An Organizational Effectiveness Model for Private Sector Education

By David J Waldron

Hire ▪ Train ▪ Monitor ▪ Motivate

Successful, student centered, team oriented, consensus driven cultures in private sector education often share a common commitment to excellence in the recruitment and retention of the faculty & staff who teach and serve its students.  The daily commitment is squarely on hiring, training, monitoring, and motivating passionate employees focused on the desired student, campus, and company outcomes.

I was fortunate to learn how to be a successful director of admissions, then campus president, by learning and practicing the art of hiring, training monitoring, and motivating.  These four skills are necessary, in unison, to build and maintain a campus or company of distinction.  Here’s how.


 
 

An Organizational Effectiveness Model for Private Sector Education

By David J Waldron

Campus of Distinction

What often lies at the heart of dissention between traditional higher education and for-profit private sector education is the latter’s commitment to putting the student at the center of its universe. The former operates under the premise of faculty centric shared governance, literally placing the student as an invited guest - a paying one at that.

Pundits argue for-profit education actually puts the shareholder first and the reasoning has its merits primarily in the legal sense that publicly held companies must put the interests of shareholders above all else.  But in the context of working at the campus level, let’s assume the shareholder is taken care of by the corporate office and our attention is squarely where it should and needs to be: on the student, the paying customer.

What is necessary to drive a successful student centric campus without compromising the commitments and needs of the other stakeholders such as investors, faculty & staff, employers, and regulators?  I submit a consensus driven culture of teamwork, results, compliance, and recognition centered on successful student outcomes will create a campus of distinction.

 
 

An Organizational Effectiveness Model for Private Sector Education

By David J Waldron

People Before Vision
In his seminal book, Good to Great (Harper Business), Jim Collins and his research team studied organizations who had transformed from merely good companies to great, legendary enterprises.  The team found several common denominators that were shared by each company studied.   Many of these shared traits were paradoxical or counter to conventional wisdom.  Whereas business books are typically a dime a dozen, Good to Great is considered by many as one of the best ever written.  I am in that camp, and therefore have chosen these key concepts as the basis of this blogpost of A Great Place to Learn & Earn to demonstrate how private sector education schools and companies can make the leap to greatness.

 
 

An Organizational Effectiveness Model for Private Sector Education

By David J Waldron

Making a Living, Making a Difference

Introduction to A Great Place to Learn & Earn

In private sector education, unlike virtually all other businesses and organizations, after we sell our customer (enroll a student) we spend the next one to four+ years in the same building and/or online forum with that customer.

During job conversations with family and friends, they often talk about customers and clients who are mostly at arms-length via e-mail, phone, webinar, plane/train/automobile, or, at the closest, a brief visit to their retail establishment.  To the contrary, at a private sector school, college, or university, we spend our workday in the presence of our student customer albeit in the classroom, office, hallway, or on-line platform.  Invariably, it can be an emotional and physical drain countered by an almost unexplainable yet exhilarating feeling of doing a job with a calling far above its monetary reward of a paycheck and benefits package.  We are making a living by making a difference.