There are Many Endings

 – “A wise man once told me, there are many endings. But the right one is the one you choose.”  Jennifer Goines.

I’m addicted to the 12 Monkeys.  Time may be a fickle mistress, but she’s awfully hard to live without.  At least the show’s writers think so.

Why am I writing about the 12 Monkeys?

Well, with a new budget model and university strategic plan in place and with an AACSB visit and end of my fifth year as dean close at hand, my mind has turned to thinking about what the next five years will hold.  What should the College look like in 2022 and how do we get there?  As General George Patton famously said and the 12 Monkeys demonstrates, “no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.”  But, that’s not an excuse for not having one.  It just means a good plan is a flexible plan…one that positions you to take advantage of a range of possibilities rather than forces you to bet everything on a single vision of the future.  Conditions change, you learn, the future reveals itself grudgingly…in fits and starts rather than smooth straight lines.  Ask Jennifer, she’ll tell you. (anybody see that season finale reveal coming?)

So, to help me and my colleagues imagine possibilities, I’d like some input from the local business community on what you see as the most fundamental changes you will face in running your business over the next five to ten years. Not changes in tax policy or government spending, but changes in markets, consumers, technology and delivery modes that influence how and where you compete and the kinds of talent you need.  As a business school, we have to prepare students to compete in that world.  And some of those same changes are likely to impact the fundamentals of our business (the business of higher education) as well.  I’m going to give this assignment to my Dean’s Advisory Board too.  The more specific you can be in detailing the fundamental change you see coming and how it will impact your business and how we prepare students, the better.  

Thanks in advance. In exchange, I’ll let you know how your insights influence our strategic planning process.  Let’s make the end of 2022, the one that we choose.