School Business Affairs June 2019 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | JUNE 2019 7 Now more than ever, we must transform the culture surrounding education. Transforming Our Culture By David J. Lewis executive director message W hat a fortuitous coincidence that this month’s issue of School Business Affairs focuses on effective school business communication. During the executive director search process developed by the ASBO International Board of Directors, I was asked to pull together some thoughts on how I would go about implement- ing the ASBO International Strategic Plan and what I would hope to accomplish within the first 90 days to begin that process. Those thoughts focused on four main ideas: listening, engagement, alignment, and communication. Listening as we reach out to our various constituencies and get their input. Engagement as we seek to enhance our pro- fessional development opportunities to grow our membership. Alignment of our PD, our conferences, our regulatory and legislative influence, and our business and educational association partners so that we are garnering the grass-roots sup- port of members as we incorporate their needs throughout our programs and services. Communication so that we are relaying and amplifying our voices about the importance of best-practices training that emphasizes the crit- ical role that school business officials play in producing a quality public education system. This communication must be positively received not only by our current and poten- tial members within the U. S. and interna- tionally, but also by our external audiences of policymakers and stakeholders who need to be informed about the challenges we face every day. Listening—Number 1 on my list—is a vital component of good communication, and it’s through communicating and listening to feed- back that we are going to go about transform- ing our profession. It will entail listening to the ASBO International staff, listening to the ASBO International Board of Directors, listen- ing to our members and the affiliate executive directors, listening to our strategic partners and business associates, and listening to our partner education organizations. As I shared last month, we have a fresh opportunity to sharpen our focus as servant leaders, to make sure all of our programs and services are geared toward the objective of helping you—our members—do your job bet- ter. It is this critical component that will direct us toward our core purpose to serve as the pre- mier professional association for school busi- ness officials—the financial and operational leaders of public education. Now more than ever, we must transform the culture surrounding education, changing the narrative from one that lauds privatization as the solution to a “broken” public school system to one that emphasizes public schools’ triumphs based on their commitment to advo- cating for every student, no matter their race, color, gender, zip code, or economic status. This is how we will implement and com- municate our envisioned future where ASBO International is globally recognized, respected, and consulted as the leading authority in the school business profession. It is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to joining with you as we pursue this vision. WHAT’S ASBO INTERNATIONAL’S STRATEGIC PLAN? The strategic plan serves as a visionary roadmap to guide the decisions that advance our association and the profession. Review the strategic plan at asbointl. org/about/leadership-governance/strategic-plan.