In a recent interview, Michael Crow identified risk-taking as vital. Who is Michael Crow? He has been the president of Arizona State University for twelve years. During his tenure enrollment has increased 38%, research spending has tripled and tuition has been kept in check. What’s his secret in a setting in which many universities are struggling? Crows says that educators and large academic institutions need to be more entrepreneurial and take more risks. He goes on to state that higher education is too risk-averse and needs to be more innovative.
Isn’t it refreshing to hear someone from a world that can be bound by tradition and excessively focused on the past talk about the need to move forward boldly?
The interview of Crow is titled “Design for a New College.” It was conducted by Douglas Belkin and is available on the website of the Wall Street Journal.
Here are the first two sentences in a recent article that got my attention:
“Want to be more competitive? Then empower your most technologically disobedient employees.”
The core message is that employees want to do their job and they will seek the tools to do so. If the corporate Information Technology (IT) department does not provide them with what they need, the will find the applications they need on their own even if it means paying for them. The proof? According to research conducted by Frost & Sullivan referenced in the article “80% of people working for organizations with more than 1,000 employees go around the IT department and use (or even buy) software.” The practice is referred to as “Shadow IT.”
The idea is similar to my admonition to achieve innovation by accepting failures, because you won’t get one without some of the other. Are there risks? Of course. But as the article concludes, “firms concerned about the security issues of shadow IT are missing the point; the bigger risk is not embracing it in the first place.”
The article is titled “Let Staff Go Rogue on Tech.” It was written by Christopher Mims and is available on the website of the Wall Street Journal.