Choice Schools and Associates is a charter school management company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With 14 charter schools and growing, the company works constantly to improve the support it provides. Its goal is to partner with school communities by equipping and empowering them to fulfill their unique missions.
“We were driving fast somewhere, but we weren’t all headed to the same destination. Through our work with Insignia, we were able to identify weaknesses in our organization as well as areas with great opportunity. We were able to take this insight and transform our approach to supporting schools. Now we talk about Choice Schools being in partnership with boards to be a firm, steady, consistent foundation for our leaders to count on so all other stakeholders have a smooth road. – Sarah Wildey, CEO, Choice Schools
Through Insignia’s planning process, the Choice Schools team realized investing more in its organizational culture and leadership would better equip it to empower schools and create positive results for students. This belief led to an extended engagement.
Working with Lisa Diaz, Choice Schools better defined its organizational values and the expectations for how those would be lived out within the organization.
“We were working really hard, but without unity,” CEO Sarah Wildey said. “As our company grew, preserving the close family culture had become challenging. Through the culture work with Insignia, we not only were able to better understand the state of our current culture, we were able to unite around values, behaviors, and expectations.
Choice executives also participated in personalized leadership coaching with Lisa — support that continues today. Through highly tailored one-on-one coaching, Insignia challenges Choice’s leaders to explore their strengths and barriers to success.
With Lisa’s guidance, leaders dive deep into what motivates and demotivates them, the factors that influence their leadership style, and how they can leverage their mindset and approach to best support every member of their team, their coworkers, and their schools.
The initial planning process, culture, and leadership work with Insignia Partners put Choice Schools on a defined strategic path with a clear vision for moving forward.
“Lisa helped us grow personally and professionally. With her guidance and coaching, we became stronger leaders with the mindful influence, approach, and tools to do great things for schools and students,” Wildey said.
“Our work with Insignia gave us a sense of relief,” she said. “We know where we’re going and how to get there. It also gave us great clarity on how to make decisions. I can’t imagine not having gone through this process with Insignia Partners. ”