Rethinking Higher Ed and Beyond

I attended a Business to Business Marketing conference late last year. Surprisingly, one of the presentations that stuck with me the most was presented by an Anthropology Professor, Dr. Michael Wesch, from Kansas State University. What does an Anthropology Professor have to speak about that relates to B2B marketing? I asked myself the same question.

Dr. Wesch studies cultures and people. He understands what drives change and why people are influenced one way or another. This information doesn’t just help marketers, it helps sales professionals, it helps operators…but it really helps in any aspect of life.

One thing that Dr. Wesch pointed out in his presentation is that in today’s technology-driven world, we tend to live for the replay instead of live for the moment. We get so caught up in capturing the moment that we don’t actually experience it when it happens. We only experience the replay.

His presentation helped me to better understand my daughter’s generation (she’s a few months shy of teen hood). They have grown up accustomed to frequently seeing themselves on video and in images – no matter what they look like. They have a very different sense of themselves than I had growing up. For example, my daughter has absolutely no problem recording a live video while eating (chomping on) chips, or taking selfies with her friends after they just woke up from a sleepover. Whereas when I was her age, I would only let someone take a photograph of me if I had makeup on and my bangs were styled just right. I didn’t get to see myself in a photograph until after the film was developed. We rarely watched the tapes my parents recorded of school events because you had to weed through so many in the library and fast forward/rewind just to find the clip. Sound familiar?

Additionally, I found this article about Dr. Wesch a couple of weeks ago. I keep tabs on him now because I am so interested in his knowledge. He recently redesigned his class syllabus to get students to experience deep learning, where one transforms themselves, versus strategic learning, where one is simply trying to learn just to be tested. One tactic he uses in his classrooms is the 28-day challenge. Every student must do something they’ve never done before for 28 days and blog about his or her experience. There are some really cool stories on his class website.

These are our future leaders – future consumers – future coworkers – and the world is a different place for them. If professors are re-thinking learning strategies because we what knew is no longer effective, we all need to consider re-thinking pretty much everything – marketing, recruiting, hiring, retaining, training, coaching, developing, selling, servicing, parenting, etc.

Maybe a 28-day challenge in the workplace would be an interesting experiment. What do you think?


Source: Acue Community



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