The Lean Extension Venture
The approach I take coming into Extension has been more entrepreneurial, it's just what I know. It's odd to me that many of our titles are "Professor." Yes, we do teach and profess but most of the education we offer is non-credit in the form of workshops and seminars. Often times we don't teach at all, but we lead by organizing small to large events with multitudes of speakers that increase the knowledge and understanding of our clients (that's the goal anyways). And we call them clients, not students. Of course it is fitting, we don't have classrooms and regular students that must attend for a letter grade. We have geographic regions, regular people, and their needs. In business school I learned the difference between clients and customers (you can insert "students" for customers here):
Earlier this month, Beth Kuhel wrote about how Google is setting the standard for attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent. I believe it's critical for Extension professionals to examine and understand Google's hiring practices and standards because we need 21st Century Extension professionals to carry on Extension's great legacy over the next 100 years. Extension needs top talent that embraces change and enjoys the challenge of working in a dynamic environment where everything isn’t predictable. Extension needs more innovators, edglings, and those flexible enough in their approach to solve problems and work with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Sound scary? Face it, the workplace culture that the baby boomers created will not be the workplace of the future.
Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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