Planning for Higher Education Journal

The Challenge to Deep Change

A Brief Cultural History of Higher Education
From Volume 41 Number 2 | January–March 2013
By Sanford C. Shugart
Challenges: Change Management

Management author and professor Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “culture eats strategy for lunch.” Given the extraordinary demands on higher education to adopt strategies that deliver better results with fewer resources and the common resistance of our institutions to strategic change, leaders and planners would do well to actively engage in processes of cultural change. This requires three things: a genuine understanding of the origins of institutional culture as expressed in the “deep architecture” of our colleges and universities; a systematic approach to initiating “courageous conversations” throughout the institution, leveraged by evidence that creates both hope and despair; and a willingness to reengineer the deep architecture around a new set of design principles, displacing the old culture with a new, intentional, emerging culture built on new working theories.

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