When I talk to my business audiences about how they can improve, I often suggest they go outside of their industry and study success stories and use what would work for their own company. One example is the amazing success of High Point University. During the recent crisis in our economy where companies and universities had to downsize and restructure, HPU grew. Their enrollment was up from 1400 students to 3700. The SAT scores of incoming freshmen were up, the average GPA of their students went up. How? There were several factors that went into the transformation of this small private school in North Carolina. Some of the changes were small changes – details – that when you put them all together you have results. For example, they measured how long students spent in the cafeteria at lunch. They wanted to increase the time students spent with eachother, with faculty, and in their cafeteria. One solution was to have live music everyday. Students enjoyed live performers – singers, guitar players, groups. The result? The average time students spent together at lunch went from 10 minutes to 37 minutes.
Another example is when high school students come to visit the campus as a possible place to attend. Their name is on a parking place saying "Parking reserved for future graduate of HPU" personalized with their name of course. Prospective students immediately are 'wowed' by their name and they quickly take their picture by it and post to all the social media outlets raising the awareness of HPU beyond regular channels.
One detail that I noticed when I recently called the campus was the recorded voice on the other end inviting me to leave a message. It was a young, enthusiastic woman introducing herself by name and stating that she was a proud communications major at HPU. She gave options on how to reach the person I was calling. I thought that was such a good idea! Isn't college all about preparing young people for their future outside of school? I was inspired by this small detail of using a student for their voice mail.
Love is in the details and right now, I'm loving HPU.
From your motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman encouraging you to think outside the lines and study successful stories wherever you find them.