Tag Archives: tomorrow culture

Today is a Different Reality

This is the start of a new quarter at my community college and we, like many, are mired in budget issues, enrollment issues, hiring crises, etc.  You know, the usual kerfluffles that make up higher ed.  To escape the quagmire, I look for inspiration among my super smart writer-type friends who add their thoughts about leadership, learning, and other areas I am interested to the blogosphere.

Yesterday, I read a post on Marcia Conner’s blog that has stuck with me all day – I even forwarded it to my dean. (By the way, if you aren’t following Marcia, you should be).

The full post is here, but the part that hooked me is this (written by Garry Ridge, CEO of the WD-40 company):

“You have to separate those responsible for today from those responsible for tomorrow.” A light went off in my head as I realized the implications for WD-40. The company had gotten where it was with a team of people responsible for today. The company had done the same thing for more than 40 years–and its culture, management style, and leadership were deeply embedded in maintaining the status quo. If we wanted to develop a culture that could take us into tomorrow, we’d have to expand our tolerance for risk, devote more energy to learning, and actively court change.

Bam. Mind blown.

Substitute “higher ed” for the word “WD-40”  and “college” for “company” in that quote, and…and…and what?

There are Tomorrow Culture team members in higher ed – but we lack critical mass, both nationally, and in our own little community college backyards. To move forward we have to recognize that today is a different reality and we need to try different approaches.

The question isn’t whether we want to expand our TC team or not – that ship has sailed – we must, or risk becoming irrelevant.

The real question is how?

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