Your Brain and The Lions, Tigers and Bears: Protecting your Admin Team from Destructive Cognitive Load | Simon Holzapfel | 4 Min Read

February 13, 2024

January is an intense month in the life of an independent school. For Heads of School and other Senior Administrators, you are well into your Admissions cycle, your Annual Fund is a few months old, and, if you are hiring for Administrators, you are deep into your hiring cycle. So many things, so little time. At the same time, the market you are operating in is evolving, staffing is a perpetual challenge, and you still need to make time for the strategic work of your team and the school at large. What to do? 

At L-EAF Lab we recommend that school leaders who prioritize effectiveness take a minute at an upcoming Admin Team meeting to introduce and have a quick discussion about cognitive load and your team. If you are hearing about people struggling with decision making or planning, you are also probably hearing about cognitive overload. This is common and also directly remediated with a few simple tools. 

The easiest way to manage a team’s cognitive load is to make their work visible. Sounds weird, right? The rest of this…

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Simon Holzapfel

Simon Holzapfel is an award-winning educator, thought leader, innovator, and writer. He is a co-founder and CEO of the L-eaf Lab, as well as a former Head of School, former Director of Studies, and current Board Chair of The Montessori School of the Berkshires. Simon was in the initial cohort of leaders trained at NAIS’ Innovation Strategy Lab and spent time on the Executive Board of Boston University’s Agile Innovation Lab. Simon is a certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified ImprovementKATA (LIK) & WorkFLOW (LWF) and a member of the Berkshire Innovation Center. Applying four years of experience on the New York State Association of Independent Schools [NYSAIS] Commission on Accreditation, Simon has spent years helping organizations and their teams improve their outcomes by applying lean system thinking and the agile mindset. He lives in Williamstown, MA, and spends as much time as he responsibly can each day on his skis or mountain bike.