First, let me start off by saying that your age (thankfully) has nothing to do with being a dinosaur in the workplace – it’s all about your attitude. Recently I attended a seminar about the future of online learning. The seminar included several speakers from prestigious, well known universities. I was excited to see what I could learn from them given that I have been leading an online learning institution for more than 10 years.

Near the end of the seminar there was a question and answer period where I inquired about the struggles that many of us see every day in the news and feel first hand – that the cost of higher education is going up while in the online education space, there seems to be a race to the bottom where the expectation is that this avenue should be extremely low cost. Their answers ranged from sticking to your mission and not differentiating between classroom and online education in terms of cost to keep them on the same level. Unfortunately, I did not feel that I got very clear answers and as the seminar wrapped up, I overheard some other participants discussing their feedback. One had a very interesting comment, “Do these people know they are all dinosaurs?”

With those attendees I spoke with, the general consensus was that although the speakers were from large and prestigious universities, they didn’t view other online education providers as a threat simply because their organizations are legacy institutions and therefore, that will carry them through and justified the continual price increases. Maybe…but maybe not. Unless you have something so unique that it demands the price, you will only remain at the top until someone comes along that does what you do better, more effective, and more cost efficiently.

Much like how the U.S. companies Borders Book Store and Blockbuster Movie Rental thought they had a secure corner of the market and were invincible to the changing trends, they soon found their doors closed and the companies non-existent. Their leaders were dinosaurs leading their companies into extinction. Whether you are operating in the online environment or in another area, the important thing to remember is that no one is invincible. If you are not willing to see the trends and lead your company accordingly, you will find that instead of being a prestigious organization, you are actually a dinosaur and no one wants to face extinction.


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