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Business Change Management

Business Change Management

Who Are the Successful Innovators in Higher Education?

On Apr 10, 2019 6:00:00 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Andrew Simon, Andrea Simon, Blue Ocean Strategy, Higher Education

For many years, we have been working with colleges, universities and higher education associations, primarily conducting Blue Ocean Strategy® workshops and implementing branding and marketing strategic plans. And what we've been seeing lately is that academic leaders are finally realizing that they can no longer wait for their students of the past to return. More and more, they're waking up to the fact that if they don’t start implementing innovative, radically new ways of doing things, they may not have a way forward in the not too distance future. In short, they know they have to change.

Therefore, as change experts, we thought it would be very timely to share some of the major developments we're observing in higher ed and the impactful and fruitful ways in which several institutions are embracing change. 

Higher education today is at a crossroads.

All around the country, colleges and universities are facing more challenges than at any other time in their history. 

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What Higher Education Needs Is A More Powerful, Blue Ocean Strategy®

On Dec 7, 2018 7:54:58 AM

/ Andi and Andy Simon

Categories: Culture Change, Corporate Anthropology, Blue Ocean Strategy, Higher Education

A perfect storm of disconnect: higher education and changing times

At SAMC, we do a good deal of work with higher education institutions. Why? Because we're all about culture change and helping organizations find their Blue Ocean Strategy so they can adapt to what's coming (or in many cases, what's already here). And what we're finding is that today's colleges and universities desperately need both — culture change and Blue Ocean Strategy.

Case in point: If you look at classrooms from the years 1900, 1950 and today, you might be surprised, or dismayed, to see that they are all very much the same. Take a look:

While this antiquated educational system still hasn’t changed much, the world outside is changing faster than ever before. What to do?

Higher education needs to re-think its entire approach

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Is This The Death of Higher Education Institutions?

On Jul 10, 2018 7:00:00 AM

/ Andrea Simon

Categories: Igniting Change, Education, Higher Education

Do you see what we see in the world of higher education? Is this the death of higher education institutions as we know them?

For the past 18 months, I have been blogging about higher education.

Part of our portfolio of assignments includes strategic work we have conducted for higher learning institutions. Challenging is the disconnect between the institution and the workplace. There appears to be a built-in bias against the needs of industry. This resistance has created a reluctance on the part of administrations and faculty to understand what their students will need to succeed after they leave the university. Why are colleges failing their students?

Our research among employers delivers a recurring theme: please, they say, you are sending us students with excellent technical skills but without the people skills that they need to communicate, coordinate, collaborate and creatively solve problems. Industry seems to be responsible for those softer skills that higher education should be instilling in their students.

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How to Capture the ROI of a College Education

On Jan 3, 2018 6:00:00 AM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Blue Ocean, Education, business growth strategies, Higher Education, business model innovation

In a recent Atlantic magazine, Bryan Caplan, author of The Case Against Education, writes a very caustic, albeit truthful analysis of the current state of higher education in the U.S.

In this particular article among many he has written, The World Might be Better Off Without College for Everyone, there is a litany of reasons why our approach to educating our population for society, for jobs, for productive lives, is flawed, failing and fallen.

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So, What Are Liberal Arts Colleges Missing?

On May 15, 2017 3:03:39 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Higher Education

I have written several blogs lately about how students are graduating from colleges and universities with few marketable skills and therefore are largely unprepared to get high-paying jobs in today’s workplace. They can’t service debt, can’t buy cars and certainly can’t afford houses. Not great for our economy!

Although the U.S. educational system has flaws, one state gets it.

In an effort to reverse this trend and make college more affordable and accessible for all, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in January that tuition will be free for residents who earn up to a certain income cap to be phased in over the first three years of the program.

Undergraduates attending a State University of New York or City University of New York school will be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship if their families earn less than $100,000 a year. That will rise to $110,000 in the second year and $125,000 in the third year, 2019. Those who qualify will pay nothing for tuition, which costs $6,470 annually at four-year schools and about $4,350 at community colleges. (They will still be on the hook for room and board fees if they live on campus, which run about $14,000 a year).

What’s great about this plan is that it reduces or even eliminates the debt burden for students (again, a huge drag on our economy). They say a rising tide lifts all boats, which is what I’m hoping Cuomo’s plan does, creating a better path for college graduates to get high-paying jobs. This is what I’d like to focus on here—high-paying jobs—because irrespective of the cost of an education, good high-salary jobs eliminate or reduce all the other problems.

High-paying jobs are out there, so why aren’t they being filled?

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How to Solve the Return on Investment (ROI) Problem for College Students

On Mar 6, 2017 9:21:40 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Higher Education

For the past six months, I have been blogging about some of the problems college students face upon graduation and the underwhelming efforts of colleges and universities to help solve these problems — namely, significant debt as well as a lack of training to compete for careers in our ever-changing economic environment. Along these lines, I came across a NY Times article dated February 18, 2017 entitled: “College Cost Too Much? N.Y.U. Paves Way to Graduate Faster.” The article explains that with the cost of an NYU education running about $66,000 per year (including room, board, tuition and fees), the university faces an “enormous affordability problem” evidenced by complaints from students over the cost of four years of tuition. NYU’s solution? A series of measures to make it easier to graduate in under four years and save money.

The article goes on to say that the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin are also trying to address these issues, but that some experts who study education are questioning this “acceleration effort” because of what students "will miss if they rush through their undergraduate years.” At least the fact that some higher ed institutions are proactively offering ways to reduce more than $60,000 a year in student debt is a good start, and perhaps the trade-off of a shorter college experience for many that must self-finance or borrow is worthwhile.

The future is still in doubt for a lot of today’s graduates

Of course I think that it is great to lower the debt load for these kids, don’t get me wrong…but if colleges don’t give them the skills they’re going to need out in the real world, they often graduate with no hope for a high paying entry level job.

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What Colleges’ #1 Priority Should Be But Isn’t: Training Graduates for the Future

On Jan 24, 2017 2:01:13 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Higher Education

I have been writing blogs about what liberal arts institutions have failed to do in the new 21st century environment. My focus has been trying to find direct links between job placement, earnings and lifetime learning skills. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of those!

Should there be? Perhaps…but let’s discuss the indirect links. And if you believe in indirect links, shouldn’t liberal arts institutions be thinking about this linkage themselves, both formally and informally? Let me give you an example. While I am not always a current reader, I came across the August edition of CB Insights and was particularly struck by the article entitled, “The Future of Dining: 99 Startups Reinventing The Restaurant In One Infographic.”

What is interesting about this article is that it is all about the Internet of Things…which is alive and well and growing. For example, in the restaurant business, some restaurants “are nearly fully automated and require minimal, if any, interaction between employees and customers.” So, what has this got to do with colleges? 

Well, if your higher ed institution is not thinking about this, it should be. And if it is thinking about it, it should be doing something because the IofT will be affecting every college and university’s student population shortly.

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How Apprenticeship Programs Boost Graduates AND The Economy

On Dec 14, 2016 9:49:11 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Higher Education

When you sort through the presidential election campaign rhetoric from this past year, you learn that there are really a number of bad ideas or no ideas. But just as I was thinking about that, I read a December 1, 2016 NY Times article, “What Trump Might Do For Working-Class Families,” which includes a section on “Apprenticeships.” That is what I want to talk about today.

Apprenticeships…an interesting idea and these days, maybe a necessity

Apprenticeships? A captivating idea that I have been advocating as I write my blogs on higher education…what works and what doesn’t. And I think I have been consistent in saying that training young people through apprentice programs, even at the college level, is something that needs to be considered and put into practice much more these days.

You see, good enough today just isn’t good enough! A number of higher education institutions are preparing kids for a world that doesn’t exist anymore. But having said that, I want to be careful not to take anything away from liberal arts. (My degree was in political science but I went on to get an MBA.)

In today’s technically complex world, a lot of students are not prepared for a complicated entry level job. The net effect is that they end up with minimum wages, live at home, have substantial college debt to pay off and can’t afford to marry. Not good for our society and certainly not good for our economy!

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It’s Time For Colleges To Try Something A Little Different

On Oct 18, 2016 9:00:50 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Higher Education

For the last several months, I have been blogging about the state of higher education—specifically, the need for and responsibility of colleges to prepare students for good-paying jobs with careers once they graduate. As I have written these blogs, I have gotten angrier and angrier! Because I am convinced more than ever that the majority of colleges disregard this activity as their responsibility. Yes, their institutions (and even perhaps the administrations) pay lip service to what students are going to do next. But functionally preparing their students for that “next” is not part of their agenda.

To further illustrate my point, several weeks ago I was skimming Facebook and came upon an interesting article. It discussed preparing students for technical skills…not a “classical education,” as we used to call it, but a commercial education for non-college bound students. I must admit, it sounded pretty good and harkened back to the days when New York State awarded both college-bound (Regents) and General diplomas.

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Why Colleges Need To Help Graduates Find Jobs

On Sep 19, 2016 2:37:22 PM

/ Andrew Simon

Categories: Higher Education

Several weeks ago I published a blog entitled: “Better Paying Jobs for College Graduates: Why Higher Ed Needs to Do a Lot More Than Hand Out Diplomas.” My thesis was that there is a crying need for colleges and universities to prepare students today for high-paying jobs in the workforce. I then went on to list a number of points about what colleges are doing (or not doing) along these lines, and if not, what they need to do.

I also made the point that for a nation, it is deplorable for higher ed institutions to let students incur great debt for a degree that only qualifies them for low paying jobs, consequently, hampering them from enjoying the “good life.”

A lot of emotions out there for the failings of higher ed

Apparently, I hit a raw nerve and elicited a number of comments to my blog and tweets. I think it would be appropriate to share some of those comments and my responses.

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