“That sounds like an area where we could definitely improve, but we just don’t have the capacity to get to it right now.”
Every day, passionate higher ed professionals across Canada are deflated when they hear these words from their colleagues or bosses. What makes these words so difficult to hear is that they acknowledge the possibility of improvement, but deny the possibility of taking action. “Maybe later,” is often what follows. So when, then? Next year? The year after that…?
With mandatory reporting requirements and day-to-day tasks stretching Canada’s higher ed professionals more than ever, it’s become essential for institutions to expand their capacity to pursue projects that can impact the lives of students at their school. But it’s not like institutions can go out and hire a fleet of salaried employees for every new project. That’s why it’s crucial for institutions to have access to enhanced research capacity and strategic guidance that are offered on an as-needed basis. This is where a third-party research and consulting partner becomes essential to the success of Canada’s post-secondary sector.
Identify the problem
Before reaching out to a third-party partner, it’s essential to understand the problem that your institution needs to address.
You might need to better understand the opportunities and challenges associated with launching or reviewing your school’s academic programs. You might need a better grasp of how incoming students’ expectations influence their decision to enrol in your school or to decline an offer of admission. You might want to know more about the effectiveness of your school’s creative materials before releasing them into a world of potential students. Or maybe you need to make better use of existing data to guide your school’s strategic planning.
Whatever the issue facing your school, it’s important to know that you don’t need to put off addressing it just because of the constraints facing your team. With knowledgeable partners ready to provide enhanced research capacity and strategic guidance whenever you need it, the only question you have to ask yourself is, “Is this problem worth solving?”
Look to your team
Before you reach out to a third-party partner to address your institutional challenge, it’s important to know where your internal team already has strengths in its capacity and expertise, and where it might complemented by third-party partners. Having a better understanding of your strengths will help you get the maximum value out of both your talented team and your third-party partner. If you feel that understanding your team’s strengths poses a challenge in itself, this is another area where a third-party partner can offer support and insight.
Break out of paralysis
Too often, higher ed professionals watch great opportunities pass them by because their team is overrun with day-to-day operational tasks. But take heart in knowing that this sort of paralysis never needs to happen. With flexible, trusted partners ready to reach out and offer support and guidance whenever needed, you have the power to take immediate action on whatever challenge your institution is facing.
If you have a challenge facing your institution that would benefit from enhanced research capacity and/or expert guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Academica Group via email. Or if you’d prefer to connect over the phone, give us a call at 1-866-922-8636 ext. 228.