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Identifying Your Strength on the Path to Business Model Transformation

Jim Hundrieser, Associate Managing Principal, AGB Institutional Strategies 

Building a sustainable and profitable business model requires creativity and patience.  Too often, institutions learn to get by with less, but this is neither a scalable nor viable long-term financial model. In fact, this death by a thousand cuts is a recipe for disaster.  

We find that one of the greatest obstacles to change is not financial. Rather, is a lack of institutional will and resolve to develop and then implement effective business and enrollment strategies.  While financial issues are precipitating factors that give rise to current institutional problems for many of our clients, finances are not necessarily the primary obstruction.  Thus, we often encourage institutions to conduct a self-assessment (from the board to the department level) to identify issues beyond the obvious financial ones that must be addressed to bring about change.  

Creative, innovative thinking are key factors in this process.  What is your institution’s strength (or strengths) in the marketplace?  If you don’t have a clear answer to that question, then we’ve already identified a key non-financial issue that must be addressed.  In the challenging higher ed landscape, knowing your strength and how to align that strength with market demand is essential for transforming your business model.  

Coding boot camps are one example of a creative way to grow revenues and enrollment within an area of strength (if applicable) that aligns with the current and future job market, but many other possibilities exist.  The key is identifying the opportunities that exist at your institution and to think about how you might un-couple these opportunities from the traditional three or four-credit, degree-oriented learning paradigm.  Certificate or credentialing programs are one option that could appeal to a diverse group of traditional and non-traditional students.  

To learn more about how AGBIS can assist your institution or to speak with a member of our team, please call 202-776-0868 or email info@agbis.org.