Why Higher Ed Needs Scenarios

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture

From sources of funding to student engagement models, from the use of mobile technology to social media, multiple disruptive forces create surprises for administrators, frustrations for academics and bewilderment for students. Uncertainty threatens to incapacitate institutions as they choose for change to be thrust upon them, or attempt to avoid or ignore the strategic importance of the changes taking place around them. Institutions of higher education tend to plan in a very linear way, driven by accreditation processes better prepared to test an organization’s historical ability to deliver value, than their future ability to compete and remain relevant. Organizations wanting to remain relevant need not only to encourage strategic thinking that positions them in a competitive framework, but they also need to apply scenario planning to grapple with the multiple uncertainties that often force them to adapt rapidly to the changing world around them.

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