The HOW of Leading a Quest for Student Wellbeing

ACTIONING your AI process – an example student wellbeing action plan

So, you’ve held an Appreciative Inquiry [1] process into student wellbeing, very similar to the last four blog posts…  Now what?  It’s time to get to the doing.  By the very nature of the process, your school’s approach to student wellbeing will be unique to your school’s strengths and values.  There are likely to be some common elements, however.  In this post I’d like to highlight how one school aimed to action the results of the AI process.

Firstly, let’s look at the action plan from one of the schools I’ve worked with over time – I’ve changed all the names in the plan – click below and have a brief scan:

Student Welllbeing Action Plan

Apart from the usefulness of just seeing a worked-out example, there are three things I want to point out about this school’s plan.


The first thing you’ll notice is that this plan is fairly detailed; a table running for four pages, with short specific descriptions of each recommendation, along with activities, a person responsible, a timeframe and resources .  In other words, the recommendations have been expressed as SMART goals (goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound). The SMART framework is useful at this point, after the AI process.

Contextualise your plan

Next, under a column marked ‘Strategies’, we can see that this school has aligned each action with John Kotter’s 8-step change model; this has been done because the school routinely used Kotter’s steps for implementing change.  This isn’t something you need to do, but it does highlight that no matter how you capture the recommendations from your own AI process, consider ways that will make sense for your context.

Keep It Simple

A third thing to draw out of this example document is that while it is long – for all its length, is actually quite simple.   In the end this simplicity was one of the major benefits of the document when it was being used by the school.  This is a plan which will be just as easy to understand when it is when it is time to review as when it was written; it’ll be easy to see whether expectations have been met or not.  (Simplicity is a very helpful thing!)  Having said that, there is a fair amount of jargon specific to that school, especially acronyms for particular school roles, etc., which could be simplified further – because the easier it is to follow, the more useful it will be.  Consider simplicity as an important feature of your own action plan.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?  Have we implemented student wellbeing?  Well – yes and no!  Yes, we’ve made a plan, and now know how we’re approaching student wellbeing.  And no – we need to push just one step further and review the plan once it’s been in place for a bit, which is the topic of our next blog post!

Next post in the ‘How to lead a Quest for Student Wellbeing’ series:

‘FOLLOWING up – reviewing your AI action plan.’

  1. Srivastva, S. and D. Cooperrider, Appreciative Inquiry into Organizational Life. Research in organizational change and development, 1987. 1.

Nahum Kozak | Psychologist

Nahum is a Psychologist who uses the power of story, humour, and data to help improve organisations.  Nahum has a wealth of experience from school and corporate contexts – as Head of Positive Education and Senior School Counsellor (John Paul College), Corporate Coach (including experience with Griffith’s Work and Organisational Resiliency Centre) and Youth Minister (in Catholic Schools across Australia). He holds a B.A.(Psychology), M.Ed.(Educational Research: Theory and Practice), and is currently undertaking a second Masters in Organisational Psychology. He has presented at schools and conferences around Australia, and has had his research on wellbeing, social connection and sleep quality published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry. Nahum is passionate about building healthy, happy organisations.