Posts

What risk mitigation questions are you asking?

We were having a beer together lately, reflecting on our relationships with our clients. We landed on the insight that in addition to schools buying services based on benefits, they also buy on risk mitigation. Let’s say a marketing company promises a school a big benefit. If promises are not kept, a nightmare could unravel before your eyes: your school is financially compromised due to some crazy-assed idea a vendor brings you that was poorly thought through and/or implemented. Many purchasing our services are senior staff. School leaders don’t need their well-developed careers partially ruined by having a vendor not come through on a promise or do something unethical. Read more

Taking control or letting chaos rule?

To Embrace or Control Chaos: Big New Choice for Higher Education

Nasim Taleb has written an interesting book called Antifragile. Taleb talks about how, through embracing risk, nature has a way of applying stress to that risk. This, in turn, allows an entity to either fail or succeed under that stress and pressure. The stress related to embracing risk is what makes our society strong; as an illustration, did you know a regularly-stressed femur actually becomes stronger over time? In fact, they are known to become even stronger than concrete.

Some businesses–or people–thrive when there is upheaval by embracing uncertainty and benefiting from it. These folks are known as antifragile. Others who crave the status quo and safety try to control uncertainty rather than embrace it. These are the risk-adverse folks who, according to Taleb, ride the backs of those who strengthen themselves through embracing risk. They are fragile. As an entrepreneur, I’d characterize these types of people as a waste of space. Read more

Using Risk Reversals

by Shane Sparks, Co-founder

For years, Gregg and I have been advocating for “risk reversals” in the admissions process. It’s a concept used successfully in many other industries (heck, WE use a risk reversals for our school clients), but rarely used in career education. A “risk-reversal” is simply a way to remove the perceived risk in the mind of the prospect. Guarantees, free trials, test-drives, etc. are all examples of risk reversals.

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