Kaskaskia College is part of the Coleman ECIA Project. In a previous post, we covered Reaching & Engaging Faculty plus the ah-ha discoveries about how to present "what's-in-it-for-me?"or WIIFM. In recent weeks we have tackled the same topic for administrative staffers and non-teaching personnel. We have been concerned that support staff do not look at what they do as entrepreneurial, and question why be entrepreneurial at all? Early in the project we tried to discuss intrapreneurs and obtained modest success, or at least polite listening. In our opinion however when you want to push beyond this polite listening, you must get right back to WIIFM. We see this as key to locating active buy-in and co-creators. So, here is an outline of elements to consider when reaching and engaging administrative staff:
1. What is expected from your staff? (Know where they are coming from & what is important to them)
a. Manage & use resources effectively
b. Assure compliance with rules & regulations
c. Assist faculty in creating a positive & comprehensive learning environment
d. Provide a broad learning experience that meets diverse needs
e. Be a productive and vibrant part of the community
f. Keep track of everything
2. What challenges does staff face? (What makes their jobs challenging & stressful)
a. The pressure to be less place bound (delivery of services convenient to citizens and not necessarly to school)
b. Meet expectations for immediate service
c. Adopt/adapt to changing technology
d. Continuous improvement in efficiency
e. A feeling that everything is "all about the numbers"
f. Creating individualized learning experiences in an efficient manner
g. Coping with generational differences
h. Dealing with budget and staff cuts
Only after engaging, listening and coming to understand the staffers can effective futures be created together. We think that conversations must focus on the individuals, not just the employee. Effectuation can build self confidence and equip individuals or teams to confront challenges faced. Effectuation principles can help illuminate pathways to solutions and help to maximize resources allocated. As in all things, once you respect and understand others, productive synergies can occur.
A summer goal for Kaskaskia College is to have a cross functional, effectual group begin to do "compare & contrast" exercises: "Today we do "X" and in an effectual world we would do _________________." When we achieve this, we will know that we have made great strides with entrepreneurship.