Organizational Health Diagnostic & Development Corporation

Sustained Systemic Success Model™
Our Sustained Systemic Success Model provides a conceptual framework for identifying the foundational components required for student success. This model was conceived as a result of three-year Melinda and Bill Gates funded project that was designed to critically examine 100 promising high schools from across the nation and to identify those factors which are needed in order to have sustained student success. Willard Daggett and his team from the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) provided the initiative for this collaborative project, which also included the Council for Chief State School Officers. OHDDC’s contribution to this collaborative effort was to provide a longitudinal data-base for this important project and to provide diagnostic and development support for these 100 high schools.

ICLE emphasizes that sustained student success requires teams of teachers to focus their energies on instructional strategies that emphasize rigor, relevance, and relationships, the 3Rs of the 21st Century. Fairman and McLean have integrated the 3Rs and the essential learning criteria (core, stretch, engaged, and personal skill development) into the conceptual model as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: The Sustained Systemic Success ModelTM

We believe that to have sustained student success requires a systemic commitment to a set of principle-centered beliefs. These beliefs are the conceptual framework for our book Enhancing Leadership Effectiveness and, as depicted above, the leadership belief statements and associated conceptual models provide the conceptual infrastructure for Sustained Systemic Success.

We believe that if schools are to improve—significantly and systemically improve—those who work inside them must take responsibility for focusing their efforts on building and sustaining commitment to a set of shared principles and beliefs throughout the organization. Therefore, student success cannot be achieved and sustained unless there is a systemic commitment to a principle-centered conceptual infrastructure.

We believe the 3Rs require the foundational support of Goal Focus, Adaptation, and Cohesiveness in order to gain the internal commitments necessary for these fundamental changes.
  • Rigor applies to both core and stretch learning as a goal, not an option or an afterthought. A commitment to design high rigor into lessons is a function of the highest levels of Goal Focus for teachers. Thus Goal Focus is a foundation upon which teachers build the rigor in the core and stretch learning.
  • Relevance applies to both stretch and engaged learning emphasizing application that is interdisciplinary and contextual. Relevant learning activities are designed to engage and motivate students for learning beyond the minimal requirements. As with rigor, a commitment to design high relevance into lessons is a function of the ability and willingness of individuals and teams to adapt and change to make the learning relevant to the students. Thus Adaptation is the foundation upon which teachers build relevance into the stretch and engaged learning.
  • Relationships with adults who support their learning are critical for students to be committed to learning and to have a sense of belonging and accomplishment. All students need—and many students require—demonstrations and models of positive behaviors and attitudes from the adults on campus if they are to develop desirable personal and social skills. In schools with healthy environments, teachers model cohesive relationships with their peers, and these cohesive teams reinforce the positive and productive teaching and learning environment and relationships with all students. As with rigor and relevance, a commitment to demonstrate positive behaviors and attitudes is a function of the highest levels of Goal Focus, Adaptation, and Cohesiveness for teachers.

The book Enhancing Leadership Effectiveness provides a conceptual foundation for improving the Organizational Health and effectiveness of educational organizations. As depicted by the graphic on the front of the book, it is based upon six leadership principles and six associated Leadership Belief Statements that are designed to help leaders move individuals and teams from dependence, to independence, to interdependence.