Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Do you know what you’re really good at and what you are not?

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players of all time – winning 6 championships; Google is one of the most admired companies with stock shares toppling over $600.00 a share; Michael Phelps has won more gold medals than anyone in Olympic history - and the list goes on. 

You might wonder what made them so good at what they do.  The answer is simple; they became successful at what they are really good at.  The hard part is figuring that out.  Does it come natural?  What does your organization focus on with great interest, enthusiasm, dedication and passion?

Since President Obama recently won reelection, he will be continually calling upon Community Colleges to significantly improve its postsecondary education performance.  The President’s declaration that in an ever more competitive global marketplace, the United States must once again lead the world in college attainment, challenging Americans to compete at least one year of education past high school.

Completion is the key!  To fully enjoy the benefits of higher knowledge and skills, students must graduate.  Dropping in for a couple of classes at the local campus rarely makes a difference for long term students.  Therefore, it is vitally important that Public and Private for-profit institutions who have positioned themselves in providing a full pathway not only increase the likelihood of student graduation, but also open the door to a good career. 

One alternative that is becoming a growing strategy and can deliver greater return-on-investment than longer term bachelor or associate degrees – are certificates.  For businesses needing to recruit readily-trained employees and improve their existing workforce - partnering with colleges in developing customized certificate programs can be the most direct path to help their employees complete college and to ensure company and career success.

However, employers are concerned about investing in these college partnerships because of:

·         The talent and commitment required to understand their business and to develop and customize the type of training they need to meet their goals and objectives.
·         The lack of awareness in terms of the quality of services and advantages a college has to offer them.
·         Resource constraints in administering, managing and reporting on performance, especially during business growth periods and economic competitiveness.
·         The state-of-the-art technology tools needed in delivering high quality, consistent training regionally, nationally and internationally.

A little more than half of all certificates are awarded by public institutions, mostly community colleges;   four in ten are now granted by private for-profit institutions and is growing.   As a result, For-profits are making huge investments in building awareness through integrated marketing techniques and are increasing sales and consultant velocity – generating interest to businesses and individuals.  And the investment and competition keeps on growing…  

So what is your overall plan and go-to-market strategy to achieve better success?  Do you have the right organizational structure in place?  Do you have the right talent?  Is your institution on-board?  How do you select partners that you can trust?  Do you know what you’re good at and what you’re not?   

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