Good to Great

We have been exploring the topic of Good to Great on my campus. As a faculty, we even read Jim Collins’ book as a central point of what we would like to achieve as a school and a faculty;  in doing so, a number of academic departments have traveled or will travel throughout the country to explore other top departments in hopes of working towards being one of the best schools. Houston Christian’s head of school and the board approved departmental travels for each department. Our Goal: To learn what others do well and what makes them elite at what they do. It is exciting to see that we are continuing to move in an academic direction of distinction. I honestly believe we are on the brink of being one of the more notable schools. Although I am clearly biased here, I do believe the most important quality of academic greatness is having a dynamic faculty. Elite faculty members make a school better.

Below is a note sent out by our head of school:

We certainly have a great deal to be thankful for during this season of the year and I wanted to share with you a brief note of encouragement.

Today I received a letter from the ACT on behalf of the entire school, presenting Houston Christian with the ACT 2009 College Readiness Award.  This award recognizes HC for demonstrating significant increases in ACT composite scores over the past five years while maintaining or increasing the number of students taking the ACT Assessment.  Less than 5 percent of schools across Texas receive this award, definitely a G2G move!

This continued excellence only happens when students are given access to super teachers and instruction.  Thank you for your exemplary service and for enabling HC to fulfill its Mission!

Have a great weekend!



2 thoughts on “Good to Great

  1. This was a required reading at my place of employment over the summer. I found some of the stories referring to “great” companies as a bit ironic considering recent events that have taken place. For instance, Abbot Laboratories (one of eleven examples of great companies mentioned in the book) has been involved in numerous legal cases since 2001; ranging from patent violations to price gouging and false reporting. Fannie Mae is a catastrophe that speaks for itself. And Circuit City recently went bankrupt because they changed their business model and laid off thousands of workers the year this book was written in order to generate a more substantial profit. Am I saying that this book is not worthwhile? Absolutely not because most of the other companies work well and turn enormous profits. It does make me wonder, though, if major companies, or even Houston Christian, are required to give up moral obligations to the community at large in order to satisfy their own desire for growth and profit and their desire to achieve greatness.

  2. Excellent point, Patrick.

    I think that when we look at the Good to Great model for a non-profit company, then the terms “growth” and “profit” take on very different meanings.

    The problem facing an entity like Houston Christian is the very definition of “good” and “great.” What do these terms mean in light of the school’s mission statement? How do you measure greatness?

    Since HCHS is at or near its enrollment cap, “growth” cannot simply mean numbers anymore. Instead, growth needs to be measured in something far less quantifiable, far less tangible: community impact.

    To me, the biggest challenge of adapting these principles to a non-profit model is the quantification of impact. How are you going to know when you’ve reached that next level?

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