Do you remember the video rental stores called Blockbuster?

This nation-wide chain was able to transition their business from VHS to DVD without significant problems, but then quickly lost their competitiveness when they were not able to keep up with companies that were more innovative and convenient at a lower cost to the consumer.

When companies such as Netflix started making videos available through the postal service and Redbox started renting movies for $1 a day via strategically located vending machines, the once behemoth Blockbuster couldn’t manage to stay afloat.  They had to come to terms with what the general public knew all along and close their doors, leaving people out of work and store fronts empty all across America.

You may ask, what does a dead video rental chain have to do with schools?  Everything!

Some school leaders tend to be just like Blockbuster in that they tend to become fixated on what made them successful and then fail to notice when growth is necessary to remain that way.

They become a slave to tradition or the status quo, and would rather do it the way they always have or cower to the fear of change.  They become afraid of upsetting teachers that have been with them for eons or can’t manage the courage to tell a parent that their school may not be the best choice for their child.  Maybe, they aren’t capable of taking things to the next level or just don’t have the desire or energy to put in the required work.

Additionally, schools may become so focused on surviving today that they fail to foresee or anticipate the future.  Once the future has become the present, they look back and ask the question “How did I get here?” or “How did that happen?”    They fail to plan, to discuss, to collaborate, to include people from all aspects of the school community, and then wonder why they feel as if they are “going it alone”.

So, the question becomes, “Do you want to do things the Blockbuster way?” or, would you rather keep your school growing, staying real and relevant, able to serve students today and tomorrow?  The choice is yours!

Dr. Scott Beck, Coordinator for Step Up For Students

Reprinted by permission.

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