Where Leadership and Strategy Come Together

Strategic Planning Institute

Developing Leadership, Designing Strategy, Advancing Schools


All schools need to design strategy but often lack the time, resources or expertise to lead a deep and inclusive process. This innovative, year-long program is designed to drive institutional growth and develop high functioning school leadership teams through a combination of deep consultative work, intensive professional development, and collaboration within the SPI cohort.

The SPI cohorts are comprised of carefully selected schools that are diverse with regard to their niche in the market, yet aligned with regard to their needs around strategic planning and commitment to professional learning.

At the culmination of the SPI, your team produces a dynamic strategic plan, highlighting vision and values, along with a multi-year implementation plan.

Institute at a Glance:

  • An initial GLP consultation at your school to create a foundation with your Board and school leadership.
  • Three off-site, two-day sessions of project based learning within a diverse cohort of independent and public schools.
  • Strategic design tools and templates, a carefully curated library of online resources and virtual coaching by GLP faculty.
  • 60+ hours of professional development focused on leadership, change management, strategic design, and execution.
SPI Faculty and Guest Speakers
  • View information about the GLP team and industry experts in leadership, change management, and strategic communication who will lead this course.
  • We're continuing to add guest faculty and speakers to the program, so please check back for updates.
2016-2017 SPI Dates
  • June 17-18, 2016
  • November 4-5, 2016
  • April 7-8, 2017
  • Dates for Cohort II in 2017-2018 will be coming soon
Interested? Contact Us Frequently Asked Questions
  • View commonly asked questions about the SPI.

Design Principles

Professional Development Is Most Powerful When Embedded in the Needs of Your School: As each member of your team develops as individual and collaborative leaders, they will bring their new skills and a process for strategic design back to engage your entire community--expanding and modeling the learning for students, faculty, staff and parents. This program is a learning experience that benefits your entire community as it meets the foundational organizational need for strategy design.

A Project-Based Approach to Learning Produces Meaningful Work: Because the course is designed around the delivery of a strategic plan, your school’s team will learn how to lead an inclusive process by actually doing it. Over the course of the program they will work with your entire community to identify and articulate values, vision and the key strategic choices that will help drive performance at your school. The course will culminate with a tangible product for exhibition and critique: a strategic vision and a plan that your team and your community will be ready to communicate and implement.

Collaboration with Other Educators and Schools Increases Creativity, Expands Learning and Fosters Great Outcomes: A carefully selected cohort exposes your team to other school contexts, models and approaches. The sharing of experiences, opportunity for peer critique and feedback, and support in idea generation and problem solving will enrich the work of your school team and develop collaborative relationships that extend beyond the course. 


  • Calendar
  • Location
  • Pricing
  • FAQs
Dolce Norwalk 32 Weed Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850


    GLP Consultation, Spring 2016
    Three two-day sessions
    • June 17 and 18, 2016
    • November 4 and 5, 2016
    • April 7 and 8, 2017


    $32,000 for team of five
    50% deposit due by May 1st
    *Pricing all inclusive, with the exception of travel and lodging

What is the SPI?

  • SPI is an innovative, yearlong program designed to drive institutional growth and build organizational capacity. The program centers on strategy formation and the development of high functioning school leadership teams through a combination of deep consultative work, intensive professional development and collaboration within the SPI cohort. SPI professional development will focus on leadership, change management, strategic design and execution.

How many schools participate in the SPI?

  • We’ll be limiting enrollment to a maximum of eight schools (~ 40 participants) to foster close connections and diversity within the cohort. A small size will create rich learning experiences across the cohort—while still allowing GLP to develop close relationships with each school team.

How do we know that the composition of schools in the SPI cohort is appropriate for our school?

  • GLP realizes that the quality of this course relies heavily on the participating institutions, therefore we will carefully build the cohort around the following key principles:
    • Diversity — You’ll learn and work with schools that do not compete directly but are successful within their respective niches (boarding, day, public, grade level, etc.). Each member of the cohort will have different contexts, strengths and weaknesses. We believe a diverse cohort will lead to richer conversations, collaborations, and learning experiences.
    • Readiness — We will ensure that all schools accepted into the program are in approximately the same spot with regard to the strategic planning process--they are far enough along that they can complete a strategic plan in a year, and are not too far along that they would not benefit from the course.
    • Fit — GLP designed the SPI to afford embedded professional development, a project-based learning approach, and productive collaboration (you can read about our design principles here). We will ensure that all schools participating in the SPI embrace this model and come prepared to engage and participate.

Why would I enroll in the SPI rather than hiring GLP or another consulting firm to help me create a strategic plan?

  • SPI is highly cost efficient, meaning you will get more for less:
    • A dynamic strategic plan, highlighting vision and values, along with a multi-year implementation plan.
    • A different approach to strategic design focused on student centered learning, strong school culture and a value proposition for your school that is relevant and measurable
    • 60+ hours of professional development focused on leadership, change management, strategic design, and execution for five members of your school community.
  • You will leave SPI ready to implement your strategic plan:
    • Many schools who hire external consultants like GLP to lead a strategic planning process at their school have a hard time implementing the plan once the consultant leaves. This can be for many reasons, but quite often it stems from the school not having enough ownership over the development of the strategic plan. The power of this program is that more ownership is given to the school’s team from the get go, thus at the conclusion of the course, implementing the plan is enhanced by the integration of the team in the design process allowing for a fully conceived, realistic, and actionable strategic design.
  • SPI will offer you a robust network to lean into as you develop relationships with the cohort members and thought leaders inside and outside of the education world. You’ll have unprecedented access to great collaborators, thinkers and practitioners!

What kind of professional development are we talking about?

  • We think strategic design is everyone’s work. We focus deeply on people, program, culture and climate—and we help your team build the skills and implement practices to engage your entire faculty and staff.
  • Your team goes back to school ready to gather input, facilitate critical conversations about learning, generate solutions and manage a process that puts execution and responsibility in the hands of your people.
  • We help you structure professional development for all faculty and staff centered around strategic design so your entire school community will engage with the learning at SPI.

Who should be on my team of five?

  • We will work with you to construct the most effective team of five, but the following considerations are essential:
    • Engaged Leadership - As the head of school, you should lead the team. Your leadership sets the tone for the group and signals the seriousness of the program.
    • Board Participation - We highly recommend inviting a Board member to ensure the governance perspective is included in the process. Having a trustee who can keep your Board updated and signal leadership commitment to the process from the beginning will create a smoother road to adoption and implementation.
    • Inclusive Process - Successful strategic design must be a highly inclusive process. It is critical to select team members that represent your various constituents, bringing their voice to the process and hopefully creating the platform for buy-in. This is particularly important for the faculty as they will be the ones doing the hard work of implementation back on campus!
    • Possible High Potentials - Who at your school has leadership potential that is not being leveraged? Use this opportunity to develop leaders while working on a project in service of your school.
    • People Who Are Ready to Get to Work - You are going to need to build a team with an understanding of everyone’s capacity and availability. While you may wish that your second in command, for example, can participate the reality of what responsibilities and deliverables are on his or her plate may not make it possible. It will be important to find people who can carve out the time necessary for the off-site visits and the work that needs to happen between those sessions back at school. Identifying someone early who can function as your project manager will be key to creating organization and accountability throughout the year.

Who will be on the faculty?

  • The core faculty will be the GLP team members and we will be inviting industry experts in leadership, change management, and strategy—from inside the education world and out—to serve as speakers, facilitators and mentors. We will keep the faculty list updated on our website as we finalize the roster.

What is included in the SPI tuition?

  • An initial GLP consultation at your school to create a foundation with your Board and school leadership (~4 hours).
    • The GLP team will facilitate an interactive discussion to set the stage for a collaborative and inclusive strategic planning process, that covers (1) the changing educational landscape, (2) a strategic design overview, and (3) vision, values, and student outcomes. The visit will also include a consult with head of school to determine make-up of SPI team and prepare for the course.
    • Scheduling can be the hardest part for schools: we will try to schedule this visit prior to the June session or between the June and November session; however we are flexible and can adapt the plan or use this time differently if needs or schedules require.
  • Three off-site, two-day sessions of project based learning within a diverse cohort of independent and public schools for your school team of five (~8 hours per day). You can preview the syllabus here.
  • Personalized virtual coaching for each school team throughout the course (~8 hours).
  • Strategic design tools and templates, and a carefully curated library of online resources.
  • Off-site meals, with the exception of dinner.

What is not included?

  • Travel to and from the Dolce Norwalk
  • Accommodation at the Dolce Norwalk (rooms are ~$175 per night and we will have a room block for all participants).

What if our school needs more support through the process?

  • The GLP team is available “a la carte” to coach, consult or support you on questions that are unique and specific to your school, or on particular challenges that need deeper consultative support.

When will we know the dates for the April session?

  • Once we have selected our final cohort for the SPI, we will coordinate with the schools to determine which days in April 2017 will work the best. We know how crazy scheduling can be during the school year so we want to be as flexible as possible to accommodate everyone.

More Questions?
Please call Liz Kornheiser at 908-227-2556 or reach out via email: