The 4th Annual HighEdWeb Leadership Academy

The importance of web leadership can not be understated.  The success of an organization’s web efforts are directly related to the leadership skills of the web team.  In addition to traditional leadership traits, web leaders have the ability to integrate the web and digital into the fabric of the organization and align web goals and objectives with institutional goals and objects. Good leadership skills result in getting appropriate resources and having campus leadership that fully understands and supports web efforts. I am excited about our 4th annual HighEdWeb Leadership Academy that will be held on October 3-4 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which will run in conjunction with the 2015 HighEdWeb Annual Conference. The goal of this Academy is to develop Web leaders within higher education with an intensive program that offers interactive learning experiences in a small group setting. What differentiates this leadership academy from other organizations with leadership programs is a specific focus on the job of a Web director/manager that touches all facets of the job.  This academy will offer a holistic view of what goes into being a college Web leader. Participants in the academy will learn: What is leadership, the importance of leadership for web professionals and how to develop leadership skills How to communicate effectively with campus administrators and stakeholders How to articulate the value of the web to obtain the appropriate staff and resources An understanding of higher education organization and administration, and the implications for the web How to manage people, including the ideal composition of a web team and hiring practices How to implement a Web governance structure including a Web governance...

Website Redesign Done Right

During my talks at the recent eduWeb Digital Summit in Chicago a common theme was website redesign.  I am always amazed at the number of campuses in the process of redesigning their sites. At eduWeb over half the people I talked with were in redesign mode. Many lamented that the last redesign hadn’t yet been fully implemented and they were already starting on the next redesign. This madness has to stop. Redesign projects are often a waste of time and money, and  often done for the wrong reason.   (Yes, I am a firm believer in the idea of realign instead of redesign.) If you are interested in my approach to web redesign, come join me for a webinar I am  teaching for the Canadian Marketing Association on September 17 – Website Redesign Done Right – The First Time. Description Redesigning your website can be a daunting proposition. It is a huge investment in time and money and something that you will live with for years to come. While there is a tremendous amount of work involved, the reward is a new site that will engage your audience and meet your business objectives – if done correctly. A properly executed redesign project first begins with understanding when and why to redesign your site. Answering both the “when” and “why” of redesign offers the perfect opportunity to examine your web strategy’s role within your overall organizational strategy, and how to incorporate both to build a sustainable site. This webinar will walk you through the entire web redesign process, from research and planning to launch and post-launch analysis. Secondly, redesign requires understanding...

What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing Higher Ed Web Professionals?

The inaugural HighEdWed Leadership Academy starts next Sunday in Milwaukee in conjunction with the 2012 HighEdWeb Annual Conference.  One the main goals of the Leadership Academy is to demonstrate how developing leadership skills can help web professionals deal with the many challenges inherent in the position. As I’ve talked with my colleagues across the globe about these challenge the following themes emerge: Articulating the need for sufficient resources Dealing with university politics Enabling collaboration between IT and Marketing Prioritizing projects when you can’t do them all (learning to say no) Getting optimal performance out of staff who are not direct reports Dealing with faculty who think they know everything Retaining talent Creating a unified web presence in a decentralized, silo-ed university setting Dealing with HIPPOS (Highest Paid Persons Opinion) Enforcing web policies and web standards. So let’s open up this discussion. What’s missing from this list? What do you see as the main challenges for higher ed web...

Talking Web Governance on Friday After Class

This afternoon at 1pm CST/ 2pm EST I will be on Friday After Class (#FAC). This is a “live chat series with higher education industry experts who will engage audience members in a discussion of tips, resources, and strategies related to smart marketing in higher education.” I will be talking about my favorite topic, web governance in higher education.  (See http://www.convergeconsulting.org/fac/ for details.) Most colleges and universities struggle with how to manage their websites.  Resources are scarce, priorities are often based on who yells the loudest, authority is not clearly defined, policies and standards are not enforced, and web strategy is vague at best and non-existent at worse. It’s time the web is taken seriously on college campuses and given it the appropriate resources and structure.  I believe the way to achieve this is through web governance. The Wikipedia definition of web governance is “an organization’s structure of staff (each with well-defined roles, responsibilities, and authorities); technical systems; and the policies, procedures, and relationships such staff have in place to maintain and manage a website”.  My simpler definition is “deciding who gets to decide.” I hope you can join me for a lively chat.  Some of the ideas I’d like to explore include: Where the web team should report (hint: it’s not IT or Marketing) Why interdisciplinary web teams must replace the “web master” The difference between policies, standards and guidelines; and why we need all three The true role of the central web team on a large campus How true web governance can eliminate campus politics Why web governance is not the same as IT governance Why implementing...

Introducing the Digital Governance Journal

I am pleased to announce the launch of the Digital Governance Journal. The DGJ will be an evolving forum for the discussion of digital strategy and governance issues focusing on specific senior management concerns affecting all industries. I will be making contributions that focus primarily on the issues facing higher education. The editors of the Digital Governance Journal are Lisa Welchman and David Beaudouin. Members of the Advisory Panel include myself, along with: Jonathan Kahn, Web Developer Together London Jane McConnell, Founder Net Strategy Graham Oakes, Consultant Simon Lande, Founder & CEO Magus The following summary is from Lisa’s introductory article: We’ve launched the Digital Governance Journal to more openly discuss how organizations can help their digital governance and management practices mature and succeed. Our intent is to provide a growing forum to discuss possible answers to those fundamental questions mentioned, while raising new concerns and issues related to roles, responsibilities, and decision-making authority for effective digital governance. We hope to present a good mix of articles and case studies that will enable those in charge of digital to make informed, strategic decisions within their organizations and enable those who design digital interfaces, content and technology to do so in an environment where energy can be directed towards innovation and quality, not wasted in ineffective Sisyphean development practices that simply put, are no fun. We originally were going to call the journal “Web Governance” but we felt that term was antiquated. The growth of social and mobile require a holistic approach and we hope that “Digital Governance” will be added to our lexicon in a meaningful way. It’s time...

Webinar – Establishing a Web Council

I have been on the road this spring spreading the gospel of web governance, including a recent appearance on higheredlive. While web governance may not be the most exciting  topic I speak on, it is the most important. My main message to higher ed web professionals is that web governance is your friend.  It will address many of the common frustrations in our profession and provide a framework for doing things right: having the right people make the right decisions, getting the right amount of resources, and working on the right projects for the right reasons. To continue this important conversation, I want to let everyone know about an upcoming webinar with  Lisa Welchman. For those of you who don’t know Lisa, I consider her the preeminent expert on web governance with  unmatched experience and expertise in web governance and management in large organizations. She will be giving a webinar on “Establishing a Web Council” on June 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT. In Lisa’s experience, an organizational Web Council or Web Board is established in order to help cut across organizational silos and support a more strategic and comprehensive approach to Web development. Sound like something we need in higher education? While this webinar isn’t focused on higher ed, there is plenty to learn from how other large organizations deal with web issues. I have attended many of Lisa’s webinars in the past and have always found them beneficial.  I’ll be attending and hope you can join me.  I’ll be on Twitter during the webinar and look forward to a lively discussion on the backchannel on web councils...