Skip to main content

It’s June. It’s commencement season, which means I’ve been reflecting and looking forward.

I apologize; I should have introduced myself.

“Hi, I’m Mike Daly and I’m an Associate with rpk GROUP.”  To be honest, it’s taken me close to a year to feel comfortable and confident saying that aloud.

Change is scary. Change is tough. Is it worth the effort?

After well over a decade working in public higher education at the campus and system level, I made a personal and professional change. To make the change that moved me from being inside higher education to contributing from the outside in. I needed some tough love. I couldn’t do it alone. So, I asked for help. Help from my family. Help from my network of friends. Help from my new colleagues.

I changed. It was scary. It was tough. I loved it.

Knowing that I was going to be with people at rpk GROUP who are intently focused on facilitating successful, purposeful change was an impetus for my decision. People don’t change unless there’s clear vision for the why and how. Institutions don’t change unless individuals are willing to embrace and lead change with each other.

That’s no small ask. When done well, it’s no small feat.

As I approach my one-year anniversary with rpk GROUP, I am continuously struck by our wide-ranging agency in driving purposeful change in higher education. In just 12 quick months, I’ve been part of initiatives to ensure that institutional efforts to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive are centered within sustainable financial practices.

We’ve facilitated brainstorming and design thinking sessions with institutions working to ensure that they are responding to student and employer needs. And I’ve worked to help colleges and universities get more from the resources they already have. Throughout all these projects, there’s been a bias toward action and a focus on the real reason we’re all here—supporting the success of students.

Change. It’s scary. It’s tough. You’ll love it.

I told you I was also looking forward.

My four-year daughter is learning to tie her shoes. Transitioning from oh-so-easy Velcro to tricky, tricky laces.

Some days start with her frustratedly exclaiming, “This is hard. Why do I have to?” I usually respond, muttering to myself and maybe to her as well, “It’s tough. You’ll love it.”

I changed. She’s changing. Are you?

I’d love to hear how you or your organization is considering change, and if rpk can help.

Mike Daly

Associate, rpk GROUP