Illustration of three people standing underneath a magnifying glass

A Reflective Moment

Thanksgiving 2020 may be a lasting memory for everyone in light of the times.

Uncertainty—along with the constant testing of our mind, body, and spirit—is fostering epic moments of self-reflection about today and tomorrow. Individuals and especially higher education organizations are in a suspended animation due to so much unpredictability, shortfalls, and other seismic shifts that are definitely a catalyst for cascading effects.

Change or changing times is a frequent occurrence in life. Granted, 2020 has unequivocally been a catalyst for taking our top-of-mind concerns and consternation to newer heights during this memorable moment in time, but as we have noted previously, life is a journey. There are times that we must pause and give thanks about positive moments that have happened, are happening, and most likely, will happen again.

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These are definitely reflective moments in time.

Author Jim Collins noted in his Good to Great and the Social Sectors monograph that one of the key steps in building greatness to last is to “preserve the core and stimulate progress.” He adds, “Great organizations keep clear the difference between their core values (which never change) and operating strategies and cultural practices (which endlessly adapt to a changing world).”

Today, change is happening, and colleges and universities must all adapt to the changing times. Ironically, The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” opens with the words, “Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.” Definitely a good reminder for all of us to rest, relax, and rejuvenate this Thanksgiving.


Permanent Shift

The pandemic could lead to long-term change as getting a four-year degree makes less sense to more Americans. (Source: WSJ)

Shaping the Board

Dealing with rapid change may require rethinking a board’s fundamental composition and the way it operates. (Source: McKinsey)

Strategic Planning

This year has revealed the limitations of a rigid planning process, as Tom Fishburne’s cartoon reflects. (Source: Marketoonist)