Higher education has been steadily moving from it’s long-term position as a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market. College and university leaders seem slow to grasp this fact. They, as well as those who do grasp this fact, would be wise to adopt this mindset given current market conditions and to lead daily process improvement, courtesy of Mr. Toshihiro Nagamatsu:
“We are always at our worst. You may think you are a good company today, but make no mistake you are not. You may become better tomorrow, but still you are toward the back. At any moment, somewhere in this world there is someone doing the same work better. There is no end. You must continually seek to improve.”
What does Nagamatsu-san mean? At any point in time, your institution and your work are in bad shape, and you must acknowledge this because others are competing against you and will take your business if you do not recognize problems and make improvements every day.
Buyers’ markets pose unique challenges to higher education leaders. In particular, the methods for improvement and the rate of improvement necessary to avoid an institution’s demise.