Reflections on Strategic Leadership and Deep Change at EACUBO 2014

This year’s EACUBO Annual Meeting offered us a valuable insight into the continued evolution of our field, perhaps more than any year prior. There was a greater — more tangible — presence of change as a strategic discipline. In our own work with business leaders, we’ve seen a continued progression toward the CBO-as-key-leader mentality, more than just a number cruncher and resource for the president. And this year at EACUBO, we’re seeing an even greater push supported by new data accounting for CBOs as strategic leaders across our institutions.

Every function requires a complex set of skills. It’s rare to find a career in which a singular expertise is a clear marker for success. But in the CBO role, a discussion of meta-competencies is particularly timely. Today’s CBO is being asked to do more, with more groups, and greater responsibilities than ever before. As Cindy Matson reported in her talk, presidents are demanding more of their CBOs as representatives of the institution, not just representatives of the budget. Today’s CBO is the advocate of the business model. 

This transition across our CUBO regions is palpable. Professional development initiatives are framed in such a way that it’s no longer acceptable for CBOs to be simply managers of the institution’s resources. That’s a given. If we want to move the needle on deep change (riffing on the powerful work of Robert Quinn), we have to be able to count on our CBOs and leverage the unique understanding they have for our institutions both as educators and advocates for our place in higher ed. 

Nicole Trufant & Howard Teibel

Nicole Trufant & Howard Teibel

I had the opportunity to wrap up my series of talks around the regions on “Communicating Strategically to Make an Impact,” with the wonderfully talented CBO, Nicole Trufant from University of New England. There is an increasing resonance with this idea of communication as influence among business officers that have attended these sessions. Perhaps the most challenging point for our audience is this: People don’t care what you think. We love to imagine that people tune in to our messages because they believe that our well-educated insights are priceless. But when we stop and reflect, we see that people only care if we can find a way to tune our message to focus on what they think, what they care about.

Howard Teibel & Pete Wright — Preparing for Navigating Change Live at EACUBO 2014

Howard Teibel & Pete Wright — Preparing for Navigating Change Live at EACUBO 2014

As it turns out, that’s the difference between doing what’s expected of us, and inspiring others to action. Between reporting the numbers, and inspiring others to embrace change in their departments as a result.

We had the distinct pleasure of co-hosting the EACUBO Cheers Reception on Monday evening, and set up our recording studio for a few episodes of our show, Navigating Change, interviewing leaders for a live EACUBO audience. Our first episode from that event is live today, a conversation with EACUBO vice chair, Lynne Schaefer, and NACUBO vice president for professional development, Marta Perez Drake. You can listen on the website or find the show in iTunes now.

— Howard 

Join us at EACUBO 2011 in Philadelphia!

UPDATE: Thank you all for attending!

We had a terrific turnout at the conference and thank you all for joining us for an engaging session. We've received requests for slides, which you'll find embedded below.


Managing Through Change - EACUBO 2011

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I'll be speaking at the EACUBO Annual Conference 2011 in Philadelphia! This is one of my favorite events, and I'm honored to be presenting with a great friend and colleague: Karen Davis, Vice President for Human Resources at Brown University. Our talk, in line with much of our current work at Teibel, is called "Managing Through Change - Helping leaders and staff adjust to accelerating change." If you'll be in Philadelphia for the event, please stop by and connect in person!

Session Details

Location: Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing Date: Thursday, 3/31/2011 Time: 3:00 - 4:15 PM


Karen Davis, Vice President for Human Resources, Brown University Howard Teibel, President, Teibel Education Consulting.

Session Description

"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between. It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to." Marilyn Feguson


Change is constant. No matter what we do, it's either foisted upon us or we're instigators of the change. Either way, it's up to us how we relate to it. Mastering handling change puts us in a better position to adjust to the growing needs across our organization. In this session you will learn how you personally relate to change and strategies to lead others through the complexity and ambiguity of a changing work environment.

For more information on the conference, visit EACUBO.org.