Institutional Change, the Impact of a Fresh Start

Fresh perspectives can be just what you need regarding institutional change.


Speaking from personal experience, my son recently discovered how effective a fresh start can be. Graduating from high school in 2020 challenged my son during his transition to college. The challenges persuaded him to take a year off after high school because of all the starts and stops and online learning—he just wasn’t ready.


His first attempt at college was an abysmal failure that prompted an emergency withdrawal.


Later, he transitioned to junior college, but his experience wasn’t without its challenges. He was stereotyped as a student who would not do well among his staff and professors. He continued to fumble his way through junior college.


Looking for a fresh start, he transferred to a four-year university. This transfer proved invaluable and provided him with a fresh perspective. This new perspective enabled him to put his acquired skill sets and study skills to the test and has shown that he is ready to manage his time as a college student.


The same is likely true for your institution. Getting a fresh start may be exactly what you need to succeed during institutional change. Here’s why.

Benefits of a Fresh Start During Institutional Change

The change throughout your institution is happening from multiple perspectives, roles, and responsibilities—it can feel overwhelming. The question becomes, could your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) project benefit from a fresh start?


The answer is likely yes.


And most often, I see a fresh start is most beneficial with staff roles. For example, during our planning phase, we identify individuals who who may not be a good fit for the project based on past experiences. We identify any past offenses the institution determines may cause challenges for the CRM implementation.


But this approach creates barriers to change and can hinder your CRM implementation.


Instead, the objective should be to synthesize information and allow everyone to contribute. Consider how successful you would be with institutional change if you began with a fresh start instead of creating a line of demarcation.


An environment of encouragement allows more people to rise to the occasion and increases the likeliness of CRM adoption.


Additionally, the fresh start provides a perspective free of typecasting or limiting individual capabilities. Empower a fresh start by providing goals, proper training, and guidance that promotes opportunities for engagement.


It’s also important to understand that many times, conflicts—or the decision to isolate staff from projects—arise during institutional change because of miscommunication.


The miscommunication is often personal and more often than not, between two individuals who are critical to the CRM project. Overcoming the conflict requires understanding the root cause of the differences and deciding if they are truly insurmountable. These vulnerable conversations, combined with the conscious decision to grow, genuinely provide a fresh start and ensure that institutional change is successful.