Higher ed institutions are constantly adapting, but how can they plan to stay relevant and innovative for years to come? Many higher ed leaders are looking to other industries for the best models of how to prepare for the future, while sustaining a healthy organization in the present.

According to David S. Duncan, senior partner at Innosight, even in the business world, organizational evolution doesn’t happen overnight.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in it, and it’s changing in such a way that the success formula that led them to become successful is being challenged by the changes around them,” says David. “And to some degree they need to create the next version of themselves.”

David says higher ed institutions need to innovate if they want to “survive and thrive.”

“So all of our work is in some way focused on helping them to address that. That kind of universal challenge,” says David.

Innosight works with large companies across a variety of industries who are struggling to successfully modify their practices in a rapidly changing world. David says Innosight has a comprehensive set of solutions to help companies evolve for the future.

“We look at it from the perspective of helping them to develop strategies that orient them towards a kind of transformational direction over the long term,” says David. “We do a lot of work around evolving their organizational capabilities to be able to execute on those strategies.”

One of the guiding principles of Innosight is a process called “dual transformation,” which David says helps companies compete in today’s market while creating long-term plans for consistent growth.

“We call it a dual transformation, because you actually have to worry about two types of transformations separately,” says David.

“There’s the transformation in your core businesses of today, which is about repositioning those businesses to adapt to the changing environment and continuing to serve the customers that you’ve served in continuing to solve the problems that you’ve solved. The other type of transformation is you have to simultaneously create new businesses, solve new types of problems for new customers. And again you have to do all of that at the same time.”

About a year ago, Innosight was acquired by Huron, a global consultancy with a large higher ed practice. The two organizations aim to combine their capabilities to focus on strategy across a wide range of industries.

“Huron has very deep experience in a number of industries including higher ed, healthcare, life sciences. And some of our IP and ways of thinking about things could be helpful to those industries,” says David.

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