Inside Gowan Group's Process: Independent School Consulting Firm

Gowan Group Takes You Inside Our Consulting Process

Why is Gowan Group the best choice for your Independent School's next project? Chris Pryor and the consultants explain.

Governance & Strategic Planning

The First Step: Communication

Typically, a Head of School or Director of Admissions will reach out to Gowan Group because they have something important on their mind. Most often, it is a complexity for which they need a solution or guidance. Gowan Group President & Founder, Chris Pryor, recently spoke with a school head who called him because the Gowan “story” resonated with him, and he genuinely felt, as a firm, Gowan Group was real. He was impressed by our tangible deliverables, our research methodology, and that Gowan Group doesn't offer the same conversation most others do. 

Why do schools typically hire a consulting firm to help them with Strategic Thinking & Governance?

A Board of Trustees's main responsibility is to preserve and plan for the fiscal future of their school. This calls for strategic thinking. They take this responsibility seriously, and, when called for, bring in the experts to ensure success. Trustees are becoming more data driven and require a strategic approach to school leadership. Schools call Gowan Group to collect pertinent data, analyze, and turn the analysis into a strategic approach to help drive decisions. Finally, trustees are leaders in their respective industries and bring multiple positive attributes to the board table, but they are wise enough to know they don’t know it all. 

Schools should develop a strategic plan every three to five years.  Gowan Group specializes in it, and guides various types of schools through different strategic thinking exercises ultimately becoming a tight, innovative strategic plan that will guide schools through the next several years.

Gowan Group's Principals have extensive experience in School Leadership. How does this understanding lead to better outcomes while working with Trustees & Administrators? 

Both David Beecher and Chris Pryor have a combined total of 55 years of school leadership under their belts. As former heads of school, they have seen just about everything and are at home in the boardroom. Schools live in an era of risk and instability, so Adaptability and Predictability are critical. Gowan Group's ability to adapt to any situation and predict reactions and behaviors plays an important role in designing specific projects.

After an actual lifetime of living on school campuses, we understand the Independent School culture extremely well.

Each school is different. What are the overall outcomes you want all of your clients to have after working with Gowan Group?

Involved and engaged, Gowan Group is a boutique firm that works closely with its clients. Solutions to complexities will vary from school to school. In general, Gowan Group wants schools to appreciate its innovative approach. Gowan Group wants schools to be satisfied with the firm's leadership, as well as the content and communication. Of course, Gowan Group strives for school's to be impressed with their services. More importantly, they teach schools to practice leadership on a higher level -- to develop a thoughtful and appropriate vision for their school.

The overarching goal is to help schools investigate, communicate and elevate.

In an era of uncertainty and competition, Schools demand a data-driven approach and Gowan Group does the research to help school heads and trustees make sound decisions for their schools. Our research department is second-to-none and our analysis stems from experience and knowledge. Independent Schools value Gowan Group's research methods and the way they translate data analysis into visionary strategic initiatives.

When should a Board of Trustees Contact Gowan Group?



1. They have recently hired a new Head of School.

2. They anticipate hiring a new Head of School and/or a key administrator.

3. The school's current Strategic Plan is either static or completed.

4. School enrollment has declined in the last five years or the current enrollment

plan is five years old.

5. Local demographics have changed.

6. It is time to take the pulse of the community through a survey study.

7. A school's Mission Statement is outdated.

8. The School is considering a new program that demands a Feasibility Study.

9. Schools simply want to hear another professional perspective or have a general question.

10. Administrators want to subscribe to our newsletter to be informed of new research

and methodology.