A friend sent me a recruiting notice from Success Academy. It is seeking to hire a “Chief Scaling Officer.” No, this has nothing to do with fish. It is about growing the charter chain and finding a guru who knows how to expedite that growth. My friend also told me that the salary is huge, like $300,000. This is your chance to get in on the hottest business opportunity in town. Warning: staff turnover is extremely high.

Here is the offer (please note the use of “architect” as a verb, something new to me):

Success Academy Charter Schools

Managing Director and Chief Scaling Officer

The mission of Success Academy is to reimagine public education. From the classroom to the halls of government, this means finding profoundly different approaches to how we structure, implement and support schooling. To realize our radical vision, we reconceive every aspect of school design, from writing rigorous new curricula to drawing regularly on the advances in technology, business and social/civic practices that are transforming every sector except education. Over the past decade, Success has grown faster than any charter network in the nation, building a vibrant network of 34 elementary, middle and high schools. Our 11,000 children – mostly poor and minority – are out-performing students at top city and suburban schools across New York State. With our oldest students in 10th grade, we are fast approaching the irrefutable proof point that zip code does not determine destiny.

Our goals for our second decade are even more ambitious. To rectify the state of schooling in America, we urgently need to demonstrate that excellence can be achieved at scale. And with 19,000 families on our waiting lists (most of them with no other options than failing district schools), we are dedicated to opening great schools as quickly as possible. So our plan is to grow to 100 schools, with the goal of educating 50,000 children across New York City in a uniquely holistic pre-k-12 system. This will make Success Academy one of the larger school districts in the country – on a par with Atlanta or Boston – ensuring that the charter sector is large enough in New York that it cannot be turned back. At 100 schools, we will be graduating 3,000 scholars each year who are prepared to enter, persist and graduate from college and eventually to lead in business, government and civic realms.

With this rapid growth and trajectory, Success seeks to hire its first Chief Scaling Officer—a compelling leader who can spearhead the strategic planning and project execution needed to scale up in critical operational and functional areas while maintaining extraordinary quality across all schools.

The Chief Scaling Officer will report to founder and CEO, Eva Moskowitz, and will be responsible for reimagining how Success Academy structures its operations and school support, so that from school launch to school management, Success is achieving greater operational excellence and outcomes for students. The Chief Scaling Officer
will partner with the CEO and other members of senior management to establish a shared vision around scaling for the organization, will identify areas of inefficiency and unwanted redundancy, will define processes that require standardization, and will outline changes in personnel, technology, systems, and/or management that are required to take the organization to 100 schools and develop Success as a national model in public education.

Not a mere architect of such initiatives, this executive will execute on the aforementioned plans and recommendations.

The CSO should be someone who…

● Understands how to build a replicable model that is both defined and elastic and has experience implementing such a model across multiple sites;

● Can architect a clear, actionable strategic scaling plan that maps out a scope and sequence for the proposed operational changes and what is needed to accomplish them;

● Has the communication and leadership skills to drive the change management required to get all parts of the organization to scale according to plan;

● Has experience navigating political, bureaucratic, and operational hurdles to clear pathways to scaling;

● Seeks to work at a fast-paced, collaborative, compassionate, start-up organization, where entrepreneurialism, innovation, and creative disruption are valorized;

● Is an enthusiastic learner; and

● Is committed to education reform.

The winning candidate will have an opportunity to become an Executive Vice President upon demonstrating success in the role over time.

Success Academy has retained Seiden Krieger Associates, a 30 year old New York executive search firm as its exclusive partner to recruit the Chief Scaling Officer. Contact: Steven A. Seiden, President, Seiden Krieger Associates, 445 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022; 212-688-8383; steven@seidenkrieger.com.