What do you think?  That is the most important question for a collaborative leader.  The Start-Keep Doing-Stop survey, or SKS, is a feedback tool for asking this question. It can be a part of a new principal’s entry strategy or as part of a regular feedback loop on any idea or initiative.

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Respondents are asked variations of the following three question types:

  • What should we start?
  • What should we keep doing?
  • What should we stop?

The purpose of an SKS survey is to create direct communication between members of the organization. SKS questions usually result in answers with concrete examples. There are variations of this process that rearrange the question order. Properly used, the survey can identify areas of concern for the leader and organizational perception about a variety of topics.

Allow respondents to remain anonymous. Consider ending the survey with a fourth question of “Is there anything else you would like to share with me?” Look for patterns in the answers and follow-up with respondents who identify themselves.

Sample SKS Questions

What Should We Start?

  • What can we put in place to improve?
  • What practices should we start at the campus?
  • What would be beneficial for the organization to start doing?
  • What are new ideas to be implemented?

What Should We Keep Doing?

  • What should the Principal keep doing?
  • What practices should continue?
  • What has been successful that should be continued?
  • What is working?
  • What are people proud of at the campus?

What Should We Stop?

  • What actions have been detrimental to the organization?
  • Where should the Leader immediately intervene?
  • What are we doing that is not working?
  • What problems have not been addressed?

Have you used a variation of the SKS survey before?  Share your thoughts on the effectiveness of this approach using Twitter