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Implications for Higher Education of the Generalized Differentiation Strategy Model

The previous essay focused on defining the Generalized Differentiation (GD) Strategy Model. It was detailed and required the reader to do a lot of thinking and research in order to gather the information needed to use it. In this essay, my goal is to show the reader that all of the effort was warranted. I describe four important takeaways from the model, and then highlight multiple ways an educational leader can use GD-focused insights to increase enrollment and increase profits.

Higher Education Strategy Series: This is entry #6 of this series. This page describes the whole series and provides links to all of the articles.

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The Generalized Differentiation Strategy Model

In this series I have made the case for why a higher education institution needs a strategy. Then I highlighted the importance of understanding an institution’s competitive position within a market and, frankly, to underscore that market positioning should be paramount in any discussion of the design and launch of educational programs.

Higher Education Strategy Series: This is entry #5 of this series. This page describes the whole series and provides links to all of the articles.

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Competing Via Differentiation in Higher Education

An institution taking a differentiation approach will focus its efforts on making its offerings more attractive than those of its competitors. An institution using this strategy usually has recognizable branding backed by effective marketing. Its product or service is superior in one or more dimensions, and it’s backed by associated research, development, and innovation.

Higher Education Strategy Series: This is entry #4 of this series. This page describes the whole series and provides links to all of the articles.

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Recommended Process for Defining a University's Strategy

The ideal process for strategy definition starts at the institutional level. After a broad-scale institutional strategy is defined, the schools define (or refine) their individual strategies, and then the programs follow suit. Different institutions might leave different facets of their strategies undefined (or with a default value defined), but coherence of strategies across units makes it easier for programs to get their messages to the market successfully (and with less expense).

Higher Education Strategy Series: This is the third entry of this series. This page describes the whole series and provides links to all of the articles.

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The Benefits of a Strategy for an Institution of Higher Education

A university can have a strategy, as can a school, a department, and a program. A school can set a strategy for its online programs. All of this is true, but the question remains: At what organizational level does creating a strategy have the most impact?

Higher Education Strategy Series: This is the second entry of this series. This page describes the whole series and provides links to all of the articles.

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