| In recent blog posts, I stressed the need to embrace efficiency and productivity and define your own “New Normal.” By focusing on efficiency and productivity, we can all increase our capacity and capability to do more with less. One of the most effective ways to increase efficiency and productivity is to share knowledge and learn from each other.
Imagine for a moment that a team in one of a South Florida school district’s elementary schools developed a breakthrough approach for helping students with disabilities make great learning gains; or a team at a high school in a North Florida district that greatly improved the utilization of the transportation fleet. How would the other 65 Florida School districts systematically learn of these new approaches and capitalize on them? If they could, the statewide benefits would be enormous.
Florida has been using a web-based solution called the Performance Excellence Connection™, developed by Electronic Training Solutions (ets,) several years ago for its large private sector clients. This tool has been adapted and is currently in use throughout Florida to share best practices and process improvements among the 67 school districts and more than 3500 public schools. Florida is in its second year of using the system, and best practices and process improvements are being submitted and shared for every aspect of the education process. Several districts have commented on the value of the site in their Race to the Top initiatives. Other states can expect to derive similar benefits and perhaps share approaches with Florida’s educators.
In the Baldrige management system, there are about 200 specific areas that require effective, systematic approaches for accomplishing the work of education. I am convinced that, collectively, most of those areas have best practices, or at least very sound approaches, already in place somewhere in Florida’s 67 districts, but not all can be found in any one location. However, what if we could find a way to share those approaches with each other so that we could be using all of them in every district? That’s what Florida hopes to gain with the Performance Excellence Connection™.
In addition to sharing best practices and process improvements, the Performance Excellence Connection™ serves as an efficiency and productivity improvement resource center, providing process improvement and problem solving tools and techniques, and information about performance initiatives throughout the State’s education sector.
The Performance Excellence Connection™ for healthcare is scheduled to launch on April 1, 2011, and for Community-based Services (government agencies and not-for-profit providers) on May 1, 2011. Electronic Training Solutions, Inc. is now working closely with a Kentucky Department of Education implementation team and will be helping Kentucky’s educators in their efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of education in that state. I am confident that this tool will help Florida and Kentucky to define the New Normal, and thrive in these uncertain times.