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ERIC Number: EJ944117
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Tough Times: Strategic Planning as a War Canoe
Seymour, Daniel
About Campus, v16 n4 p30-32 Sep-Oct 2011
In this article, the author discusses how to make strategic planning a more valuable tool for higher education in today's tough times. Strategic planning is really the answer to five straightforward questions. The first three represent the plan itself, while the last two are what makes the plan vital and dynamic: (1) Why do we exist?; (2) What do we want to create?; (3) How are we going to get there?; (4) How will we know we are successful?; and (5) What do we do now? The author believes that many colleges operate as the nautical equivalents of barges. Institutions of higher education believe in the theory and practice of shared governance. That means everyone they hire to join them on their barge is given an oar. They encourage individual engagement in the hard work of moving the barge from where they are to where they would like to be. And while they have various councils and committees, at the center of what they do is the individual educator. Higher education needs a different type of vessel. It needs a war canoe. Found in various forms in many world cultures, the war canoe is generally a long, single-hulled vessel that is manned by many paddlers. A war canoe uses a slender prow to slice through the water. The pointy end aligns the vessel with its destination as the leader(s) attempts to align the vessel--and all of its occupants--with the chosen destination. Randomness is replaced by coordination as the rowers' efforts are replicated and reinforced. This is the very essence of strategic planning. It is the aligning of the scarce resources in the organization with a clear destination. And as each person begins to understand his or her role in contributing to the success, the random splashing is replaced by a coordinated rhythm. (Contains 1 online resource.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand