the skills necessary to apply strategic thinking to their own work and to Trinity’s ongoing success.
“One of the things we learned clearly from the survey data is that our mission is strong and the power of ‘Discover Your Path’ endures,” said trustee Chair Rob Methven, “That’s why I love the title ‘Honor the Mission.’ Everything inside the plan aims to strengthen, support and build upon our unique and cherished mission.”
The process began in early 2017, with extensive surveys and research conducted to understand the views and needs of the school community along with Trinity’s place in the local and national school landscape. In the fall of 2017, a core design team composed of teachers, administrators and trustees, worked to synthesize the data, gain additional feedback from the entire faculty and refine strategic themes to respond, inspire and validate the responses of all stakeholders. Over the next five years, through 2023, small groups will take on each of the nearly 25 outcomes, building appropriate measures of completion.
Guiding the Trinity team was Bob Kelley, a strategic brand consultant and assistant professor of management in the VCU School of Business and VCU Brand Center. “Trinity is amazing,” said Kelley. “Whether with the board, the design committee or within the faculty workshops, there was a high level of thinking, discourse and intellect that I rarely see and I found very refreshing. There is a true curiosity to determine the ‘why’ behind everything. This is one of your greatest strengths as a school — a natural curiosity.”
“No other school I’ve worked with has even taken the time to survey all of their students,” said Kelley. “That alone says a lot about the Trinity leadership’s curiosity and willingness to learn.”
Selected by the board of trustees to oversee the process was Trinity trustee and parent Beth Nash. A major outcome of the plan will be for the entire school — faculty, administration and students — to continue to develop what Nash calls “strategic thinking muscles” as the school plots a holistic course for the future and integrates strategic thinking into the fibers of Trinity’s culture. “This is something that we believe so strongly will help us to continue to fulfill our mission in a competitive way that it is a key to our success as an independent learning organizations in the Richmond area.”
Nash is especially proud of an open and collaborative process that sought so much data from every constituency, including alumni, all parents, all students and partner organizations in the wider Richmond community. “We took the time to read every single response,” she said. “That became the foundation for everything else that we did.”
“This is just the beginning,” says Nash, excitedly. “There is still a lot to learn, but we know what we need to do, and now we just have to do it.”Read the complete plan at www.trinityes.org/HonorTheMission