Am somewhat torn between the logic of this sort of approach to applying insights from broader business practice to higher education, and a slight shudder at the history of misuse that exists as folk mindlessly adapt business practices to higher education. Mindless, ill-informed, or perhaps simply naive adoption of techno-rational management approaches such as top-down, “strategic” thinking and aspects of quality management are amongst the biggest problems for higher education at the moment.
Not to mention that these techno-rational approaches (and their mindless application) are probably the biggest barrier to the type of critical analysis Tim Kastelle is recommending. The teleological nature of these approaches seeks to excise all innovation and difference in the pursuit of the strategic goal and the efficient means of achieving it. Consequently, such organisations don’t have the capacity to perform the analysis, let alone take action to implement/investigate any effective alternatives.
To a large extent, this is the problem facing large media companies. Especially those that are led by “dear leaders”. Actually, just finished a guilty escape of a book which has Prince Harry offering the following opinion
They weren’t thinking at all, Viv. That’s the problem with leadership cults. They’re red hot on getting sh*t done, once the big man has spoken, but not so good at weighing up whether that sh*t should have been done in the first place.
There’s another comment in the post about moving from a gatekeeping to a curating role in the entertainment industry. I know George Siemens and others have been suggesting that a curating role for a teacher is a useful way of moving forward.
I am wondering how that fits with an analysis of the business model of universities? Would it make sense? How would it happen?
This is why it is so critical to analyse your business model now, so that you understand why it works (or doesn’t), and so you know which parts are essential, and which can be changed more easily.