Organizations often struggle to "build the new" while "managing the now." We can help.

As specialists in bringing order to the abstract, we help administrative leaders clarify their thinking and organize for action. Then, we can help “get it done” when it’s time to create new systems, designs, or documents. We bring entrepreneurial perspective—and startup energy—to the table. Sometimes that means critical insights bourne of our unique perspective. Sometimes, that means creating initial drafts of documents that feel impossibly large or complex. Sometimes it means doing the research and analysis—distilling and presenting insights that make a difference. And sometimes it’s the hands on work of “getting it done.”

If you don’t know where to start, start with us.

Great plans are a start, but bringing them to life can be a challenge. Let us help bridge the gap between strategy and execution. Examples of projects we’ve performed for schools include:

  • rebuild the student handbook, with special emphasis on the reduction of implicit bias in the rules—and rule adjustments that anticipate emerging technologies and teenage behaviors
  • redesign the faculty workload and assignment system, finding new ways to ensure accuracy and equity
  • systems design of successful campus-wide recycling, including the alignment of physical structures (bins!) with internal marketing support (signs, campaigns) to ensure it meets its goals
  • redesign the daily academic schedule, working through complex constraints while still delivering more time and improved student and faculty experience
  • redesign the student disciplinary system, in response to an accumulation of exceptions on schools’ longstanding systems
  • makerspace design and outfitting and innovation program design
  • build systems to integrate data-informed decision-making at the school, including data visualization and dashboards
  • perform SWOT analysis, inclusive of bench research, environmental scans, survey input, third-party consulting reports, accreditation inputs, competitive benchmarking, and industry white papers.
  • separation of (policy oriented) employee handbook from (procedural) faculty handbook(s)
  • development of strategic inclusion plans based on comprehensive listening and collected feedback
  • templates and guidance for zero-base budgeting at the institution and department level
  • reimagine the annual fund solving the conflict between “participation” and “big donor” goals
  • creation of a turnkey ecommerce and fulfillment system for a campus store
  • rebuild of “back to school” intake and onboarding process
  • electronic form systems, ranging in complexity from event registration to course registration to full-scale electronic attendance/signout systems

Facing a task that you just can’t seem to get done? Let us help. We’ll get you far enough along to run on your own, and we’ll do it fast enough to make a difference to your team and your institution. Most importantly, we’ll deliver the work in a format that’s “easy to own”—meaning you’ll be able to build upon it using everyday tools and practices, without relying on Aptonym for future upkeep.

Don’t let these big projects get pushed out. Not only will they ruin your vacation, but their vital benefits are too important to defer. Contact us and we’ll get you started.

Extra help for Heads of School

With a deep mission-orientation—and experience across a wide range of school types—we are ready to fit in and help out. We are your rent-a-CCO, chief of staff, or vp of external affairs, available flexibly and on-demand, ready to steward a project, lend extra eyes and ears, or “get it done” in virtually any area of the organization. 

  • speechwriting, ghostwriting, and writing under byline
  • report writing, particularly for board or public consumption
  • polishing presentations, optimizing messaging and bringing an appropriate balance of rational/emotional content, particularly for the board
  • media and speech/performance coaching, to ensure you gain full advantage of high-profile opportunities
  • crisis management and crisis communications support
  • sounding board, management consulting, and coaching, helping unwind complex challenges by applying systems and first principles thinking