The future is digital. We’ve heard that in so many ways that we don’t really hear it any more.
Well, here’s a reminder: the future is digital.
We now hold so much computing power in the palm of our hand. Here’s an indicator: if you used a time machine and took one of today’s mobile devices back to 2010, just 10 years ago when the first iPad came out, and showed the development team what you could do with it, what and how you can connect with others around the world, most would be wowed.
Yet, a few would respond with, “That’s it?”
Leaders saw all of this coming and took the steps to usher it into reality.
Last week we discussed the increasing number of university and college closings. These institutions had a very hard time being even slightly nimble. Their leadership teams somehow misread economic trends and the difficulties we are all grappling with became insurmountable.
If you're seeing the warning signs we mentioned last week, our global research is a great resource to tap into and we're always here to help. This week we launched a new, highly affordable Intead Plus subscription option. Check out what the new Intead Plus Bookshelf Membership has to offer and get back to us.
What we all need are more visionaries to help us navigate to the future. We need the folks who are thinking far ahead, envisioning future opportunities and then developing the executable plan to get us there.
Are you up for it?
Read on for some tips on maintaining a future focus for long-term growth.
Consider this: How old is your institution?
A few decades? A century? More than that?
The folks who gathered around a table all those years ago envisioned an institution that would go on and on doing great things. You are the beneficiary of their thinking and doing. Better yet, your students and faculty are the beneficiaries of their thinking and doing. The larger community around you is the beneficiary of their vision.
No pressure, but you are now carrying that torch.
Recall our first line above: the future is digital.
I’m going out on a limb here and I’ll assume that your institution is expecting to be going strong in 20 years, 30 years, 100 years. What your team does today has everything to do with whether or not that future materializes.
And any good business operation that is thinking ahead these days is thinking about customer acquisition and supply chain. Just ask your business professors. And in both of these areas, customer acquisition and supply chain, the global landscape and political headwinds (trade tariffs and visa challenges anyone?), access to strong, diverse and trusted sourcing and trading partners -- all critical.
So, Here’s Your Future
Getting out of business-speak and back into academia and student recruiting lingo: We all need to consider where the future students are coming from, what they are looking for in education and employment, and how we can deliver all the things that broaden the mind and create opportunity for those paying tuition to our institutions.
- The future is digital, in how we convey our opportunities to prospective students (recruitment planning and execution tools).
- The future is digital, in how we engage students in the learning process while studying and beyond (EdTech learning and coaching tools).
- The future is digital, in how our graduates interact with the world and their employers (alumni engagement and career networking tools).
Want some concrete examples of what others are doing? Download our Non-Traditional Student ebook: Quality. Cost. Convenience. Get the extended version via our new Intead Plus Bookshelf Membership to access the marketing planning and sample student persona content.
Build Lasting Relationships with Reliable Stakeholders
“Yes, so that’s great, we understand the future is digital, blah, blah, blah. What do we do with that reality?”
Ok, we hear you. Let’s get practical about what you, as a leader, can do next:
Getting Concrete: Simply saying you want more non-traditional students or more grad students from China, Brazil, or Japan, is not going to make it happen. Setting up systems, developing strong relationships with relevant partners, doing the leg work to lead others (align others) at your institution toward this goal, is how you achieve long-term growth. And while you can get started today, the initiative will take time.
- Align Team Mindset: Repeat the mantra (the future is digital) in your team meetings (those above you and those below) so that everyone understands that processes 10 years from now will be very different than today and we all need to be thinking and investing to stay current and not fall behind.
- Partner Up: Seek opportunities to build long-term relationships with reliable partners and stakeholders who can supply you with prospective students (education agents, government agencies, partner institutions, high school guidance counselors and administrators) So many creative pipelines...invest time and money in making them reliable partners.
- Set Long-Term Expectations: Maintain a long-term view. With any new relationship, the first year is exploratory. The second year is setting up a scalable process. The third year is the true start of something solid, assuming things have not stagnated or fallen apart in the trial years 1 and 2. Success and real validation appear in year 4. Frustratingly slow, but true in all global business ventures.
We are all leaders in our respective positions. Some grasp that concept and rise through the channels over the years by demonstrating their ability to think and act with long-term vision. Make things happen today that build toward the future you know is coming.
And find others who share your vision and can become reliable partners helping your institution achieve long term growth.
We’re here to take your call and discuss possibilities.