The landscape of higher education is shifting rapidly. The COVID19 pandemic accelerated an already shifting milieu. As colleges and universities seek to dynamically respond to a changing context, there is one approach I believe is essential for colleges to develop the resiliency and innovation to thrive moving forward: collaboration.
The amount that we can accomplish is multiplied through working together. From Lewis and Clark to Orville and Wilbur Wright to Rodgers and Hammerstein, great things have been achieved when two skillful individuals join forces.
From the first field trip we take in elementary school, we are introduced to the buddy system and its virtues, but we are quick to forget this fundamental lesson in adulthood and our professional lives. We buy into the fallacy of self-sufficiency.
On an individual and organizational level, our outcomes are enhanced when we work together.
We know there are countless benefits to collaboration, but three rise to the top for anyone considering a strategic partnership.
We each bring our own unique vantage point to the work we do. When you work with others, you move from tunnel vision to a panoramic view. Partners help you see your blind spots. This prevents critical errors and shortens the iteration time for improvement of processes. A well-suited collaborator will keep you grounded as you evaluate and execute your mission.
Awareness is particularly key in higher education, where all-too-often the rationale given for a decision is “we’ve always done it this way.” Collaborators can bring a healthy shake up to the status quo.
You are in a position of leadership in higher education because you are good at what you do. You have united skill with experience to shape successful outcomes. Because of that, you understand that to be truly proficient at something takes a significant investment of time.