What’s my biggest wish for higher education? I want educators to
think and act like social entrepreneurs, and not only because I’ve been
teaching entrepreneurship since 1999.
It’s no secret that the higher education system is in desperate need
of an overhaul. Like any other "industry” we have our share of superstar
performers, dead weight employees, and a wide spectrum of customers
with varied needs. Previous attempts to revamp education have fallen
short. However, higher education is unique in so many ways that
traditional business solutions often seem inadequate.
Our work in providing education and training can mean the difference
between career success and a life of poverty for our students. We can’t
afford to get it wrong, so we can’t afford to stay stuck in the academic
bubble any longer. Educators need to apply entrepreneurial strategies
to academic problems.
The world of business moves quickly as does the world of science and
technology. Taking weeks, a semester, or months to make a decision
simply isn’t practical. Entrepreneurs are fast; educators need to be
fast too. As an industry we need to learn to make decisions without
dozens of committee meetings or a chain of policy related emails. Our
schools need to be responsive and flexible like the best of small
businesses. Ask any entrepreneur and they will tell you, "customers
won’t wait—they just move on to your competitor”.