Culture = strategy

Godin Culture is Strategy.jpg

In Thomas Frey's recent blog post, "52 Future Degrees Colleges Are Not Offering Yet," he points out that "Colleges have a long history of being blindsided by new technologies."


"From a management perspective," Frey says, "it's far easier to oversee a contained system where all variables are constrained."

True. At the same time, there is nothing inevitable about this management perspective. It merely expresses a certain kind of culture--e.g., "We prize predictability and efficiency above all"--even if that culture predominates among colleges (and other schools).

Annie Duke has said that strategy amounts to making bets. This means that "efficiency cultures" will naturally avoid strategies that disrupt the status quo. In such cultures, as Seth Godin has suggested, the risk that "This might not work" far outweighs the reward of "This might just work."

On the other hand, a school with an abundance culture is likelier to place bets on curricular innovations because it believes the experiments will trigger growth: either they work, or the school learns something. And over the long run, growth is always worth more than the status quo.

Your school nurtures--or defaults to--a certain kind of culture. And that culture is functionally equivalent to choosing a strategy.

So what kind of a bet about the future of learning are you making through your school culture?


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