Higher ed insights on our company’s one-year anniversary
We’ve learned so much.
This year we fulfilled a long-held dream after decades in higher education: We launched our own company. Now we consult with presidents and senior leaders on strategy and communication, and our work has been a joy: fulfilling, exciting, creative and launched at a critical time in higher education. Though our client base is quite broad—public and private, large research universities and small liberal arts colleges, associations and boards—these institutions share many common challenges and opportunities that are affecting higher education in 2017. Here are some of the most prominent themes and trends we have observed over the past year:
Something fascinating happened over a 7-week period this fall: several universities announced enormous gifts, innovative partnerships, or both, aimed at hugely ambitious and strategic goals in health and science. Each of these announcements represented a clear strategic vision on the part of the school, as well as highly effective communications work that helped to leverage media coverage and storytelling content for positive momentum and visibility.
Today is the official start date of our new consulting practice focused on strategic planning, vision and goal setting, communications, leadership and organizational development for higher education and related institutions. This moment is exciting on many levels. We have enormous respect for each other—the intellect, creativity, and ambitious thinking that has characterized our work both together and as individuals will now directly benefit our clients. Our work with colleges and universities is both inspiring and satisfying. In addition to our expertise in higher education, we partner with a range of organizations that advance the world’s knowledge, including research institutes, foundations, nonprofits, start-ups, and other entities with a related mission. Continue reading →
Effort counts twice. So says MacArthur Fellow and psychology professor Angela Duckworth in her thoughtful book called Grit. Duckworth studies what it takes to be successful and argues that passion and perseverance – not talent alone, or even primarily – are the critical factors in determining success: whether you are a new candidate at West Point, a scholar, a writer, a potter or a CEO.
“When you consider individuals in identical circumstances, what each achieves depends on just two things, talent and effort. Talent – how fast we improve in skill – absolutely matters. But effort factors into the calculation twice, not once. Effort builds skill. At the very same time, effort makes skill productive.” Continue reading →