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The New Normal: Community College Leadership and Innovation

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 18, 2008
The New Normal: Community College Leadership and Innovation



Guide Description:
This session presents strategies related to leadership and cultivation of entrepreneurship throughout the organization. Based on research, including the book, The Entrepreneurial Community College and dissertations, one on entrepreneurial leadership, the other on cultural congruency, the presenters will share research and lessons learned about transforming organizations by building new traditions through leadership & innovation.
Full Description: 

It has been more than three years since John Roueche and I wrote The Entrepreneurial Community College. Although much has changed since 2005, many of the same challenges continue to haunt college leaders. Certainly we can point to pockets of innovation where leaders have been successful in transforming practices to aptly leverage and grow college resources; however, there are still lessons to be learned beyond simply transforming programs and services; rather, there are lessons to be gleamed from looking with new eyes at how culture and leadership create occasions for change.


At a recent meeting I dedicated time to proposing several new innovations that our department could implement during the next year.  Throughout the conversation, several “old-timers” amended these ideas with admonitions. Although well-intentioned, these seasoned employees felt obligated to advocate for history, tradition and status quo.  They reiterated the value of maintaining normal practices. From across the room, a recently hired dean offered an unanticipated ray of hope and optimism, suggesting that it is time that we adopt “a new normal.” 


This presentation provides information related to the role that leadership and innovation play in creating a new normal for community colleges in the 21st century. Participants will gain a greater understanding of the unique qualities and characteristics inherent in an entrepreneurial leader, characteristics needed to bring about genuine transformation. Equally important will be a discussion concerning the role that culture plays in creating an entrepreneurial environment, with practical strategies identified to gently shape new directions and new traditions.
Barbara R. Jones-Kavalier, Ph.D., Vice President of Students Services, San Deigo Mesa College, CA
Suzanne L. Flannigan, Ph.D., Dean, Centre for Applied Managment, Lethbridge College, AB, Canada

Tags:  Leadership 

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