Society’s benefits from the ‘innovations of higher education’ are priceless.
However, on the part of the college leaders, it is an easier said than done task to bring forward innovation. The reason for such is- it brings with it a set of constraints that only a University leader better understands than anyone who is not within the system. Admittedly, leaders resist changing or fear inclusion of innovative ideas as they presume; it may interfere with the research and intellectual exploration activity within the college or University.
College leaders also presume that innovation has to be synonymous to being an expensive affair. Do you also think so?
With the onset of education renaissance movement in the 21st Century, the pressure to embrace new and alternative post-secondary educational models is mounting up. In such a situation, how do college leaders initiate innovation and make the best out of their available budget? It perhaps the most important QUESTION to answer and is there a way to do so?
Here are some interesting ways, discussed below which will help colleges to drive innovation, upgrade practices on campus and at the same time not compromise on affordability. You have got to check them out one by one.
1. Involve Expert Faculty While Driving Innovation
If you observe carefully, you will find, in the universities it is not the expert faculties who essentially drive innovation or ideas on the staff. Further, in the process of innovation what seems to be missing is a meaningful dialogue and discussion between staff and the innovators. Progressive University leaders do not however encourage both these practices.
Progressive leaders are always looking about to bring innovation evaluating the pros and cons of it and are open to meaningful dialogues. They understand the value of successfully implementing innovation and stop getting around for just an approach to blue sky thinking.
Put simply, in order to bring in an innovative culture, leaders need to include expert faculties or trained persons who can execute innovative ideas and spend quality time developing an approach to imaginative thinking and cultivate new ideas - knowing well what challenges could arise on the way and what remedial measures can aid to resolve such challenges.
2. Adopt a Portfolio Approach
Every University has a certain goal and it is important to look out that any innovative idea must sync completely with the goals. For such, leaders have to ensure that the team behind strategizing innovative idea is clarifying the goals and listing down the gaps existing within. it is also important to evaluate the progress of the institution in achieving its aims and thereafter, come up with a strategy where the innovation helps close gaps and allow University to achieve its goals.
Now, the important question to ask- how does a University determine which innovation is worth investing and which isn’t?
Well, here is where adopting a portfolio approach can be really beneficial as it helps institutions create project plans and focus upon product development. Colleges and Universities must invest in various groups of innovations- say one that ranges the routine improvement of a course to the transformational launch of new online, competency based and low-cost schools.
Leaders need to also ensure that they test big assumptions on which the success of any plan is dependent. Keeping a close watch and quickly testing out big assumptions can help mitigate risks and refine the plans timely for innovation is indeed a difficult and unpredictable process in itself. The reward is however great at the end of the day and allows institution to step forward into the future with a lasting impact.
3. Leveraging the Power of Low budget Tech- led Solutions
Advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and digital technology is changing innovation landscape. Considering that Universities are in a dire need to change the direction of research to make it translational impactful from their highly intellectual research, here leveraging the power of technologies can be a great help.
With a plethora of education technologies available today, colleges must gather information on new technologies- their painpoints, holistic approach to offer support and the price in which such solutions can be available. Such will help colleges to implement innovative solutions and bolster revenue stream, cutting the operational cost to a great deal. With the help of digital technologies, colleges can attain ubiquitous connectivity that facilitates greater collaboration and enable people to develop a connected community in a chosen field.