As you might have seen, I’ve been investigating the concept of the Advisor Role in Organizational Development and Growth through a surveys on Facebook and Twitter to better understand the depth of understanding that advisors have around organizational challenges, as well as their preparedness and approaches to assist student organizations to overcome the challenges that they are experiencing. I’m still unpacking the results as a whole, but there are a few insights that I thought might be interesting, and would generate some meaningful fodder along the way.
Before I start, what I didn’t mention is that I’ve also been pursuing student reactions around these same questions (both via survey and more qualitatively through one-on-one interviews), and a few interesting things are bubbling to the surface.
Most Organization Advisors Surveyed have between 4-6 and 10+ years experience
There were two larger groups that emerged from the survey respondents– professionals with between 4-6 years experience, and 10+ years experience, with a significant majority (95%) classifying themselves as Student Affairs Administrators (n=20).
Advisors Feel Confident they Understand Student Organization Challenges, Less feel Comfortable Facing Them
While 70% of advisors “Strongly Agree” that they understand the problems facing their organization, the majority of advisors felt less comfortable in their ability to assist students in facing those challenges, and about half of advisors said they have a defined plan in place to confront challenges facing their organizations (n=23).
Moreover, when asked how they confront the challenges that their organizations are facing, the answers varied widely, and rarely incorporated specific frameworks. With that said, the most common approaches involved students in “brainstorming” solutions.
These insights represent just the beginning of my exploration of the topic (both in research, and in synthesis). I have a framework and a theory in mind that I believe can serve as the starting point to effectively equip student organization advisors, and students, to confront the challenges that they’ve identified in their organizations.