Do you know of a person or department that works feverishly — they are always busy doing something — yet they do not have productive results to show for it.  Perhaps what is missing is an element of strategy.  They are doing things right, but are they doing the right things?

I am reminded of a saying from one of my dearest colleagues.  Michael used to preach to us:  “Nice is nice, if what you need is nice.”  If what you need is change, action, accountability, results or something else, then “nice” may not be the best option for you.

Without strategic direction, committees meet, without real purpose or accomplishment. Academic departments work hard at doing things that do not directly influence recruitment.  Admissions counselors spend time on those not likely to enroll. Meetings happen, because people don’t want to decline requests, even though their time may be much better spent elsewhere.

Think about what you need before you allocate your next hour.  If nice is your goal, then there are many ways to achieve it.  If you have a more specific outcome in mind, you may need to opt for a more pointed strategy to get you there.

— beth triplett

Missing you Michael Miller!

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