So, here's the question...

Here we stand. August 12, 2011. A small percentage of America has already gone back to school, and the large majority of the population will be back in the classroom by the end of the month. The last vacations are in progress or winding down, classrooms are getting spiffed up, smartboards being installed (or uninstalled), and the infrastructure improvements your institution promised to do over the summer are winding down.

So, here's the question: Did your school or university get in that all important analysis that is critical to planning for the coming year?

Call me old-fashioned (I'm not), but, summer used to be a full three month period of data gathering, analysis, and retreat-style team bonding and planning. That was 25 years ago. Today, we are pushing hard to get in a full week of analysis and planning. It is super hard to answer the following questions without the right data, time for reflection, and analysis that is needed. For instance:

How did the strategic plan accomplishments measure this year against the institutional dashboard?
How was net tuition revenue? Did you accomplish your enrollment goals and/or were you off the mark?
How is the 21st Century classroom going? In this constant state of change called education, did the summer give the progress you had hoped?
Did the professional development plans for the summer actually take shape for your team and was it productive?

It is clear to me that we are in a 12 month, 18 hour a day cycle of movement in our business today. Education was buffered - for awhile - from the fast trends that were shaping business. That is no longer. Analysis and planning need to be on the fly, real-time, and can no longer take the entire summer. Yet, it has to be done.

Looks like we might be heading toward a new model for analysis and planning. I think I will share more on this next week.

Have a great weekend!

Ian