We Are in a Conundrum

What do we do now as we plan for tomorrow? This is a lingering question impacting all organizations and individuals, particularly those involved with higher education—students, parents/guardians, faculty, staff, and leadership. Everyone is assessing their work-life puzzle, an intricate and difficult problem to solve, and confronting a genuine conundrum.

The impact of today’s marketplace situation is certainly hard to understand and assess. Filled with uncertainty, many people are waiting and watching to see what others will ultimately decide to do, or they continue to share their own entrenched thinking that freezes the possibility of innovative thinking and doing. McKinsey recently used the descriptor “organizational bias,” and that certainly captures the workplace culture that appears to exist at many colleges and universities.

For better or worse, Utica College president Laura Casamento recently shared an informed insight during a higher education symposium: “All schools must demonstrate resilience. Higher education is no longer in a triage mode but a stabilization mode.”

Lawlor Recommends

There are those schools and campus cultures that are frozen in time and completely uncertain about why, what, and how to do the necessary things to survive this educational pandemic. Uncertainty and inactivity will not foster sustainability. While these are definitely challenging times, the mindset should not be locked in a conundrum. Instead higher education leaders should embrace ingenuity with original and intuitive new ideas that are in alignment with the institution’s mission and the reality of the marketplace.

Fortunately, today’s market conditions are a genuine catalyst for more innovation and edupreneurism. Colleges and universities can be dynamic role models in addressing the perplexing conundrum that exists today for everyone by discussing and discerning new ideas and then implementing them. Now is definitely the time to do.


Leadership Lessons

Experts examined the roles of bringing people together, energizing forward progress, and reimagining normalcy. (Source: McKinsey)

Gaps by ZIP Code

Researchers found considerable differences in college attendance rates and student debt by racially segregated neighborhoods. (Source: Inside Higher Ed)

Filling the SAT/ACT Void

More colleges will likely be looking to algorithms to replace standardized test as predictors of who will succeed. (Source: EdSurge)