James L. Morrison
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lincoln University (NZ)
Lincoln University (NZ)
[Note: This is a modified re-formatted and enhanced manuscript that was
originally published in Donald M. Norris and
James L. Morrison (Eds.),
Mobilizing for Transformation: How Campuses are Preparing for the Knowledge
Age, New Directions in Institutional Research Number 94 (pp. 19-30). San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Publishers, 1997. It is posted here with permission of
This chapter describes the Lincoln Futures Program and how anticipatory
management tools were used to support the transformation of Lincoln's
organizational culture. We conclude by describing the lessons learned and the
value of this approach to develop strategies to meet the challenges of the 21st
Over the past decade Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand, has
grown from being a college of Canterbury University with much of its teaching
focused on agricultural science to become a full university offering a broad
range of programs with a particular focus on natural resources and commerce. As
such, it is the smallest university in New Zealand, having 3,900 full-time
students and 450 faculty and staff members.
Of the forces of transformation, this case represents:
- Use of visioning and strategy setting
- Campus wide dialogue and vision
- Redirecting campus planning processes
- Launching the transformation of campus culture
These initiatives are positioning Lincoln University to deal with a
dramatically changed and continuously changing educational environment in New
Zealand and the entire Australasian region.
Change Comes to Lincoln University
Until six years ago, Lincoln had all the characteristics of a traditional
university--comparatively well funded, a collegiate culture with "hands off"
management, complex committee structures, and was characterized by slow decision
making and resistance to change.
In the 90s, reduced government funding and the opening of the higher
education market to polytechnics triggered the development of a more commercial
approach to management. This included a more business-like management structure
with defined accountabilities, accrual accounting based on cost and profit
centers, a relatively comprehensive Management Information System (MIS),
developing subsidiary for-profit companies to conduct applied research for
commercial firms, a research-based marketing program, emphasis on strategic
planning with a ten-year horizon, performance assessment, and a large investment
in Information Technology (IT) for teaching and management. A major problem
faced the administration and faculty: how to galvanize the core academic culture
of the University to realign to meet the challenges that lay ahead.
Overview of the Lincoln Futures Program
The Lincoln Futures Program was designed to use several anticipatory
management tools described by Ashley & Morrison (1995). These tools encouraged
the widespread use of organizational stakeholders to anticipate changes in the
external environment and to link these anticipated changes to internal
decision-making. The underlying assumption was that by harnessing the
intellectual power of stakeholders to identify signals of change, analyze the
implications of these signals for the University, and design actions in light of
these implications, not only would the University be able to design and
implement creative plans, but that these plans would have the active support of
the majority of stakeholders, and, thereby, transform the organizational
Establishing and Staffing the Program
The Lincoln Futures Program was established in mid-1995 via employing a
full-time futures analyst to coordinate the program and to work with the
vice-chancellor (whose US counterpart would be chancellor or president) and the
registrar (whose US counterpart would be executive vice-president) in
implementing the program. The goals of the futures program were expressed in a
staff newsletter as:
- To stimulate discussion between Lincoln University staff, faculty, and other
stakeholders about the University's best possible/most appropriate future
- To help develop a shared sense of Lincoln's future direction and core
activities within its staff
- To anticipate and prepare for potential threats to Lincoln University from
the environment outside the University
- To be as creative as possible about Lincoln's future teaching, research, and
- To position Lincoln University strategically with regard to future markets
for our services
- To be proactive and cutting edge as a university.
An outside consultant was employed to facilitate the initial anticipatory
management workshop that included all Council members (the University's
governing board whose chair was titled "chancellor"), senior administrators, and
selected faculty and staff members. This workshop focused on the tools of
environmental scanning, vulnerability assessments, and issues management. The
design and results of that workshop were replicated by the futures analyst with
various groups throughout the university over a 15-month period. In addition,
the futures analyst developed and coordinated a comprehensive and systematic
environmental scanning process that included some 80 faculty, staff, and
students. At the conclusion of the period under review (May 1995-August 1996),
the outside consultant facilitated two successive workshops on scenario planning
that incorporated the products of the scanning, vulnerability assessments, and
issues management processes to flesh out possible alternative futures and to
derive creative strategic options for the University to pursue in the corporate
(5-year) plan. Throughout this period, University faculty and staff members
participated in a number of these activities in a variety of ways as described
The Transformation Tools Used by the Futures Program
The Futures Program deployed four transformation tools:
- Environmental scanning
- Issue management
- Vulnerability assessments
- Scenario-based planning
Environmental scanning entails actively seeking signals of change in the
social, technological, economic, environmental, and political sectors in the
external environment. The external environment consists of the market
environment, and the macroenvironment. Scanning the market environment, for
example, involves seeking signals of change in the demographics of students
served by the institution. Scanning the industry environment involves looking
for signals of change in ways other educational providers are serving their
clientele. Scanning the macroenvironment includes seeking signs of change, local
through global, that could affect the future of the organization.
We began the Lincoln futures program with an introductory presentation on
major change drivers that could affect colleges and universities in the 21st
century. The presentation was followed by a day long workshop with Lincoln's
council, senior staff, and selected faculty members where, in small groups, they
identified key emerging trends and potential events that could affect the future
of Lincoln. We also conducted several exercises following the outline described
by Morrison (1992) where participants prioritized the trends and events and
conducted several elementary analyses on the implications of the most critical
trends and events followed by draft recommendations as to what actions Lincoln
should take given the analysis. The intent of this workshop was to introduce the
concept and process of scanning in a workshop format so that participants would
experience the process and willingly agree to participate in this aspect of the
Lincoln futures program.
The scanning workshop was well received; some 80 faculty, students, and staff
members agreed to review assigned information sources and send the futures
analyst either abstracts or full copy of items they found worth attention. The
futures analyst in turn summarized these items and distributed the summaries
with key questions to various constituencies within the Lincoln community. For
an excerpt of this summary, see
/projects/seminars/exhibits/exhibit1.asp. The intent was to focus the
attention of Lincoln University stakeholders on developments in the external
world and raise questions vis-`a-vis their implications for the future direction
of the University.
Issues management is a structured process to identify emerging issues that
the University must address in organizational planning. The general concept is
that the scanning committee identifies salient issues through the use of issues
analysis worksheets and develops issue briefs on those most salient for use by
the Vice-Chancellors Futures Group (VCFG) as illustrated in
Figure 1. (For an example
of an analysis worksheet, see
/projects/seminars/exhibits/exhibit2.asp) This committee, composed of senior
administrators through academic program directors and scanning and focus group
conveners, reviews the issues briefs, prioritizes them, and assigns selected
issues for inclusion in the corporate planning system, the issues management
system, or the strategic scenarios group. For examples of such assignments see
/projects/seminars/exhibits/exhibit3.asp. VCFG decisions are described in
futures newsletters and discussion papers distributed throughout the University
Vulnerability assessments are designed to identify the organizational
supports that underpin the university's successful functioning, to analyze the
threats to which these supports are vulnerable, and to outline anticipatory
responses to these threats (Morrison & Keller, 1992-93). This is another
approach to stimulate the development of flexible strategies to deal with
expected and unexpected events or trends in the institutions external
environment. At Lincoln, we conducted the vulnerability assessment through a
workshop format using Council members, faculty members, and key members of the
Step 1: Specify critical supports on which the organization depends and
then identify specific organizational strengths. Strengths are viewed from
the perspective of how well the institution addresses these supports. Further
steps focus on those forces, conditions, trends, and events that could damage
organizational supports. Note that a support can be tangible (e.g. a physical
resource) or intangible (e.g., legislation, or social values that make a
Supports were specified in such categories as:
- Needs and wants served by the organization that that underpin the demand for
its products and services
- Resources and assets
- Stability of costs relative to competition
For example, in the needs and wants served by the institution category,
society needs graduates who are computer literate as well as computer systems
analysts. Many academic programs across Lincoln have modified their curriculums
in order to train graduates to work effectively in an interdependent global
society based upon information technology. The workshop participants identified
the strengths of Lincoln in this area include the following:
- educates the work force
- conducts basic research
- preserves and disseminates knowledge
- assists maturation of late adolescents
- provides leadership to the society
- focuses on students' skill development
Step 2: Identify the vulnerabilities to which each support category is
exposed. In this step, workshop groups proceed through their responses to
the categories in step 1, but this time target vulnerabilities or threats
expressed as events/trends/issues. That is, they use the ideas developed as
strengths in step 1 to ask questions about what could occur in the external
environment that could affect these strengths. For example, for the first
category, needs and wants served, relevant vulnerability questions are:
- Could a need or want be served some other way by some other institution?
- Could the need for a product or service disappear? If so, under what
The vulnerabilities identified in response to these questions, stated as
potential events, were as follows:
- corporations become educators of choice
- Lincoln is inflexible to a changing marketplace
- public loses trust in Lincolns ability to deliver
- universities oversell their ability to cure society's ills
- rise of religious fundamentalism in Asia raises questions about the value of
education faculty alienated from customer base
- education becomes less esteemed (e.g., as in China in 1950s)
- animal rights movement leads to legislation banning scientific research
- Lincoln University loses credibility because of extreme actions of staff
member(s) (e.g., bad publicity from bad research)
- actions by overseas governments affects tourism and international travel
(e.g., tension between Taiwan and China)
- external professional bodies change course requirements strong job market
- people will not pay for education when they can get jobs readily
- quality distance education programs offered by other institutions
- Lincoln location is a deterrent to accommodating part-time students
Step 3: Analysis of Key Vulnerabilities. After using the first two
steps to identify a rough description of vulnerabilities, council members,
managers, academic and general staff members refined the descriptions into the
following sets of key threats that Lincoln faces. They are as follows:
- public policy changes in an MMP environment, particularly those which relate
to the funding, governance and ownership of higher education
- increasing competition from international education providers (e.g., through
distance delivery or franchise)
- increasing competition from non-credentialed, non-traditional or
- increasingly diverse and demanding clients
- increasing complexity of knowledge and need for high risk decisions under
uncertainty at both corporate and business unit level
- changes in stakeholder perceptions of universities
- increasing requirements to utilize technology and a variety of delivery
modes in order to achieve efficiencies, to respond to divers learning needs, and
to access markets.
Lincoln specific vulnerabilities include the following:
- small size
- south island location
- distant from population center
- inflexible human resource management
- overly diverse product portfolio
- interdisciplinary focus leads to degree complexity and to high transactions
- low critical mass in areas central to mission
- lack of management capacity for product development
- danger of losing focus on core competencies
- insufficiently differentiated market positioning
Step 4: Identify anticipatory actions and assign responsibility for these
actions. The next step after vulnerabilities of the institution were agreed
upon was to develop recommendations, decide what actions were needed, and assign
responsibility and time lines for each action. For an example of such
recommendations after the vulnerability audit, see
The inputs and experience gained from the environmental scanning process, the
issues management process, and conducting vulnerability audits around campus
served as feedstock for the last tool we used: scenario planning.
Scenarios are comprehensive, internally consistent, long-term perspectives on
the future. They serve as a framework for strategic thinking. They provide
insightful understanding of the dynamics of change, a fuller consideration of
the range of opportunities and threats facing the organization, thereby reducing
the organizations vulnerability to surprises. They encourage an expanded range
of strategy options; a more resilient, flexible strategy; and a better
assessment of risks. They also provide a sound basis for continuous monitoring
of the institutions environment and a common framework for our thinking about
A small team of senior administrators and selected faculty members spent four
days in the initial scenario development process. This team was supplemented by
Council members who helped scrub the scenarios and develop strategic options to
be included in the corporate plan. We used the six-step process originally
developed by SRI International as modified by Morrison & Wilson (1996;
1997). This process and the outputs are described below.
Step 1: Framing the decision focus. This step has two objectives:
- Determine which decision(s) the scenarios should be designed to illuminate
- Identify issues involved in the decision
Workshop participants determined that for Lincoln the decision focus involved
answering this question: What will Lincoln University be doing in 10 years? Key
questions revolving around the decision focus were:
- How will Lincoln survive in a global economy?
- What are the expectations of key Lincoln University stakeholders and clients
(society, government, staff, students, industry)?
- What is Lincoln's "corporate" strategy?
- Will Lincoln go it alone?
- Will Lincoln seek alliances with other institutions (education, industry,
- How does Lincoln improve national and international reputation of the
- What is Lincoln's "business" strategy?
- What will Lincoln need to be good at?
- What will be Lincoln's product mix?
- How does Lincoln cope with a South Island location?
- To what extent will Lincoln become a research/postgraduate institution?
- Who will be Lincoln's primary clients (e.g., students? research funding
agencies? industry? public and international agencies?)?
- How will client profiles change over the next 10 years?
- What will they want?
- How does Lincoln deliver products (e.g., curricular programs, research
programs, trading activities, extension activities, consultancies) to
increasingly diverse and demanding clients?
Step 2: Identify the key decision factors (KDFs): KDFs are "things we
would like to know about t he future when we make the decision." Key decision
factors identified by workshop participants included the following:
- How and by what mechanisms will universities and students be funded by
- What are the demographic trends?
- What is the future of computer technology? Will we continue down workstation
path? Will we go to Internet connection machines?
- Will NZ industry place more importance on R&D?
- What non-traditional funding opportunities exist?
- What will the accreditation environment be like?
- What will the student view of value for money be?
- What environmental/natural resource mgt. values will prevail in society?
- Domestic and international societal perceptions and concerns about growth,
sustainability, conservation paradigm?
- What are the projections for academic staff availability?
- Likely tertiary education liberalization? What will be the structure of
- What threats and opportunities are posed by world population growth?
- What will be international student portability and opportunity?
- What will be the percent of GDP on research?
Step 3: Assess environmental forces. Which forces/trends/events will
do most to help shape the future course of KDFs? Workshop participants
determined that the underlying forces were as follows:
- World population growth and limited land area.
- Information/communication technology
- Repositioning of universities in post industrial society
- Individual choice/client orientation
- Global economy
- NZ economy/well being
- Complexity of knowledge
- Pacific Rim geopolitical development
Major trends included:
- Progressively greater societal emphasis on public, socio-economic return of
key outputs e.g. programs, research, consultancy.
- Declining public contribution to higher education as a percentage of
operating income declining.
- More client (investors and consumers) uncertainty regarding return on
investment in higher education.
- The decision making environment in both the institutional, public policy and
client contexts is increasingly complex - i.e. subject to more uncertainty,
higher risk and opportunity cost exposure.
- Developing global environmentally sustainable production practices.
- Reducing ability of agricultural systems to meet world requirements for
cereal and protein production.
- Commercial and intellectual information is becoming increasingly open to
all. (Higher education has a reducing capacity to protect commercially leveraged
- Increasing global economic and environmental interdependencies
- Progressively widening participation in higher education
- Increasing "massification" of education.
- Reinvigoration of elite higher education.
- Increasing demand for Just in Time (JIT) post-education training/education.
- Increasing client demand for access to individually tailored and specified
- Emerging internationalization of accreditation and standard setting.
- Increasing demand for graduates to have "soft skills" ( e.g. inter/intra
personal communication skills) .
- Inadequate supply of "elite knowledge workers"
- Increasing capacity of Pacific Rim higher education infrastructure.
- Global demand for education/training packages premised on holistic, inter-
disciplinary, "organic" system focused metaphors.
- Accelerating move towards an information skill based "class" system -
information poor and rich, unskilled and technologically skilled - and away from
the traditional class structure
- Increasing number of "Networked organizations" delivering diverse/multiple
organizational missions/programs (e.g., educational consortia) on a global
- Increasing societal value placed on work/life experience and
- Growing acceptance of electronic publications as being acceptable vehicles
for scholarly purposes.
Participants also focused on potential developments in the external
environment that would affect the future of Lincoln. Stated in "event" terms,
- In 2001 NUT, the Networked University of Technology, is established by 4
domestic polytechnics and two offshore universities.
- NUT implements a student service charter guaranteeing work placement and
employment within 6 months of graduation.
- In 2004 New Zealand's first private university opens focused exclusively on
the provision of elite postgraduate programs utilizing with the key
infrastructure provided by a pool of private and public organizations on a fee
for service basis.
- The NZ and Australian Societies of Accountants (an ITO) contracts provision
of pre- and post- employment accounting and finance training to a regional
consortium of Private Training Establishments and corporate. Six
vice-chancellors resign in protest!
- Four consortia of Australian and North American universities
telecommunications companies (including Telecom NZ) sign contracts in 2002 to
meet 75% of East Asia's international education/training needs.
- Fundamentalist/sectarian regimes in four East Asian countries ban Western
educational programs that are not culturally safe with immediate effect in 2008.
- In 2009 an international university funded by multi- lateral agencies and
focused on food and environmental security and issues is set up in New Zealand
- The percentage of GDP allocated to basic research funding diminishes to 0.35
- In 2005 public funding for research/development doubles.
- The NZ government removes the requirement for first and professional degrees
to be delivered by institutions involved in research.
- Mad cow disease migrates to NZ.
- Collapse of Chinese state.
- The pernicious cereal fungus, fieldorum grandiloquent, destroys 30% of the
cereal production in East Asia.
- Average age for retirement in OECD nations 70 by 2006.
- In 2002 three NZ higher education institutions - including one university -
- The Pacific Rim nations sign free-trade agreement in 2010.
- In 2008 NZ science degrees accreditation withdrawn by ASEAN authority.
- All technical texts will be electronically based by 2009,
Step 4: Determine scenario logics. In this step, we first identified
the critical "axes of uncertainty" and then defined the logical extremes of each
axis. Scenario logics are differing theories about the w ay the world might
work. From the logics available, the scenarios to be elaborated were selected on
the criteria that the total group needed to be different, plausible, internally
consistent and useful for decision making. Using these criteria, the following
logics were considered for scenario production:
- Economic well-being in New Zealand
- mono(multi) cultural
- Provision for higher education
- Low competition
- High competition
- Global economy
- Led by nation states
- Led by multinationals and NGOs
- Relevance of higher education
- Ownership of NZ universities
- Dominating values
- Pacific Rim
- World population growth impact on NZ
Step 5: Elaborate scenarios. Scenario writers used the "ends" of three
logics to elaborate scenarios. For example, one of the scenarios was titled
"Sustainable Political Correctness." This scenario, which may be found at
/projects/seminars/exhibits/exhibit5.asp, was based on bi-culturalism in New
Zealand, sustainable practice in global environmental management, and a
hi-growth NZ economy. The logic of scenario analysis is that there are critical
"axes of uncertainty"; the future will be different depending upon which axis
develops. The purpose of the analysis is to describe alternative, plausible, and
structurally different views of the future so that we can confront and structure
the spectrum of planning uncertainty in a usable manner, identify the full range
of opportunities and threats likely to confront the institution, and use
scenarios as "test beds" for assessing the resilience and payoff of alternative
strategy and resource allocation options. And, in order to use scenario planning
as a transformation tool, we involved a number of stakeholders from across the
institution to analyze and develop strategic options for consideration in the
corporate plan. The results of this process are summarized below in the overall
context of the Lincoln futures program.
The Lincoln Futures Program in Operation
The futures program was developed as a mechanism for merging the outputs from
the application of different transformational tools and was designed to
coordinate with existing planning processes. It was based on the activities of
scanning and focus groups, as illustrated in
Figure 1. These groups of
faculty, staff, and students were organized around mission-critical disciplinary
and process areas of the University's operation. Each had a convener and a
number of external advisors located in business or in government. They posted
their insights about future trends, issues, or problems to a Website on the
University's Intranet called "Environmental Scanning." Contributions varied from
aphoristic one-liners to detailed analytical theses, some of which were
circulated in print versions. Within three months of commencing their
activities, these groups had posted some 300 items to the Website. Group members
were located at all levels in the organizational hierarchy; they were asked to
be involved because of their ability to think creatively. Even so, they needed
practice before they became comfortable with thinking in the long time horizon
required by the futures program.
Any faculty or staff member (or student) was able to view the items posted to
the Website and was encouraged to comment on them. Scanning group conveners then
sorted these items, correlated them with the results of the vulnerability
assessments and internal analyses, and referred them to the Vice-Chancellors
Futures Group (VCFG), which included the senior managers of the university and
the vice-chancellor. Scanning group conveners were excited by the opportunity to
advocate their response to issue analysis directly to those with the
organizational power to implement changes. While senior managers were sometimes
forced to confront issues they would rather have avoided in these meetings, they
too valued the process involved. Issues surfacing from this activity were sent,
for example, to an issues management team for the development of a specified
action plan. A great deal of material also fell out for inclusion in the
corporate or operational plans. Broad or clustered issues were be referred to
the Councils Strategic Scenarios Group for the later production of alternative
scenarios, which then formed the basis for a review of the existing corporate
plan and for the development of new strategic options.
Administrators and faculty were kept informed of all of these developments
through the Intranet website and by means of regular newsletters and discussion
papers. The relative priorities assigned to various issues, for example, were
posted to the site following each meeting of the Vice-Chancellors Group.
From Tools to Strategy
Lincoln University's Council and senior administrators believe that the tools
of transformation used over the past year have provided a set of imperatives for
the strategic re-positioning of the institution. These are being translated into
the university's corporate plan, which has a one-to-five year time horizon, as
well as into longer range contingency plans. The scenario production process
culminated in a major review of existing strategy and in a workshop exercise to
generate new strategic options, which was attended by line and corporate
managers, and by members of the Lincoln council. In this workshop, the nine
scenarios were analyzed in small group format; both vertically, in terms of what
each implied for new strategic options, and also horizontally across particular
areas of strategic operation. In the latter exercise, groups were formed to
discuss Lincolns processes, products and financial viability. These general
topics were then disaggregated into particular issue areas. Processes, for
example, included such issues as out-sourcing of services, the re-engineering of
core processes, and product development processes. The product group worked on
issues such as undergraduate/postgraduate mix and franchising, while the
financial analysts examined issues such as capital structure, disinvestment and
risk profiling. Each of these issue areas was analyzed against the nine
scenarios. These exercises, when collated, generated a set of strategic options
that then provided the top layer of Lincolns corporate plan. For example, the
strategic options drafted for products were:
- Focus on core areas of critical mass that are viable in the market (e.g.,
multi-disciplinary focus on natural resources and the management of the
- Ensure that the alignment between teaching and research capacity results in
learning (core areas of teaching are supported by research)
- Concentrate on areas in which we can do well and which encourage the
development of strong postgraduate and professional schools.
- Teach transferable skills contextually
- Where it is cost effective to do so, purchase services to support our core
- To secure research funding using the full range of funding strategies to
maximize and secure the strategic benefits of Lincoln's intellectual property
The strategic options drafted for processes were:
- Use process innovation tools to transform core value adding processes.
- Develop an organizational culture that
- applies quality improvement tools to university processes.
- recognizes and rewards performance at both an individual and team level.
- sees the student as a primary client.
- values innovation and creativity.
- Provide for as much contestability in service delivery as possible
- Map teaching, research and support services
- Introduce best practice into core processes
- Seek partnerships to access IT
- Develop change management skills throughout the organization
- Introduce best practice into research bidding
- Improve understanding of client and stakeholder expectations
- Adapt organizational structure and management in response to emerging issue
The strategic options drafted for finances were:
- Ensure on-going financial viability.
- Require a return on assets of x% after making full provision for the use of
- Realign assets with mission critical core competencies.
- Manage the exit from non-core business.
- Use strategic alliances to access capital and resources and manage risk.
A senior member of the Council concluded the last workshop with these words:
To transform we must:
- leverage technology intelligently to improve the quality of our products
- exploit the emerging lifelong learning markets.
- enter into dynamic strategic alliances
- rebalance the infrastructure, physical and human, to support necessary
investments in innovation and excellence
- build strong leadership in Lincoln's core business
- be responsive to markets
- become market leaders in our core business
- improve program development and other core processes
He stressed that the key strategic positioning question for Lincoln
University is: How does a small, niche university which is remote from its
markets survive in an increasingly competitive environment? His answer: Focus on
a few areas of core competency in which Lincoln has sufficient critical mass to
be successful by doing its business well. What Lincoln does must be first class;
products must be supported by high value-adding processes. Lincoln can only
build on a sound financial base. To remain small Lincoln must use alliances and
at all times ensure quality. Therefore, Lincolns key strategies must be to:
- Enhance the alignment of market demand, strategic positioning and product
- Align research capacity to strategic positioning.
- Foster postgraduate programs, with quality experience and supervision.
- Develop and manage sustainable strategic relationships to give effect to our
- Use information technology innovatively to gain strategic advantage.
- Ensure that people are valued, involved, supported, and developed throughout
- Ensure that the organization is a fun place to work and learn.
Overall, the scenario analysis workshop provided for lively and productive
debate among governors ands managers with regard to strategic positioning. A
major redefinition of Lincoln's positioning was agreed upon, which de-emphasized
the university's earlier "growth at all costs" strategy, which h ad led to an
unhealthy proliferation of programs, a lack of focus on Lincoln's knitting and
to risky cross-subsidization practices; to a more tightly defined niche
positioning on Lincoln's natural resources core competencies and a decision to
remain small . Lincoln's senior leadership believe that the small size can be
hedged by creative use of strategic alliances and joint ventures, particularly
those involving the franchise of program products.
Having concluded this exercise, it remains for Lincoln's leaders to promote
the revised strategies and to maximize buy-in from internal stakeholders. This
is a demanding change agency task and one that will be run by academic rather
than corporate managers. On the other hand, the futures work on the Lincoln
campus over the part year has ensured that the items in the plan are not a
surprise to Lincoln's faculty and staff. They have been clearly signaled through
the scanning process, and much discussed in vulnerability workshops, issues
meetings and other e vents. The progress from scanning to eventual strategy has
been much more visible and interactive than was formerly the case in Lincoln's
corporate planning rounds.
As Lincoln's Vice Chancellor Bruce Ross stated, "Through the futures program
the information and issues it generates and the internal debate which flows from
it, Lincoln aims to develop a compelling vision for learning in the 21st
Ashley, W. C. & Morrison, J. L. Anticipatory Management. 10 Power Tools
for Achieving Excellence into the 21st Century. Leesburg, VA: Issue Action
Press, 1995. [Note: a condensation of this book was published in the summer 1996
issue of The Futures Research Quarterly as "
Anticipatory Management Tools for the
Morrison, J. L. (1992). Environmental
Scanning. In M. A. Whitely, J. D. Porter, and R. H. Fenske (Eds.), A
Primer for New Institutional Researchers. Tallahassee, Florida: The
Association for Institutional Research, pp.86-99.
Morrison, J. & Keller, G. (1992-93, Winter). Newest Tool: The Institutional
Vulnerability Audit. Planning for Higher Education, pp. 21, 27-34.
Morrison, J. L. & Wilson, I. The
Strategic Management Response to the Challenge of Global Change. In
Didsbury, Howard (Ed.). Future Vision, Ideas, Insights, and Strategies.
Bethesda, MD: The World Future Society, 1996.
Morrison, J. L. & Wilson, I.
Analyzing Environments and Developing Scenarios for Uncertain Times. In
Marvin Peterson, David Dill, and Lisa Mets (Eds.), Planning and Management
for a Changing Environment: A Handbook on Redesigning Postsecondary Education.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997.
JAMES L. MORRISON is professor of
educational leadership at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. ALAN
SARGINSON is the registrar of Lincoln University, New Zealand. DEBBIE FRANCIS is
futures analyst at Lincoln University, New Zealand.