Blanchard Leadership Institute Fall 2022 Update

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience 

can never go back to its old dimensions.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

We are in our third year of the Blanchard Leadership Institute here at Brookstone. You may remember that in 2020, Brookstone established the Blanchard Leadership Institute through a partnership with Andy Fleming and Claire Lee from The Developmental Edge and their colleagues, Robert Keegan and Lisa Leahy from Harvard University. A Developmental Sprint® is a focused experience that is based in human development research and designed to rapidly accelerate growth. This three week process combines workshops, reflections and real-time experiments focused on helping each participant achieve an improvement goal. This is a self-reflective and introspective process and serves as an opportunity to work on how you work and to think about how you think.

When we started back in the fall of 2020, we were in the middle of a pandemic and everything was conducted via Zoom. (My, how far we have come!) Each time we have undertaken a Sprint®, whether as a faculty or with students, we have learned something new about ourselves and the process. As such, we have adapted and changed the way we approach the Sprint process each time, refining it more and more to better fit the needs of our school community. This year, instead of working in large groups, students are working in smaller classroom sections instead.

All Upper School students will be participating in a Developmental Sprint™, through their English classes this year. Juniors took part in September, seniors took part in October and November and freshmen and sophomores will take part in the spring. All Middle School students participated in their Sprints® during their Executive Functioning (6th), STEAM (7th) and Tech (8th) classes this year. Lower and Intermediate School students will also participate in the spring.

At the completion of each Sprint®, we solicit feedback from the students. Below are a few examples of things our students learned from the process.

The juniors were the first grade to take part in our new approach to the Blanchard Leadership Institute this year, where the Developmental Sprint® process was embedded in the classroom. At the closing workshop, they were asked to put something on a sticky note that would help the next group of students who would be taking part in the Sprint®. They could write one of their biggest takeaways, the title of their Sprint® story, or a word of encouragement to the next group about the process. Examples of the notes they wrote are below.

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As you can see, the Developmental Sprint™ process is incredibly effective. No matter how small, any amount of personal growth is worth celebrating, any amount of effort toward a goal is worth celebrating, and any time you are able to teach yourself to pause and think about how you are thinking in any given situation is reason to celebrate. And that’s just what we do. We celebrate each other! Growth doesn’t happen in a silo. That’s why Andy Fleming calls development a team sport – it’s a community effort! As Jim Blanchard, the namesake of this institute, has always said, “We are going to lock arms and lift each other up!” That’s our goal – that as a school – we are a constant source of encouragement for one another, always celebrating each other’s growth and development. Our hope is that by the time a student leaves Brookstone, these concepts will be so ingrained in who they are, they will carry this developmental intelligence with them wherever they go. Who knows? They just might change the world!

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