Case Analysis: Post University
He advances in technology; little progress in education. This statement definitely does not apply to the case of the Post University that pioneered the online studying, realizing the dreams of thousands thirsty for learning. For sure, the successful story of this revolutionary educational facility needs to be followed by many. The purpose of this essay is to trace the steps in organizational development of Post University, determine the particularities of its corporate structure, discuss its competitive advantages, and identify the role of educators in facilitating the changes within the University. Finally, the paper will outline a few lessons that could be learned from this case study.
The changes start in the mind. Today, the culture of the Post University is rather unique. There were times when it was on the edge of changes as the University was the first to provide such an extreme collaboration among its units and personnel. At the same time, it should be stressed that such a corporate culture was changed on purpose by the management team. They introduced such innovative techniques as teamwork, transparency, collaboration, etc. Whereas before the university units were separated one from another, today they work on achieving one goal. Other underlying principles of the Post’s culture include strong focus on creativity, management of risks, and thinking out of box. All of it creates a mixture of a unique and inspiring atmosphere that draws the students from all over the world.
Reflecting on the University’s culture, one should state that the innovations and changes that have been introduced did not concern two basic rules. The first rule relates to the quality of the academic programs. The university was ready to put everything at stake to ensure the career-driven education that would serve the purposes of the students and the market. The latter was extremely important as the market was about to explode and, of course, there was an urgent need of the professionals who were equipped with both the theoretical background and the practical skills. Another strong emphasizes was made on the wishes and the needs of the potential students of the University. Thus, while implementing changes, the Post University still followed the rules such as mandatory ensuring of the high quality of education and meeting of the needs and requirements of the market and the students.
Two basic advantages of the University naturally flow from its corporate culture. Compared with the traditional universities, it offers to the students the high quality academic program. However, on the contrary to the rest of the educational facilities, the University provides the online platform for the studies and, therefore, it can reach the students regardless of their place of residence. In fact, the Post University was the first one to introduce this advantage to the rest of the world, and nowadays, the university goes on the experiments in this sphere, improving what has been already done and offering the new opportunities for the students who are thirsty for learning.
On the other hand, the competitive advantage that differentiates the Post University from the rest is its personnel. Moreover, it is the culture of the communication, collaboration and strong teamwork that exists inside this university community. There are no leaders and those who lead. Instead, everyone seems to be equal in the scope of their rights and responsibilities. Everyone is provided with the opportunity to introduce the innovative educational practices and tools. The transparency inside the university ensures that everything is performed as has been previously agreed and no exceptions as to the particular people are made. In my opinion, the resources of the university are not the backbone of its success. However, its people are. The University has somehow managed to draw the open minded and creative leaders from all over the world that has created a unique educational platform for the students the example of which has been followed by many universities and educational institutions.
Yet, due to the increased pace, the University needs to adjust to the current trends in the world of education. To ensure and maintain the competitive position, the Post University has to take the following steps. First, it should involve the students into the processes of decision and policy-making. Students are those who are actually engaged in all of the activities of the University and they are those who are aware of the flaws and strengths of the academic programs and extra-curriculum activities. Moreover, they are more mobile and open to the world; thus, they can bring the new ideas to the table and to contribute to the creation of even more comfortable environment for learning.
The University also has to establish partnership relations with other universities and to carry out exchange programs for the staff and students. Those who will participate in these exchanges would also borrow the most successful ideas from other educational facilities and then implement them at their home university. Moreover, the exchange of ideas in terms of academic life will nourish the learning initiatives and will cause more students and the personnel to dig deeper in the field of knowledge.
The Post University must ensure that the staff meets the expectations of the students and the market. Thus, the personnel are to be trained on regular basis in order to keep their knowledge updated. Moreover, the University might consider the expansion of its programs in order to make the academic life more diverse and challenging.
To stay up-to-date, the University staff and administration should stay hungry for the new ideas, innovate techniques, and academic challenges. They have to revise its policies, programs, and other aspects of academic life in order to ensure that they are competitive and that they can deliver the high quality educational services to the students of all ages and with different backgrounds.
Finally, the University has to ensure that all of its efforts and especially, the most successful ones are clearly communicated to the audience and to the prospective students. An experienced team of professional marketers was able to improve the overall image of the Post University and highlight its strongest characteristics to attract the most talented and ambitious students.
Few challenges were to be addressed as well. First, the academic program of the University had to be adjusted to the needs of that time, the market, and the students. Secondly, it had to choose the form of the ownership that would contribute to the development of the educational facility and not vice versa. Eventually, the organizers chose the forms that corresponded to the need of the prospective university. Additionally, they had to rebrand the University by making it closer to the student and to the market.
As the University was left with no leaders, the newcomers had to create their own rules of the behavior that would have to be followed by them later. Hopefully, they have adopted and followed them strictly to facilitate the development of the University. The final strategic move was made in regards to the changes of the culture of the organizations. The new principles were introduced, which facilitated the progress the management team had made.
To assess the efforts of the team in relation to the strategic management, it is better to define the concept first. Strategic management refers to the process when the leaders of the organization envision its future and make the necessary steps to achieve that future (Wells, n.d.). All of these changes were indeed strategic as on the one hand, they burned the bridges with the past and on another hand, they established something completely new instead. The changes were indeed constructive and then, they resulted in the creation of the educational platform that was unique at those times.
There are two main approaches to the innovations, namely the dynamic and the conceptual one (Decelle, 2004). The dynamic approach provides the development of the specific area. The conceptual approach provides that the vision of the organizations or company should be revised to meet the modern-day realities (Edquist, 2001). At the same time, the third approach, namely the systematic one, requires the entire policies, personnel, the leadership team etc to be changed (OECD Innovation Policy Platform, 2010). In my opinion, the administration of the Post University did exactly the same thing as it started to write the story of the University from scratch with the new ownership concept, leadership approaches, resources, vision, etc. Such an approach could have been accepted by the higher education despite the fact that it was rather hard to implement. However, the Post University proves that the systemic approach might work out in regard to the educational facility as well.
Few lessons could be learned by other companies and organizations considering the case in question. First, the Post University has made a significant emphasizes on the teamwork. The entire case study holds no name of a particular person that has driven the changes. It means that everybody contributed to the process of decision-making and its realization. In addition, it was critically important as once the employees were directly involved in policy and the decision-making, they did not then resist against the changes that were about to come.
Another important lesson relates to the organizational changes. It was stressed that they came with the changes of the ownership and leadership models. Maxwell (2014) states that in order to upgrade the organizational culture and to bring new meaningful changes, the leader is to be replaced by another person. Only then success might be achieved. The new leaders usually bring new ideas, visions, and interpretations. However, in this regard, the Post University went even further as it had allowed the teams to lead. The overall success of these efforts proves another law of leadership highlighted by Maxwell (2014), namely the law of the lead. Here, the author claims that the efforts of the team are multiplied if it consists of the united leaders (Maxwell, 2014). The more leaders with the greatest potential join the team, the better. Their efforts multiply and ensure the greatest pay off.
In conclusion, the practices of the Post University in the field of corporate culture, innovations strategies, changes introduction, etc. are to be followed by the similar facilities as it has proved to be rather successful and highly competitive in nowadays world. The challenges that arise in the field of education, though, require the University to revise its policies, establish ties with the educational facilities with the established reputation, and ensure that all the changes are clearly communicated to the stakeholders.