Organizational change is at the core of my consulting endeavors. Strategic communications, social media, digital identity, and technology are the entry points for most of my engagements. However, every single conversation, strategy session, keynote, and meeting have a reoccurring theme: organizational change.
Our organizations should be nimble. They should thrive on change, on adaptation, on experimentation, and on the beauty of flux. For some organizations, they are at the cusp of embracing a new ethos. A sense of change as being a normal part of the day. For others, change is looked at as something to resist or to mitigate.
When I chat with new student affairs professionals, I don't ask them about student development theory. I ask them about where they see things going with the future of higher education and how they intend on maintaining professional relevancy. It's a tough question for a new professional. In a space where many are encouraging undergraduate students to make the leap directly into a higher education masters program, having enough experience to even be aware of the needs of today (or tomorrow) is almost impossible for some of our newest and youngest practitioners.
And, in case you are wondering, I'm a proponent of people taking time between their undergraduate degree and (if they choose to pursue one) their student affairs degree. I think for a lot of student affairs organizations, the ability to ride the ever-changing currents of our industry almost mandate that our professional community gets experience outside of student affairs work.
If organizational change was something that came easily for student affairs organizations, I would be out of a job. It's true, consulting is my favorite thing. I find it to be an extremely fulfilling career. However, I would love it if our organizations would shift towards a mindset that seeks to swim in seas of dissonance and emerge with an always-learning mentality.
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