Great Minds, Inc.
A group of education leaders founded the non-profit Great Minds in 2008 to define and encourage content-rich comprehensive education for all American schoolchildren. In pursuit of that mission, Great Minds brings schoolteachers together in collaboration with scholars to craft exemplary instructional materials and share them with the field. Great Minds’ Eureka Math curriculum has won accolades at the state and national levels, and is the only comprehensive math curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards at every grade. The non-profit also released Wit & Wisdom, a new English curriculum that taps the power of literature, history and science to meet the expectations of the new standards.
Great Minds needed to build a culture where its employees could thrive. The organization had just completed a grueling 18-month project, and the passionate, skilled employees who delivered this impressive win were tired. The culture was one of professional respect, but due to the stress and pace of the work, the culture also began to reward and expect incredible personal sacrifices (e.g., all nighters, skipping vacations, and 60+ hour work weeks). Increasing stress began to impact work quality, retention, collaboration, and innovation.
High Peaks Group was hired to work with key leaders to help them create a new culture of thriving and well-being. We provided deep executive coaching to three of the top executives for six months. The work included 360 assessments, feedback sessions, strategic advising, and role-playing/practicing difficult conversations. The results were impressive. Each leader reported being more self-aware, more in control of her emotions, and better equipped to handle the daily challenges in a hyper-growth organization. They also reported feeling more empathy for others and a greater capacity to consider alternative approaches to situations in order to preserve the relationship while still getting things done.