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Bottom lines?

Schools are a lot unlike businesses. Schools are a lot like businesses.

Every school is like a business in that both a school and a business have a bottom line. Only the bottom line isn’t only what people often think it is.

The bottom line is really a curved line on a cycle and it points right back up. In most businesses and schools, people think the bottom line is found on the balance sheet or the bank statement.

But is the bank balance, the measure of profit and loss, really the bottom line in a school? Is it really the bottom line even in a business?

The bank balance tells you about the past. It tells you how much money you have now after all the work you’ve done. But it doesn’t tell you about the future. So it’s not an adequate bottom line. At least not if it is the only one. It’s not. There’s a second one.

The second bottom line is less known because it is harder to measure. But it’s just as important as the bank balance. It’s just as important as the bank balance when you need to do work.

Think about it this way. What does it take to do work? Always. Every time work is done, whether by people or things, what does it require.

Physics helps with this one. Work requires energy. Work is measured in energy consumed.

If your teachers don’t have energy they can’t teach.

If your headmaster doesn’t have energy, he can’t guide the school.

If your students don’t have energy, they can’t study.

How do you measure the energy level in your school? How do you direct the resources of your school toward renewing the energy required for the work that needs to be done? How do you identify and fix energy drains?

When you have tough financial decisions, do you pull money away from where it is needed to renew energy? If you do, you should not be surprised to find that the money diminishes still further as a result. Why? Because while cash on hand is a measure of past labor, energy on hand is a predictor of future labor.

Because there’s a third “bottom line” that requires the intelligent use of energy to increase the cash flow. I’ll have more to say about it soon.

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