February is always a time of year that prompts us to stop and “smell the roses” and contemplate the months ahead with warm thoughts about the immediate future and ideally, the impending success in the areas of enrollment, retention, fundraising, and graduation. Of course, in light of the recent record cold temperatures around the country, along with many of the chilling consequences of COVID, economic hardship, and countless other moments of uncertainty, the anticipated seasonal spirit of warmth has become a “heat-is-on” moment in time for so many college and university communities, rather than a pleasant, reflective moment of recovery and rejuvenation.
Yes, there are multiple issues to navigate, and incremental adjustments are a constant activity. Instantaneous recovery is no longer feasible, and while efficiency is often a key variable today, thinking about and implementing authentic, effective initiatives is the new necessity to bring more warmth to the marketplace—and to the campus community.
For some higher education leaders and campus communities, today’s situation has become highly exacerbated, and even cold-shouldered. That mindset must melt away, or there will be even more heated moments of disagreement and underperformance.
Fortunately, the past year has been a catalyst for so many members of campus communities to recognize the importance and necessity of collaborating, listening, dialoguing, and collectively deciding what needs to be done, now and particularly in the future. There is never going to be complete agreement (that is normal), but if members of campus communities are focused on relationships and dialoguing rather than the tasks of transactional implementation, then the warmth of those moments will help melt away the chilling conflict that is often permeating campus communities today.
How can we make permanent the survival-mode improvements during the pandemic that brought speed, flexibility, and purpose? (Source: McKinsey)
Status Quo Cartoon
Marketoonist Tom Fishburne quips, “If the only constant is change, a close second is the resistance to that change. (Source: Marketoonist)
Colleges that can resist returning to their old calendar system may be able to schedule new opportunities for students. (Source: Jeff Selingo)