Remember the “original” story of Alice in Wonderland?
When “Alice” was trying to decide which way to go during her travels, she asked the Cheshire Cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cat replied, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where—“ said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way to go,” said the Cat.
This part of the Alice in Wonderland story speaks clearly to the need to have a goal in mind before you create the steps to carry out the goal. If you don’t care where you are going, then it really doesn’t matter which choice you make.
As a college we have just completed a year-long process of establishing our strategic goals and targets for the next five years. This process involved many people, and some very aggressive targets have been set as we work toward fulfilling our Mission and Vision, and as we make institution-wide continuous improvements.
Even though we’ve set our goals for the next five years we must keep pressing on.
That’s right – “No Parking”!
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise won the race because, unlike the hare, he did not park along the way. Another example is the story about the knight who, upon thinking he was defeated in battle, entered a cave by brushing a cob web aside, awaited to be discovered and captured. As he sat there he watched the spider rebuild her web. As the armies approached the cave and began to enter the cave, the knight heard a voice say, “He can’t be in here, this web would not be as it is,” and they went on their way. Upon leaving the cave, by going under the new web, the knight went on to win his victory.
There are numerous stories like these but the message is the same – goals can’t be reached if we give up and park along the way. No one else is going to pick up the task of putting our words into action if we park along the way.
We are all part of the college team and each of us needs to determine our role and the “next steps” we will take to accomplish our goals. We, unlike Alice in Wonderland, have to decide which way we are going and we all have to” be on the bus,” going in the same direction, and we can’t park along the way. It is a continuous cycle of pacing ourselves and taking one step at a time to reach our destination and to reach that destination, it will involve change, commitment, and persistence. If we move in tandem as a team and keep our eyes focused on the path and not at our feet we can accomplish, and perhaps surpass, our goals.
Thanks to each of you for participating in our Strategic Planning Process, and we especially appreciate the extra time that some of you have made to serve on our SPIRIT Team and/or strategy groups. Our five-year plan, while aggressive in many ways, is doable as each of us takes our role seriously in the accomplishment of our goals.
WATC Leadership Team