This year’s theme for Summer Seminar is “The Power of DO: Market Insights That Foster More Doing.” No question, that thematic is gaining more momentum from the ground level to the board level within college and university communities. It is simply a necessity.
As one higher education leader recently shared with me, “Yes, there is a fear of the known. But, that is worse than the fear of the unknown. Not doing something will have more of a negative impact than trying to do something unknown in order to try and achieve success.” There may be a perceived mountain getting in the way of doing, but not doing fosters a faster race to the bottom. A chief enrollment officer put it succinctly: “We are going through a ‘crisis of immobility.’ ” Now is the time to DO.
In addition, the necessity to DO something with organizational intent and institutional purpose that demonstrates an authentic collective sense of self is extremely important today. But again, we have fragmented communities and dysfunctional collaboration. Another university leader told me about the “wink and nod” behavior that is so prevalent, but is also complete hypocrisy. People aren’t often comfortable saying what they really think, while others provide the “wink and nod” gesture that supposedly indicates that empathetic listening is going on. Combine that with “prestigious assessment” that is so shaped by the days of yesteryear, and we all come to the realization that campus cultures and leaders that do not encourage active dialogue and objective discernment, and instead embrace a slow process to doing, are going to end up out of sync with the reality of the marketplace. Now IS the time to do.