I’ve always found reflection to be a helpful practice. Whether at the conclusion of a project or end of the year, taking time to look back and reflect on any processes can be beneficial to understand the wins, the areas for growth, and ideas for the future.

What follows is a non-exhaustive list of our top 20 takeaways from 2020. Mostly professional, some personal, and a few that are random. We’ve also included some thoughts on how these takeaways are already informing planning and goals for 2021.
We hope this gives you insight into our work, our learnings in 2020, and early thoughts for 2021. Drop us a note – we’d love to hear from you.

  1. Anti-racist and equity practices are not optional – Such practices and appropriate beliefs should be at the center of every organization. It’s on all of us to create a more equitable future for historically marginalized communities.
  2. #squarepizzapod – We launched our podcast in February of 2020 and have released 56 episodes that feature 20+ diverse leaders from across the country.
  3. Strategic Testing – This should be part of every strategic planning process. No exceptions.
  4. It’s challenging to formally evaluate family engagement and empowerment.
  5. There are benefits to Zoom.
  6. Families should be funders – In response to COVID, we had the privilege of helping a school partner establish a relief fund that was led and administered by families. It was an immensely powerful experience.
  7. Business taxes can be complicated.
  8. Professional Development & Executive Coaching – Our team has been building more professional development sessions and our executive coaching program to support leaders in the social impact space.
  9. Youtube – We’ve continued to add to our youtube channel that includes 60+ videos. We also learned how challenging it can be to grow a youtube channel. Any tips?
  10. COVID is real – Our educational institutions, like many systems, were not prepared for the pandemic nor did most adapt quickly enough. Surely, they are all in tough positions yet we should use this opportunity to critically challenge how we can create a more equitable education system for all.
  11. Vet your bathroom contractors very carefully.
  12. Strategic plans don’t always have to live on a PDF – it’s OK to try new formats.
  13. Social media marketing can be a challenging space.
  14. Word of mouth referrals are the best.
  15. Returning clients are even better.
  16. People have really strong feelings about charter schools and school choice – That’s good. Let’s ensure these are civil and fact-driven conversations.
  17. Financial projection tools are critical – Build these for your clients.
  18. District and charter schools can work together – We promise.
  19. Cheers to 6 years – Thank you!
  20. Workforce development and economic mobility are critical – They are also directly tied to our educational system.

2021

As always, our team will default to our naively opportunistic outlook for 2021. We’re outlining plans to build real products that help our community, to expand the family empowerment work, to keep working to be an anti-racist organization, and more.
Thanks for checking this out and being part of our community. Sending you lots of peace and health over the holidays as we head into a new year.

More to do. More to come.

Greg and Team

Action Steps
1. Take time to reflect on 2020 – the good and the challenging
2. Take time to chart goals and action plans for 2021
3. Send us a note if any of these resonate with you
4. Share this with a friend

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