How Higher Ed measures progress and performance toward its vision and goals is vital to its success, but the “how” and the “why” are often fuzzy. Higher education institutions’ bottom-line goal is to create meaningful change for the people and causes they serve. Passion for the cause and the desire to make a difference is necessary, but unfortunately, they don’t always ensure a university’s or college’s long-term success or viability. Today we’ll discuss how performance measurement, external evaluation, and establishing a culture of learning are essential for higher education institutions’ long-term success.
Learn How Higher Ed Measures Progress and Performance
Many colleges and universities today are caught between a rock and a hard place: resources are scarce and attracting and retaining donors (and good employees) can take considerable investment. To build the trust of supporters and align their spending with their stated goals, colleges and universities (unlike many for-profit businesses) must strike a delicate balance between internal investment and external projects.
Many do quite well at defining their mission and organizational goals, but the area in which most higher ed institutions fall short in how Higher Ed measures progress and performance toward their stated goals. Performance management can feel overwhelming, and that’s why few colleges and universities maintain a day-in, day-out focus on measuring the outcomes of their efforts. To make high performance and progress the norm rather than the exception, they must approach outcome measurement with the same tenacity and passion they approach their graduation rates.
The topic of external evaluation has provoked a heated debate in the social sector. Detractors claim that hiring a consultant to evaluate a nonprofit’s progress is too expensive. They say that consultants don’t understand their own limitations in perceiving nonprofits’ goals. These criticisms are often true of large consulting firms, whose one-size-fits-all approach to change management is applied to clients in many industries, but for boutique consulting firms who live and breathe nonprofits, they can be very helpful in diagnosing issues and overcoming problems. Consulting firms that focus exclusively on higher education understand the needs of non-profit institutions and tailor how higher ed measures progress and performance to meet the needs of the stakeholders unique to higher education.
Establishing a Culture of Learning
How higher ed measures progress and performance must be adaptive without losing sight of their institutions’ goals and vision. Perhaps the greatest challenge faced by colleges and universities is creating and nurturing a culture of honest introspection that starts with the board and filters throughout the institution. Shaping workplace culture is challenging organizations in all sectors. Simply stated: habits (and especially habits of thought) are hard to break. Few institutions begin defining their culture from the get-go, and this means that achieving organizational change often feels like an uphill battle.
Building a High-Performance Culture with The Change Leader
The Change Leader helps education institutions establish a shared value system and universal commitment to organizational change—even from stakeholders who in the past have been resistant to change. Because we specialize in the higher education sectors, we understand the challenges you face on a daily basis when attempting to make a meaningful difference for your students, graduates, faculty, and employees.
The Change Leader’s consultants bring in stakeholders at all levels and show them how Higher Ed measures progress effectively toward its vision, goals, and strategically thought out metrics. We help create planning and management tools to help you stay on track. We demonstrate how they are inextricably linked and we get you on the road to achieving meaningful change through innovative strategies to build cultures that care, employees who go the extra mile, and strategies that drive profitability. There is no better way to establish if / how well you are achieving those goals than with external evaluation from someone who understands your institution, your goals, and the higher education industry at large.
Check out some more of our blogs and podcasts on strategic planning and management for higher education institutions.