Pic: Rocky Steps. So corny, but so necessary!

Update (October 31, 2011):
I took this picture on the iconic “Rocky Steps” of the Philadelphia Museum of Art while I was in Philadelphia for the Educause Annual Conference. I took a nice out-and-back 5 mile run along Boathouse Row on the Schuylkill River, and finished with the touristy Rocky experience.

Looking Forward to Educause 2011

I will be attending the Educause 2011 Annual Conference at the Philadelphia Convention Center next month (Oct. 18-21). I have been attending the Educause annual conference since 2006. It is always great to hear the ways other universities are using instructional technology, especially when they present assessment data to go along with their solutions.

My team will be giving a presentation at this year’s conference on our experience developing and supporting the official mobile application for The George Washington University. We launched the iOS version of GW Mobile in January 2011, and released an Android version in April 2011. To date, the app has been downloaded over 10,000 times across the two mobile platforms.

I am also excited to hear Seth Godin speak at one of the conference’s general sessions. I expect him to have some interesting things to say to the higher education community.

Notes from Gary Hamel’s Keynote – Educause 2010

Gary Hamel (London School of Business) gave the keynote address on the first morning of Educause 2010. Here are some rough notes I took during his session.

The question we need to ask is “How will higher education change in the next 25 years?”

Longevity does not guarantee future existence.

We assume the underlying business model of our institutions is immortal. This is not true. It takes a “valley of the shadow of death” experience for us to reevaluate our assumptions. Not all organizations come out the other side.

Be careful not to underestimate creativity for resources.

Our change needs to be automatic, spontaneous, and reflexive.

How can you build an evolutionary advantage? Here are four challenges for doing so:

1. Cognitive Challenge: Getting beyond denial
-Organizations miss the future because it is unpalatable.
-Cycle of Denial: Dismiss, Rationalize, Mitigate, Confront
-Treat every belief about your organization’s business model as a hypothesis.
-Seek out the dissidents and critics.
-Spend time out on the bleeding edge.
-Try to imagine the unimaginable.

2. Strategic Challenge: Creating options for renewal
-Evolution comes from experiments.
-Get more at-bats than your competitors.
-The oak tree doesn’t know where the right soil lies. It drops acorns in every direction.
-In most of our organizations, we are not generating enough ideas.
-1000 ideas –>100 experiments–>10 projects–>1 winner

3. Political Challenge: Realigning talent and capital
-Move resources behind new ideas.

4. Existential Challenge: Enlarging our sense of mission
-Don’t lose sense of mission for business plan.
-Innovation is born in the gap between resources and aspirations.
-Apple reinvented the computer industry, the mobile phone business, the music industry, and the retail industry.