The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Forces affecting higher education

Rich Hershman in our DC office shared with me yesterday a link to the Knowledgeworks Foundation Map of Future Forces Affecting Higher Education. It is an interesting tool, and one that stores could use in their own strategic planning/visioning process. I easily identified several items on the map of high relevance to college stores.

The map is interactive through the above link, allowing you to drill down, etc. However, if you register you can download a .pdf version that is a little easier to work with. The interactive version does allow you to drill down to links that the .pdf does not however, so there is a tradeoff. Downloading does provide some limited license for reproduction to use as a discussion tool.

The .pdf also comes with some useful suggestions about how to use the tool as a strategic discussion catalyst. The goal of the map is to serve as a "conversation catalyst." For stores looking for ways to start discussions with other campus departments, such as the library, IT, faculty, registrar, or others, this tool could help. The makers of the map suggest three steps to work through discussion, but certainly other approaches could work too. Their approach suggests "Foresight to Insight to Action" as follows:
Foresight: Using a marker or sticky notes, identify spots on the map that resonate with you as you think about your role in education or the issues that matter to you most. These may be specific trends on the map or combinations of trends. Why do these trends resonate with you? What questions do they raise about the future of education? (or the future of the college store?)

Insight: For each highlighted spot, imagine the implications for stakeholdres, providers, and beneficiaries of public (or private) education. What is the deeper meaning of this trend for education or your organization? These insights may form the basis of a strategy for your organization or group.

Action: For each insight, develop a list of possible strategic actions, including new research, partnerships, competencies to develop, communication plans, and programs.

I also thought the tool could be useful for scenario planning -- coming up with "what if" scenarios for the college store that could be used to develop similar action plans. If you are looking for a good tool to start the strategic thinking and discussion process in your store -- or with others on campus, this is one to consider. I think they may be providing an updated version of the map in 2009, but the current one (developed in 2006) is still very relevant.

1 comment:

Eric Grant said...

Glad you find the Map useful! The 2009 Map will include some scenario-planning tools, and you may be interested in the learning economy paper for your stores. If you'd like a copy, let me know and I'll send it to you.