Craft Your
Instructional Leadership Game Plan for Strategic Focus

What Is The Organizational Learning Intensive?

The Organizational Learning Intensive is an 8-week online professional learning program for school leaders, designed to help you craft your instructional leadership game plan for the coming school year. 

In The Intensive, you'll assess your current situation, articulate your theory of action, plan your leadership work for the next 12 months, and act to implement your improvement priorities. 

From Overwhelm to Strategic Focus

In The Organizational Learning Intensive, you'll discover how to get your staff focused on a small number of key priorities, so you can make more progress—with fewer distractions—than ever before. 

Too often, school improvement efforts involve doing more—more programs, more initiatives, more drains on staff time and focus—and leaders feel the crunch more than anyone else. 

Strategy is about making choices. What we choose not to do matters as much as what we choose to pursue. 

In The Intensive, you'll get crystal clear about your key levers for change—as a leader, as an instructional staff, and as a learning organization—so you can focus on what matters most and tune out distractions.

The leader's greatest contribution is to maximize organizational learning."
—Justin Baeder

Deal Effectively with Staff Resistance

When teachers won't get on board with a school initiative, leaders must act. 

Too often, though, leaders view staff resistance as conflict, rather than an opportunity for organizational learning. 

Sometimes the best way to respond to resistance is with curiosity: 

  • Why are teachers not buying into this change?
  • Why do they not feel ready to move forward? 
  • How can we make progress now, even if not everyone is 100% ready?

In The Intensive, you'll discover a model for developing, communicating, and validating changes, so you can maximize teacher buy-in and minimize resistance.

Get Everyone On The Same Page

Alignment and coherence are crucial aspects of any school improvement plan. How can you help staff see how improvement efforts fit together?

After making strategic choices, it's essential to articulate a clear theory of action (ToA).

A theory of action describes how a change effort is designed to work, and precisely how it's designed to lead to improvement. 

When you have a clear ToA, it's easier to monitor whether your efforts are working, and easier to avoid pursuing conflicting goals and initiatives.

In The Intensive, we'll explore three related kinds of ToAs:

Your Instructional Theory of Action

which clarifies your key levers for maximizing student learning

Your Leadership Theory of Action

which articulates how your leadership makes a difference

Your Improvement Theory of Action

which get everyone on the same page about improvement efforts

When you've clearly articulated these three Theories of Actions, you'll have everyone on the same page, and more importantly, you'll be able to say no to anything that doesn't fit—the essence of strategic focus.

The resources provided by Justin and The Principal Center have supported my growth as an Administrator and Principal. The ideas, concepts, and practices are useful and valuable.

Greg Louie // Principal

Are You The Bottleneck?

A school's instructional leadership capacity determines the pace of change. Yet in too many schools, leaders with formal titles—especially the principal—function as bottlenecks, limiting the rate of school improvement. 

We see instructional leadership capacity as an organizational property—the school's ability to make and implement operational and improvement decisions.

In The Intensive, you'll learn how to empower your staff to make the right kinds of decisions without you—so your focus can remain squarely on the big picture. You'll discover how teacher leadership can accelerate school improvement, while also improving morale and helping your best teachers increase their impact. 

Program Format

The Organizational Learning Intensive is a self-paced 8-week online program.

Each week, we'll release a new video training module with powerful strategies and concepts to strengthen your leadership. 

Each module will be accompanied by an assignment which you'll complete in our private discussion forum, where you can share ideas and receive peer feedback.

Where Does The Intensive Fit?

The Organizational Learning Intensive is designed to help you connect your current visions, plans, and work-in-progress to a focused agenda for the next 12 months.

The Intensive is not designed to help schools start their strategic planning process from scratch. 

Instead, The Intensive is designed to help school leaders with an existing vision, mission, and strategic plan assess their current situation, and make strategic choices to implement: 

Course Modules

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    Module 1: Assessing Your Current Situation: Capacity, Vision, Goals, and Work in Progress
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    Module 2: Assessing Your Staff: Performance, Leadership & Readiness for Change
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    Module 3: Mapping How Your School Impacts Student Learning
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    Module 4: Mapping How Your Leadership Impacts Student Learning
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    Module 5: Organizational Learning In Your School
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    Module 6: Planning Your Agenda for the Next 12 Months
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    Module 7: Prioritizing Your Backlogs
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    Module 8: Creating Sustainable Systems for Implementation & Organizational Learning

Module Format

  • video-camera
    Each module is filmed in high-definition video in our studio, and accompanied by a PDF Workbook
  • file-pdf-o
    You'll also receive transcripts of each video training module for quick review
  • leanpub
    Everything is organized into our password-protected learning management system, so you can track your individual progress

I'm on track for 500 classroom walkthroughs this school year—more than I've done in my previous 12 years as Principal combined! The combination of accountability and on the spot coaching and mentoring, along with specific content (how to make walkthroughs a habit, how to clean off my desk, deal with the "stuff" that overwhelms) has been the key for me!

Heather Bell-Williams // Principal

What Will I Create In The Intensive?

When you complete the Organizational Learning Intensive, you'll have: 

  • A focused Leadership Agenda, articulating your Leadership Theory of Action, so you can maximize your impact on student learning and avoid distractions 
  • A testable Instructional Theory of Action, so you're clear on how your school impacts student learning
  • An Improvement Strategy Map, articulating your Improvement Theory of Action, so everyone is clear on your decision-making process and the changes that will lead organizational 
  • A month-by-month implementation plan, you you're ready to hit the ground running

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this program 100% online?

Do I need to be available for all 8 weeks of the program?

What's in the modules?

Do you accept purchase orders?

What if I'm changing schools?

Do you have a payment plan?

What People Are Saying About The Principal Center...

During my evaluation, my boss commended me for being a systems thinker who is focused on results. I told him I have learned so much from you. You have outstanding PD resources that are unique AND invaluable.

Jamellah Johnson // Principal

A hallmark of Justin Baeder's professional development content is its highly practical relevance for school leaders, revealing the benefit of his years as a working principal.

Dr. Joe Schroeder // Associate Executive Director, Association of Wisconsin School Administrators

As a new principal in a challenging setting, and having come almost straight from the classroom, I needed to get "up to speed" very quickly. I found the tools provided by The Principal Center immensely helpful in very concrete ways. I strive to make complex things simple as I believe that is needed in school leadership, and the general approach and resources provided by The Principal Center help me to do just that.

Christine Lang // Principal

About Your Instructor

Justin Baeder

Director, The Principal Center

The Organizational Learning Intensive is led by Justin Baeder, creator of the Instructional Leadership Challenge, and author of Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership.

A former Seattle Public Schools principal and teacher, Justin's professional mission is to help school leadership teams transform their productivity, build their capacity, and multiply their impact on learning.

Money-Back Guarantee

We believe our program will transform your productivity, give you the tools you need to build the capacity for distributed instructional leadership in your school, and multiply your impact on student learning.

You'll be amazed at the transformation that takes place in your ability to accomplish the work of leadership and move your school forward. We are fully committed to making our program the most powerful professional development for instructional leaders anywhere.

If you are not satisfied with our program for any reason, contact us within 30 days for a full refund.