Silos are for Grain – A Call for Ideas and Collaborationby Fran Zablocki
ESTIMATED READING TIME: 2 minutes
I consider lifetime engagement management to be one of the most important conversations that those working in and for the higher education industry need to have right now.
Lifetime engagement is a different way of thinking about a lot of things: the relationship our students have with us, how it changes over time, how and when we communicate to them over the years, organizational structures in higher ed, external communications models, emergent methods of philanthropy (think Kickstarter), and more. There are lots of things to think about and many paths to explore.
Lifetime engagement management can take many forms – from something as simple as two employees from different divisions getting together for coffee and identifying what useful data they can share with each other - to entirely different training and professional development models.
Back in November 2011 I wrote a blog post entitled “I’d like to introduce myself as…myself…and then again, as myself,” a look at how our disparate, isolated campus cultures and technologies are having a really negative impact on those who are most important – our students and alumni – over the lifetime-long relationship they have with us.
It received a great deal of positive feedback and discussion, and I followed up with another post examining some of the ways we can all begin to address these challenges. This eventually culminated in a presentation on what I’ve coined lifetime engagement management. I’ve given this presentation several times now and collaborated with the awesome Rob Zinkan from Indiana University to show how lifetime engagement management principles are being used in practice.
I am thrilled with the momentum that has been generated around this topic so far – but it isn’t nearly enough!
Everyone in higher education wants to hear from you – about what successes you’ve had collaborating with those on your campus; about projects that involve contributions from admissions, student affairs, and alumni; about your thoughts and dreams on what true institutional collaboration in higher education looks like, what it means for you, and what it means for the industry as a whole.
If you have a story to tell, an idea to share, or an innovation you think think the world needs to know about, I want to provide the roundtable for that discussion. If you know of someone else who has done great things to facilitate positive, collaborative change and would like to give them the kudos they deserve, we want to know. If you wake up every day and, like me, think “If only we could just talk to each other, imagine what we could accomplish,” I want you to let us know.
If you’re interested in being a part of this conversation, simply fill out this form. I’d like to build up a list of people who want to talk about this and then start talking – whether that be in the form of tweetups, live web roundtable discussions, blog posts, webinars, you name it.
We’ve heard enough about silos – let’s build some bridges.