Turn Safe Spaces into Safe Conversations

I was at a dinner party with  a number of elite private colleges administrators and professors when the discussion  turned to  campus “Safe Spaces”.

Everyone seemed to agree that college “Safe Spaces” was an abdication of the college’s  responsibility to teach and provide a place for for open inquiry but that promoting safe spaces provided administrative cover for the social media firestorm that can be ignited by a few tweets, YouTube videos and/or other social media instigation.

After thinking about the discussion, it seems that the real answer to what colleges and other institutions should be providing is a framework for “Safe Conversations”.

“Safe Conversations” mandate that people talk to each other rather than disappear into their own Safe Space where they never learn to engage with others who do not agree with them.

A Safe Conversation:

  • can be messy (but not make anyone feel emotionally at risk)
  • can have disruptive ideas (but not be disruptive or engage in harmful actions)
  • can be disagreeable (but not hostile or make anyone feel physically at risk)

In order to achieve the ability to converse about difficult ideas or concepts, a Safe Conversation has certain rules or etiquette and this is what should be taught on college campuses.

Safe Conversation rules and etiquette include:

  • Trying to find areas of compromise and understanding
  • Keeping the conversation centered around the idea rather than making it about a person or individual
  • Providing multiple solutions

The skills learned in Safe Conversations are lifelong skills that are required in order to become successfully integrated into society.  Safe Space skills are no longer required and maybe a hindrance once leaving the enclosed and elite atmosphere of an elite educational institution.

And, the most important skill of all maybe the skill to respectfully disagree and then move onto ways to continue to cooperate.

Dianna Raedle, CEO, Deer Isle Group, LLC

Business/Financial Strategy Alignment: 6 Step Success Framework

Often when company management is seeking to grow their business they focus on market size and penetration (total addressable market).  However, to successfully grow a business, financial considerations must be an integral part of the growth plans.

Interconnected Framework_background

  • Market size/total addressable market sets the stage for creating revenue prospects and growth projections.
  • However, the revenue model is limited by and dependent upon the industry landscape and the company’s competitive position within the landscape.
  • A company’s competitive position is informed by a company’s expense model and capital resources.
  • The company’s strategic growth plans are constrained by the company’s expense model and access to capital at maximum valuation.
  • Maximum valuation is obtained when the strategic growth plan is highly aligned with the market opportunity, revenue projections, competitive position, and expense model.

All of these strategic/financial aspects are tightly linked and need to be highly aligned in order to assure maximum growth prospects and fund raising success.

A formal assessment can be done in order to analyze each piece of the framework to ensure that each piece is well considered in a growth strategy.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.