Make a Persuasive Case

Being able to bring others along with new ideas or ways of doing things is just as important as having new approaches to old problems. Convincing others to "try it your way" is often one of the largest hurdles in making change happen.

Use a Proven Approach

When making an "ask" to others, often it is important to consider what works to help make your voice heard. By asking strategically you are more likely to have buy-in and find compromise to get what you are seeking. Consider two approaches that played significant roles in the SAGE 2YC project.

  • Bolman and Deal (2013): Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership
    Understanding more about what is behind the thinking of others and how you can pitch your ideas in a language they understand and that aligns with their values and beliefs can result in a positive outcome. The authors identified four frames through which people in organizations see the world. Each frame has its own set of assumptions and guiding principles. The key is to first understand your own orientation, and then understand how others might see situations differently. See this SAGE Musing for more information.
  • The COACh series of workshops are targeted towards improving communication skills and finding your "ask". One of the strategies when making an ask is to build common ground and then move to the ask, imagine in your conversation that you are tossing a ball back and forth. Take incremental steps in your conversation to get to where you want to go.

Align Change with Institutional Goals/Initiatives

Every institution's strategic, academic, and master plans are major drivers of decisions and resource allocations on campus. By linking your needs to institutional change you will make a more persuasive argument and build momentum towards achieving your goals.

Southern California 1
The Mt. San Antonio College team leaned into the institution's strength and priority in providing its students with high-quality workforce training.
New York
Suffolk County Community College aims to provide "an education that transforms lives, builds communities, and improves society." The New York team focused much of their efforts on supporting the academic success of all students and broadening minority participation.

Show Efficacy with Successful Examples

Showing that you are not the only person trying out a new task or using a particular approach can be an effective way to convince others to get on board. Bringing in external successes or highlighting what works helps others to see that they are not alone. Come prepared with examples from the literature base to show that others are actively pursuing avenues you want to try. SAGE Musings: Communities
of Practice ยป

The Michigan team used the data collected from their institution as part of the SAGE 2YC project to structure their efforts and show the impacts of successful practices.
The Florida team has had success using student performance to highlight successes and reinforce their needs.
North Carolina
This team has collected and used data to "develop targeted interventions to help students learn the course material"