Revisioning Future for GIM
Goa Institute of Management (GIM) has articulated its purpose of existence, delineated the facets of the identity it wishes to build, the objectives and values it stands for, and what it would constantly endeavour to achieve, in its 'Education Philosophy' document.
As the Education Philosophy document evolved it became clear to all involved that this cannot be left simply as a declaration of intent and aspiration, and as a document of only archival significance. It must be implemented in letter and spirit; it must be lived every day. It must guide the institution's actions in both the short and long term. While dealing with the immediate challenges, the institute must work steadfastly towards realizing the goals, objectives and the educational commitments it has delineated in its Education Philosophy document. It must develop a perspective plan that ensures that each major statement is actually translated into action through a deliberate process of specifying policies that should underpin it, the different strategies that will need pursuing, the institutional arrangements that will be needed for implementation and monitoring progress, and the implications in terms of human and financial resources so that they can be mobilized alongside. Also, implementation cannot be left vague; targets would have to be set for different time periods: the short, the medium, and the long term; and progress would have to be monitored. For qualitative targets, such as 'building a culture of research', or 'preparing socially sensitive leaders' where ready measures were not available, the institute will need to develop suitable measures and plan program initiatives aimed at realising them in their true essence.
This thinking set the agenda for Perspective Planning. The process involved identifying a clear set of Critical Success Factors (CSFs), whose successful implementation would ensure that all major statements, commitments, goals, and objectives enunciated in the Education Philosophy document would be covered meaningfully. 24 such CSFs emerged from an iterative process of consultation and reflection. For each CSF thereafter, the relevant Policy statements, strategies, activity plans, targets, institutional arrangements, and resource implications were worked out. The Perspective Plan thus arrived was then further spelt out in different time perspectives: the short, medium and long term.
The process of arriving at the Perspective Plan (PP) was as important as the output itself. A consciously planned strategy of extensive consultation at each stage with different stakeholders was at the heart of the process. Iterative consultations were undertaken where necessary. The purpose was not only to benefit from their rich and diverse thinking and their perspectives on different issues and strategies; it was also to build their ownership and commitment behind the ideas so generated. Since faculty commitment would be crucial for successful implementation of the Perspective Plan, they were fully involved in its development at all stages. The Academic Advisory Council (AAC) involved itself extensively in pushing this process forward, in reflecting on the intermediate outcomes, and providing feedback, inputs and guidance as it felt necessary. The AAC provided the forum where both internal and external stakeholders could be consulted and their advice incorporated suitably. The effort benefitted enormously by the support, commitment and guidance it received from the Board, and the understanding it displayed of the time the extensive consultation process took to orchestrate and engender stakeholder commitment.
No plan is cast in stone. The context changes, the horizon shifts with time, and new challenges appear that were not necessarily anticipated at the time the Plan was drawn up. A realistic plan has to be revised in the light of these changes. So will this Perspective Plan be – at periodic intervals. In this sense it can be seen as a rolling plan, to be revised periodically to accommodate new emerging realities that need addressing. The short term Plan will be far more specific in its content as the immediate future can be visualised with greater clarity, whereas the medium term Plan would be relatively less specific and more indicative of the directions to be pursued. With the progress of time, envisaged activities and directions therein would acquire greater specificity as the Plan converts itself to a short term plan.
The larger purpose of Perspective Planning lies in its value in ensuring that the 'woods are not missed for the trees', that the long term goals and directions are maintained, that the immediate fire-fighting does not result in loss of direction, and that Brownian motion is minimized in favour of streamlined motion. The larger implication is that planning, programming, implementation, monitoring, and review, and then revising plans – this approach must be maintained throughout if the institute is to realise its Education Philosophy and Vision in real earnest. This Perspective Plan should not be seen as a one – off activity; rather Perspective Planning should be embedded in theDNA of GIM.
In the days to come, GIM will strive to realize the plan into concrete, tangible actions that would help us achieve the goals we have set.