Reflection: Using Models to Advance and Accelerate Your Organization’s #Growth

by | Oct 30, 2016 | 1 comment

3 min read


Models = Momentum ~John Green (DE Small Business Owner)

Reinforce Ideas through Models

As the old adage says, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Or what is often attributed to Napoleon, “a good sketch is better than a long speech.”  Why?  The reason is many people are visuals learners.  Some research indicates that up to 65% of people learn visually[i].  Visual representations such as pictures, graphic organizers, and particularly our focus this month on MODELS, provide clear unambiguous depictions of the content being covered.  Models have the ability to visually summarize, organize, and actually engage individuals. Ultimately, the real benefit, through the use of models, is that they allow abstract ideas, thoughts, and concepts to come together, which simply enhances our ability to understand something.  As leaders, we use words like Vision, Goals, Mission, but are we certain they communicate what we want?

Consider the following quote: “the best way to predict the future is to create it.”

This is a powerful motivational message, but now consider the same quote embedded into a thoughtful picture of Lincoln.  The quote is powerful, but the quote combined with the picture evokes emotion.  Seeing Lincoln poised as a thinker allows us to imagine him creating the future in his mind. An organization’s vision and mission statements are no different.  We need models to breath life into the basic print on paper.   Creating a conceptual visualization of what we expect adds clarity, evokes action, and provides a meaningful resource.


Take a look at this basic model for maintaining the key elements for classroom walkthroughs, or for organizational leaders, management by walking around.  This basic model might sit at the top of your school’s data collection tool just as a reminder of the three-step process for walkthroughs.


This funnel demonstrates the three key expectations of the walkthroughs, as well as the ultimate goal—improved practice.  Spending time in the most important spaces of your organization, improves practices for both the observer and the observed.

75/25 Rule

Once you have an effective model, consider the 75/25 rule that we heard about in our interview with local small business owner John Green. Listen here. The premise of the rule is that the model the organization uses provides 75% of what should be done without deviation.  The 75% houses the key processes, ideas, and vetted best practices.  However, the remaining 25% allows for the individual to infuse their own vision and their own passion.  Passion = Momentum.

75/25 also means that models allow people to work within frameworks that are understood, providing guidance, but still allowing for creativity.  This is the heart of our most recent post whereby leaders provide the opportunity for workers to learn, grow, and succeed by developing self-efficacy.  It is the leader’s responsibility to create an environment that nurtures growth and development and ultimately a belief that success is attainable.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple and maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Let us know if these strategies work for you.

Joe and T.J.



1 Comment

  1. Sharon

    I am definitely a visual learner and organizing key concepts, ideas, and practices into a visual model benefits my leadership growth. Thanks for writing about the 75/25 rule in this issue… it’s simple and still allows (as you write about) creativity which gives people in the organization a voice. Glad I walked through the “Schoolhouse302” doors today!


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