Digital Leadership in Higher Education w/ Dr. Josie Ahlquist

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Josie Ahlquist, consultant, author, and speaker, returns to the show to talk about how higher ed navigated the serious digital test we were given this year, along with the most powerful concepts from her new book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education.

I use social media as an entry pointinto larger considerations of technology and innovation, you're listening to enrolment growth,university from Helik Education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh andromant growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to anroman growthuniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricWolson with helics education and we're here today with dtor Josie, alquistconsultant, author and Speaker Josie. Welcome back to the show, thanks theyrehaving me really excited to have you back on to talk about some of the mostpowerful concepts from your new book, digital leadership in higher educationcongrats again, for that, before we dig in it. Can you remind the listeners ofyour background yeah? Well, I kind of joke that I was born into highereducation because I went to college and I fell in love with it and never wantedto leave. So I worked on college campuses for a dozen years or so got mydoctorate and then got the researcher and Speaker Bug, which was when theconsultancy and my research was born, and so, since two thousand and fourteenI've gone a bit rogue as a independent Speakerr and author and consultant love,it Josie you've been talking about the importance of digital leadership andHirat for years now, and our leadership was really given a serious digital testthis year. What did you observe this spring this summer? This fall fromhired leaders and institutions who were...

...prepared to lead, digitally and thosewho weren't such a good question, and if I wasn't so plugged into the finallike legs of the book, I would have wanted to dive even more deeper intoresearch and including what I was finding, because you found differentwaves of those. I saw a few different things. One subset who have beenengaged online consistently for years were able to maintain that engagementand leaned in even in the darkest of days. I also saw this other group thatused to be really engaged, but got really quiet and not being in those.You know, zoom meetings to know what was really happening. I'm sure therewas some rationales for that, but sometimes one when it only becomes thehard work and the crisis communications where maybe before they were posting alot more of just all the good stuff, the positive stuff that could getdifficult for a leader. I also saw especially early on the use ofdifferent tools or communication styles, that really were well received, let'ssay videos or messages that were very human centered, that connected withcommunities exactly where they were especially emotionally. But then I alsosaw leaders that were maybe pressed to do a video or some kind of pressannouncement that was very not congruent with who they are, and thatwas felt as well. So I mean lot lots of different interesting discoveries andthings- and I have seen though this fall. It feels like there's been asettling in, and I think what I also hope is happening, because I'm seeingit in some pockets is, as we think, about the online presence of campusleaders. Knowing what your role Decx is on your campus, maybe your presidentjust based upon circumstances and...

...personality and who they are they allthey might be like the best person to put out front and to be connecting inways that I define a tigul leadership, or maybe it's actually the provost orthe vice president or dean, and so we're seeing different pockets acrosscampus being able to take on some of those practices. It is such a perfecttime for this book to come out and, like you mentioned a lot of newpotential content for your sequel, but but in this book, you're helping highered leaders discover their. Why for leading online? Can you give us anexample of what that? Why might look like for a president or a promost? Whyget Aske a lot is? Is this worth my time these platforms change all thetime. Do students even or parents or family? Do they really want to connectwith me, and these tools are simple to sign up for a twitter right, but theytake a lot of time and energy to to do so. My wy question is at the heart ofanswering that Roy question is wel. What is your purpose? What are yourvalues and then let's connect a platform and a strategy with yourpeople that we can answer that question for you that are we actually reaching toward those goals that youhave and then you know, even more advanced skill sets of being able toevaluate and assess it. We don't want you to be doing busy work which socialmedia can turn into so quickly, and so some examples and they're all listedhonestly in one page of my website that I featured dozens and dozens of campusleaders from a midlevel professional to a faculty to a chancellor to give lotsof examples of your wy because they can...

...all be different, and some of them arevery, let's say, base on topics that were really important to people, somaybe mental health others were more of wanting to serve faculty. For my Y, Iam driven by connection that I want to be a connector and a facilitator forconnection, and so that would be kind of what would make ut. My wy you'vebeen giving this pitch for a while about administrators and leadersneeding to uplevel their digital skills. Hopefully it's become an easierargument, especially this year, but remind us again. How critical do youthink digital skills, digital savvy, is in that skill stack for a successfulhighred leader and how could that have helped? So many more institutions havea smoother or more communicative summer HM. So there are five guidingprinciples of digital leadership, and there is research that I did for thebook. So there is data that backs up these guiding principles, not just likethoughts and opinions, even though I have plenty of those and and again I this framework cameabout before the pandemic. The knee, and so one of the guiding principles ischange as a leader. You need to be both willing to an adaptable to change andembracing it, but also you do not need to be the expert in everything,especially technology. You have to be able to to remove your ego and involveother people that do have the knowledge and experience and understanding to teach you to give you feedback, andthis is really interesting correlation again. Another research project thatI'd love to do a lot of the early adapters and especially presidents,have children at home and they are the ones that are introducing them to ticktalk and giving them coaching to how to...

...show up- or I mean again like just thatcorrelation, I think, is really telling. So obviously our family dynamics aredifferent than our cabinet meetings or in our teams. But who are those peoplearound that? You can surround yourself with like for me? I don't have kids,but my nieces and nephew someday will be the ones that help guide me orsomeone else that I make sure is on my team that they can that be that digitalinfluencer in my life. So especially now when you're creating some kind ofvideo, that's going to go out or response, or just you're thinking aboutsetting up your instagram. You need to have some folks around you with thatrelevancy that skills and strategies, and actually with social. This shoulddefinitely include whoever it is in your audience. You want to connect with.So if that students, you need to get students into your calendar more oftento be your digital educators, you've helped us explain why hired leadersneed to discover their own Wy for leading online to make that commitmentto digital advancement talk about what it means for a highered leader to havea values based strategy for Social Media Wel this Sai. This brings us backinto why I use the word leadership after digital is the belief thatleadership can happen, can be eacted in all types of contexts, including onlineand to a leader. We are required to discern to be self aware and to worktowards congruent in order to commit to positive change, and so taking what youknow about yourself and your values that should influence your strategy onsocial media and those values can go.

You know we can use the word personal,let's say into your identity, your faith, your history, but it can also.It also should be connected to your campus, because, that's as you areserving in that leadership position, it is within that context. So, what's thevalues and the mission and the objective of your institution, that'sgoing to again help answer those questions of what to post today, orshould I be out on that platform or not technology acceleration and adoptiontook a big leaf forward this summer, whether we wanted it to r were readyfor it to happen or not from your viewpoint. What's next, some of US areplaying a catchup game. Some of us are trying to leap forward. What does thefuture of digital leadership look like in higered? Well, I will say for thebook and most of the work that I do. I use social media as an entry point intolarger considerations of technology and innovation, but to look at digitalleadership and the outlet of social media for very public campus leaders. Ido think we need to formally document the importance not just through wel.Research is great and publishing a book is great to do that to to document thatimportance, but we need to see it in job descriptions in graduate programsin and more than just getting yourdepartments and your organizations within social media strategy. What doesit actually mean to navigate and show up on these platforms? Is people whoare serving in hiered leader, so a lot more transparency within those types ofsupport systems, and then I don't like to use the word expectation, because Iknow again, campus leaders already have so much on their plates, but we do needto...

...social proof it and that's why, in thebook, I include so many leaders that are doing what I see based upon thoseprinciples as digital leadership, because you would be so surprised howmany people still tell me. They don't think. Leadership can happen online.That no leader has any business on social media that you don't need it,and actually that is werse, not all, but a lot of your people are and you it's Nelege and misinform to not atleast be knowledgeable and open to what those platforms are and how you couldmake an impact in those spaces. Josie such great stuff. Any next steps advice,along with buying your book, of course, for higher ED leaders looking touplevel their digital skillstack well, depending on where you are in the theskill set of digital engagement before you think that I'm shaming youonto any platform or practice is first to learn and that's a huge value ineducation is to be learners. So it is also a very necessity for digitalleaders to simply have knowledge of relevant trends and platforms. So youdon't need to be on Tick Tock, but at least know what it is and how it'spotentially impacting those you serve. So the knowledge base is there for thattool, not that you need to get on it and get posting, but go into it in asocial listening angle. To learn and understand. I think the second would bein a discovery that came for. My research is I we still have a lot ofleaders that don't have a documented strategy for their presence online, andfor some I mean we all have different...

...organization styles. Some folks reallydo want to kind of roll on the HIP and post as they go, and others might needa much more like built out day by day structure, kind of know your own style.But we need to have really clear goals that then we can look back to see ifwe've attained them. I think that's the other way that we are going to advancedigital leadership is that we can evaluate the progress we've madebecause we were on the tool, overtime, Josie thanks. So much of your timetoday, where can listeners pick up your book and what's the best place, toconnect with you if they have any followe questions, so I'm on all the socials at Josealquest and then my website josiakascom. The book has a home on that website,its Josiaqascom back digital leadership, and you can scoop up the book from mypublisher, which is stylish publishing or Amazon or anywhere else that you canfind books on the Internet. You can grab it. There awesome that's again somuch for joining us again. Josie Knife leasure, attracting today's new post,traditional learners, means adopting new enromant strategies. Keelicseducations data driven enterprise, wide approach to enrollment growth isuniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation, landscape and Helex has just published the second edition of theirenrollment growth playbook, with fifty percent brand new content on howinstitutions can solve today's most pressing enromant growth challengesdownload it today for free at Helocks, Educationcomplaybook you've been listening to enromantgrowth university from helicks education to ensure that you never missan episode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player.Thank you so much for listening until...

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