Addressing Organizational Culture to Ensure Lasting Transformations

Addressing Organizational Culture to Ensure Lasting Transformations

The insights provided in this summary are drawn from the article titled “COVID was a wake-up call! Not all universities heard it” by Poorna Rodrigo, published on March 14, 2024.

In a recent panel discussion at the IAUP Semi-Annual Meeting in the UK,  Dr. Fernando Leon-Garcia, IAUP President, emphasized that many universities are overlooking a significant opportunity for transformation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, despite the initial push towards online learning to enhance accessibility during the pandemic, universities have largely reverted to face-to-face instruction, neglecting the potential for sustained innovation.

Drawing on preliminary findings from the 2023 IAUP Survey on Leadership in the Post-Pandemic Era, Leon-Garcia highlighted a trend of universities prioritizing traditional methods over innovative approaches. While the survey indicates a recognition of the importance of institutional capacity to innovate and deploy technology, the intensity of change falls short compared to initial pandemic responses.

When assessing future strategies, Dr. Leon-Garcia underscored the need for universities to consider: institutional mission and adaptability; existing operational and academic capacities; stability in operations and finances; as well as correctly assessing if the current organizational culture is welcoming change.

The IAUP President stressed the importance of addressing organizational culture to ensure lasting change, noting that merely engaging in experimentation without addressing said culture may lead to short-lived transformations. He highlighted the need for institutions to embrace adaptability and innovation to meet evolving societal needs.