How to lead change successfully in uncertain times

This process can help lead to a state of “vuja de”—a term that Bailey borrowed from the late comedian George Carlin, meaning the opposite of déjà vu. If déjà vu is the feeling of “been there, done that,” then vuja de is a feeling of “going there, doing that,” Bailey said.

In other words, it’s the ability to see what everyone else sees, but understand it differently—to experience the future in the present.

The innovation you bring about through this process should focus on meeting needs or solving problems that aren’t currently being addressed within your organization or within education at large, Bailey said.

“In the future, we will be paid for the problems we solve and the solutions we find, not just the products and services we provide,” he said, adding that most products and services ultimately can be outsourced.

To focus on problem solving, ask these three questions, Bailey said: What’s the need? What’s the want? What’s your story?

The answers to these questions will point to an end result that “brings about the shift that allows us to be relevant,” he said.

As an example, he cited High Point University, a private liberal arts school in High Point, N.C., affiliated with the United Methodist Church. High Point competes with Emory and other Methodist universities for students, and campus leaders wanted to make the school more attractive to prospects.

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