It’s hard to believe that summer has once again slipped by with the days getting noticeably shorter, some welcome cooler weather, and the sound of students on campus as the fall semester ramps up into full speed. Fall tends to be a time that we think about the year ahead and particularly consider what learning opportunities might be in our future, although continual learning is now an established characteristic of the contemporary career. Earlier this summer we saw the launch of Norwich Pro, the university’s new continuing and professional education unit. I hope you have a chance to visit the website (pro.norwich.edu) and regularly check back for our growing catalog of offerings. We would also like to hear from you about what you would find useful for professional development, feel free to leave your suggestions at the website or write to me.
My summer reading list included a book by Neil Irwin, How to Win in a Winner Take All World, that I recommend for those interested in understanding the dynamics of the 21st century economy in which we are immersed. There are a number of insights presented in the book that are relevant to those navigating careers in a technology driven economy that has become increasingly complex and fluid. I found two of those observations relevant as we kick off a new academic year and our students focus on their degree programs as well as professional development offered through Norwich Pro.
The message is quite clear that lifelong education in all forms is a necessary element for participation in the new economy as well as long-term success. Irwin notes the importance of what he refers to as “glue people”, or those who have a comprehensive understanding of their company/organization and are able to bring together expertise across several domains. The second related characteristic is similar to the concept of T-shaped professionals and includes those who have a depth of knowledge in one area but also meaningful skills and experiences in other areas. This combination of skills and experiences produce a comprehensive perspective necessary for innovation and leading in complex environments. Irwin considers this ability as “Pareto optimal”, referring to the theory of the noted economist. In essence, the contemporary career requires education, experience and continual learning, given technological and systems complexity of the new economy.
I’m also pleased to let you know that the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies is coming to Denver later this year. We will be opening an office in downtown Denver later this year to better serve our students and alumni out west. I’d like to hear from our alumni and students in the Denver area and look forward to expanding our degree programs and continuing and professional education opportunities there and in our online forums this year. Feel free to email me.
The third century of Norwich University service to the nation has begun!