How well is your school organized to inspire and animate your people?

Great principals come and go, but great cultures can be built. We help schools significantly decrease their rate of teacher turnover and associated costs; and increase their long-term rate of student progress (growth). We provide the proven framework and guidance to help schools build 21st century workplaces that attract, develop, excite, and retain exceptional people. Rewarding, inspiring places to learn, grow, and work.

An organization’s culture is even more important than its leadership.
— 2014 Deloitte Survey of 3,300 Executives

Principal "churn" is costly. Student progress (growth) often drops for 1-2 years following and takes 3-5 years total to return to original levels, assuming the new principal stays (3.6 yearr average) long enough. The "drop" in school momentum is a result of ripple effects, including increased teacher turnover, difficulty recruiting new teachers, and teacher resistance to new change efforts. Principals also cost an estimated $75,000 to recruit, hire and on-board, on top of the $3600-$8,400 (non-urban/urban) per teacher.

Now there is a new example to follow, where motivation comes from within. An organizational model, rooted in trust, focusing on qualities which define continuing success. An increasingly prevalent model found to outperform by all meaningful measures and 99% of employees recommend working in. [The 2016 HOW Report, by LRN - a new CCSSO partner.]

Organizational leaders are six times more likely than average workers to believe they work in an organization where people are inspired; however, employees say they are primarily coerced (84 percent of respondents) or motivated (12 percent) by carrots and sticks on the job rather than inspired by values and a commitment to a mission and purpose (4 percent).
— The 2016 HOW Report


In partnership with pioneer People Ink and their culture leadership model that has evolved over twenty-five years, we can help you build an organizational culture based on shared purpose, values, and performance consistent in practice with the most successful, workplaces of choice in the world

Performance is generated by strong beliefs, attitudes, actions, and high trust - the catalyst. How strong is the organizational core of your school? Are people inspired to ask tough questions, share resources, and admit mistakes? Click here to learn more about the values- /people-centric workplace. Organizations special not for what they do, but HOW they do it. 

Arrange a free consultation or discuss the Built on Values® for Schools framework.


Most leaders know that a winning, engaged culture is the key to attracting top talent and performance. Yet, it remains elusive exactly how one creates this ideal workplace culture.

— Ann Rhoades, a long time expert on creating the ideal workplace. Her group People Ink is supporting the Leading Schools Forward initiative. Ann is highly regarded by leaders of many of the best performing organizations and places to work in the world for how to create cultures of super-engagement. She has been interviewed, referenced, and quoted in 33 published books on the subject.


You will not find many, and perhaps any, as capable as Rich.
— US Sen. Michael Bennet, former Superintendent of Denver Public Schools ("The highest trained principals in the country.") and Finalist for US Secretary of Education

Partner School

As a new school, I wanted everyone to be able to clearly explain our culture and mission. I also wanted something to unite our school and to be able to create a great place for our kids to learn and grow and a great place to work for our staff. Built-on-Values provided a clear structure and guidance to do this deep work. The process has pushed us to grow a lot as a staff. My advice is to involve everyone interested in the process from the beginning!
— Tammy Finch, Director of The Expedition School (K-8), Hillsborough, NC

The challenge good schools face and few break through to become great:

69% of teachers are disengaged. They’re dissatisfied and uncommitted. Due primarily to working conditions, almost 50% of new teachers are gone from the profession in five years. Teacher preparation program enrollments are down by 25-50%. 

  • Among all professions Gallup has studied, teachers are last in agreeing that their opinions count at work and that their supervisors create an open and trusting environment. These are two crucial elements of teacher engagement, which is the single greatest predictor of student engagement.

  • A one-percentage-point uptick in a school’s student engagement rate has been found tied to an average six-point increase in reading achievement and eight points in math. 

Principals turnover on average every 3-5 years. As a result, teacher turnover increases, recruitment is more challenging, student achievement momentum drops, and teacher resistance grows to future improvement efforts.

Over the past two decades, our country’s leaders have done a great job building a massive accountability system around schools. What they’ve failed to do during that time is build an engagement system within them.
— Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Education and Workforce Development, at Gallup

School improvement has traditionally focused on strategy and culture separately.  We don't:

Our Approach

We help you create a sustainable environment where faculty and staff members are inspired by a desire for significance and encouraged to act as leaders regardless of role. Mission-driven schools, versus schools with missions. More specifically, we help you and your leadership team to:

  • Enlist all faculty and staff in a commitment to a shared purpose-inspired mission that speaks to them as individuals, ignites their passion, and unifies them in a meaningful endeavor.
  • Instill a deep commitment to values and a set of standards to which people at all levels of the school can hold themselves accountable.
  • Build healthy, sustainable interdependency and connectedness among administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, board members, and community members.
  • Create space by carefully promoting freedom from traditional constraints like hierarchy, and filling that space with carefully nurtured freedom to express oneself, experiment, and exercise leadership.

The framework helps committed leaders shed their school's traditional authority hierarchy in return for significantly higher levels of resilience, faculty and staff loyalty, parent satisfaction and student achievement.

96% of employees scored managers who emphasized shaping character (shared mission/values/metrics) and fostering freedom (collaborating/sharing information/speaking out) as effective leaders. They were also found to be three times as likely to deliver high performance.
— The HOW Report, 2016