Collaboration is the New Competition

Pick up the Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Forbes or any other business publication today and you’re likely to read something about growth mindset. It’s not only business, institutions have jumped on board and some at a faster pace than others. Higher Ed was hit hard in 2008 as appropriations were scaled back, research dollars decreased and students rethought their college plans. As a result some institutions responded by doing what Amit Mrig, CEO of Academic Impressions calls “freezing in place” by reducing spending, streamlining inefficiencies, abandoning progressive ideas and attempting to do the same work with less dollars and fewer people. Mrig goes on to suggest that institutions have “become skilled at advocating for resources, but not at creating them.”

Over two years ago, Michigan Tech and a number of individuals in the Grand Traverse Area (GTA)started having conversations and began to explore ideas about how the University and organizations in the GTA might deploy collaborative opportunities supporting the shared goals of both, deepening engagement in areas of mutual expertise, advancing education and research endeavors, and catalyzing economic growth. The interest from both parties has continued to grow and last week Michigan Tech’s Board of Trustee’s enthusiastically endorsed a memorandum of understanding supporting these pursuits.

Together, Michigan Tech and GTA will pursue opportunities that strengthen and enrich K-12/Pre-college engagement; Higher Education; Industry- talent pipeline, research and business development, continuing education and stackable credentials to assist with professional development and talent retention; Economic and Community Development.

It’s an exciting time at Michigan Tech and for those in the Grand Traverse Area as we seek to solidify synergistic opportunities that add value and strength to the bonds we share and the rich resources we will create. A recent blog post may have summed it up best, “Today, competitive advantage is not driven by the resources you control, but those you can access. Increasingly, rather than owning resources and capabilities outright, we use platforms to access ecosystems of technology, talent and information. “ For Tech and the Grand Traverse Area, I would call these platforms of collaboration and through them we will create resources that add value to the economy, the health of our communities and the bonds we share.