Acumen Partners Articles

Insulate Your Company From “Self-Blind” Leadership

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Take a look at the following statistics and see if you can identify a troubling trend:

  • 84% of Frenchmen estimate that they are above average lovers.
  • 68% of University of Nebraska faculty rated themselves in the top 25% in teaching ability.
  • 93% of US students estimate themselves to be “above average” drivers.

See a pattern here?  Overconfidence isn’t just a phenomenon in the general public.  It literally runs rampant in certain quarters of the business world.

Steven RowleyInsulate Your Company From “Self-Blind” Leadership
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ESSA UPDATE: Are ESSA’s New Evidence Requirements a Hard Stop for You?

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It’s a big issue!  ESSA establishes a very high threshold defining what schools can now assert as “evidence” to support product purchases.  Anecdotal success stories are out. Soft research beefed up with marketing jargon won’t pass muster.  Strong alignment with rigorously performed theoretical work is now the minimum starting point and no longer the key to school funding.

So…how big of a problem is “Evidence” to you as ESSA takes full effect this fall?

Short of clear ESSA Rules & Regulations being available to soften the blow, the definition of “Evidence” as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act is the minimum standard that legislators, educators, and commercial partners must meet.

Here are a few obsolete “NCLB” data strategies that every vendor must rethink:

Steven RowleyESSA UPDATE: Are ESSA’s New Evidence Requirements a Hard Stop for You?
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ESSA UPDATE: Impact of Executive Orders On ESSA Roll-Out

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As the new administration settled into their seats in Washington DC, President Trump and Sec. DeVos made many announcements regarding shifting priorities for the Federal Department of Education.  Headlines have included significant changes to school choice, accountability, funding eligibility, the status of the Common Core, etc.

Whether you are a vendor or an educator, whether you favor the Trump/DeVos pronouncements or not, the real question you should be asking is: Can they do that? Can the White House and the DOE actually make all the changes they are announcing?

Steven RowleyESSA UPDATE: Impact of Executive Orders On ESSA Roll-Out
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ESSA Update: The Battle for Fall Funding

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The first “back-to-school” season under ESSA legislation is shaping up to be one of the most chaotic and challenging seasons on record for both schools and vendors.   For vendors, success in navigating the 2017/18 school year will depend on their ability to follow two simple rules:

  1. Find the Money
  2. Follow the Money
Steven RowleyESSA Update: The Battle for Fall Funding
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Proven Leaders are Also Great Readers

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Great leaders read. It’s a short sentence but it is layered with meaning.  What is it about reading that makes it such a universal passion among people who are best suited to lead people and organizations?  Is it that leaders read books that contain all the answers? Not likely.  The realities of today’s rapidly changing market place have no historical precedent. 21st century business leaders must handle challenges that have never been seen before.

Andres AfanadorProven Leaders are Also Great Readers
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Recruiting in the World of Start-ups

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Recruiting in the World of Start-ups

Who would benefit most from the services of a recruiter? It is actually the Start-Up! One essential hire – whether in sales, operations or general management could cut in half the time required to move from start-up to growth.

Gloria ElliottRecruiting in the World of Start-ups
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Acumen and Unravelling ESSA – a Timeline

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Acumen and Unravelling ESSA – a Timeline

Acumen Partners, as part of our due diligence for ourself and our client companies, keeps up-to-date on political and economic trends that effect education and the companies that provide programs for educators.  Our staff has the ability and the capacity to analyze changes and provide warnings when new programs or regulations are on the horizon.  Acumen Partners followed the unheralded adoption of ESSA as it quickly made its way through the legislative system and finally reached President Obama’s desk in December of 2015.

Gloria ElliottAcumen and Unravelling ESSA – a Timeline
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Becoming a Data-Driven Organization

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Becoming a Data-Driven Organization

Human beings collect data points from the day they are born. As they grow and experience more things, they put those data points into a context. Every human considers those data points and the corresponding context to guide their next steps. This is of tremendous value when you’re considering decisions like banging your head against the wall. (Example: “Do I have enough data points to know that I will get a headache? I do! Let’s NOT do that,” thinks my learned 5-year old. “HUH?” says my curious 4-year old, followed by a very surprised, “Ow!” He needs more data points.) 

Ellen RuaneBecoming a Data-Driven Organization
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