Applying A Common Business Model to Identify Identity and Culture in Education

McKinsey’s 7S model, one of the comprehensive models in the field of organizational management, is based on a holistic understanding of the organization, comparing the organization to the human body which can only function when each and every limb works in synergy with one another. The model speaks of the fact that an organization must identify its core and always ensure that all other components align with this core, serving and helping promote the most important element of the organization.

While this is a core business principle, at AMIT, we have adopted the 7S model when it comes to Gogya. In my previous post I spoke about the change we are trying to lead, a change which impacts all components of the school: identity and values, school culture, content, teaching methods, alternative assessment and environment and structure.

We at AMIT have chosen to place the first component, identity and values, at the core of each and every school, with the remaining components surrounding this core, promoting and furthering it. Clarifying and breaking down identity and goals is no simple task. Many school visions share multiple commonalities and an array of meaningful and nice statements which all make sense and sound fitting, so nobody wants to choose which ones should not be included. But in order to create meaningful change with a clear direction, we need a compass which is precise, which can show us the way and help us adapt all elements of the school to the northern star.

As a result, in the Gogya process, the first step is identifying school identity and values. This process is often a painful and challenging struggle, but also ends up connecting the staff to what is truly most important to them. A school’s identity and core can be individualized learning for each student; ongoing conversations and openness between staff and students; the identity and role of the Jewish religious woman. These are but three examples of school identities of those who take part in the Gogya process. It is incredible to see how in each of these three schools, the remaining components have slowly fallen into line and shifted in order to service the core and promote the identity and values which align with this core.

About the Author
Dr. Amnon Eldar is the Director General of AMIT. AMIT is the premier education network in Israel, serving 34,000 students each year in 110 schools in 29 cities throughout Israel. AMIT enables students to reach their fullest potential and become productive members of Israeli society with the skills necessary to build a successful future. For more information, please visit www.amitchildren.org.
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