In a world that is constantly changing, organizations and their employees must find ways to adapt to the changes, or ideally, be innovative. Higher Education tends to lag behind other industries, hides behind traditions, and grasps to hold on to the past. While it may be easy to see some traditions of higher education remain, colleges and universities are finding that lecture halls with a professor professing to the masses are becoming less and less common. Modalities continue to change as online education, competency-based education, and badges continue to develop and change the landscape of higher education. Many institutions of higher education will be forced to change or risk being passed by.
David Weinberger’s video described the need to do what we can as leaders to anticipate future needs and do our best to narrow the possibilities. Using technologies to do so aids in this pursuit. For quite some time, tuition rates have increased at an alarming rate and students, and families have questioned if the Return on Investment (ROI) is worth it. Are the astronomical costs associated with attending a 4-year institution really worth it! Colleges and universities leaders need to be prepared to be innovative and creative in order to find ways to create value and ROI that reflect the costs students and their families are paying.
Leaders need those that can champion ideas of innovation to move new programming and delivery of education forward. Wirearchy describes ways that leaders can be mindful of how technology can connect networks and individuals and create a culture of sharing information in a meaningful way. Furthermore, provide an environment based no real-time feedback to assist in adapting to an environment of constant change.
Gartner, Inc. stated that as we move into the future, technology will play the role of leading innovation instead of merely playing a supporting role. The Gartner article went on to point out that technologies continue to effective products and services organizations offer. Technology has also changed jobs and how jobs are performed. Employees need to be prepared to adapt to changes and continuously improve their skills and knowledge around technologies used and evolving. Dishman (2015) stated that the skills should be “complementary to technology.”
As the demand and opportunities for online education have grown, the need for staff and faculty to evolve and change with it has become necessary. The long-form writing of books discussed by David Weinberger (2011) and the delivery education in such a fashion is nearly obsolete. Gartner’s prediction in 2010 of a workplace that has no walls and a 24/7 work week may not come entirely true, yet is more fact than fiction. In today’s society, we are connected instantly every moment of our lives. If we are not “on” the impression is we do not care. Faculty and staff availability expectations are nearing this level of always being on and available. Those schools that can deliver on this need are those that will thrive. We can be opposed to this trend like we may be to online education versus face-to-face education, or traditional education versus competency-based education and badges, but reality is, as leaders we need to find ways to adjust to the needs of those we serve. If we do not adapt, we may cease to exist.