Those Friday night football games are coming soon along with all the other favorite fall sports like soccer, cross country and volleyball. Whether you’re on the sidelines or in the stands, you know when your team has the big MO – momentum. But it’s more than a feeling, it is something tangible that propels teams to victory when the skills and tactics are in place.
Momentum is also the key ingredient for enrollment growth. It happens when the right combination of team-work, energy, focus and community support all come together. The forces that produce the momentum for enrollment growth are predictable, just like the forces that slow growth down.
Engaging the Forces to Build Momentum
Momentum can sometimes seem like little more than a feeling – a sense that you have the energy and support to move ahead. The way that parents, students and faculty feel about the school, and the way they talk about the school all reflect that momentum, or they don’t. If growth is a priority and you have enrollment goals that are “must-do” for your school, then allowing momentum to rest only on a feeling just won’t work. You need to harness the forces that allow momentum to grow.
Take a Lesson from the Physics Class
When it comes to momentum for school growth, the primary factors are described in basic physics. Momentum grows by increasing force and reducing friction. We see that every time we spin a bicycle tire or push off from the wall in a skating rink.
In the school setting these forces grow from the quality of education and the level of school spirit, plus the way we proactively communicate about these facts. They require staff/parent teamwork and strategic work by enrollment marketing and admissions teams.
Good News for Enrollment Growth
Here is some good news. You can evaluate the areas where positive forces for momentum are already working and where they are not. For school growth, there are four specific growth engines that you can leverage to apply force. The more engines that are at work, the faster the momentum builds, just as if you had 4 rocket motors propelling you instead of just one.
Of course, if you don’t have momentum – yet – then it is time to light off a rocket engine or two to get things going. If you have some forward motion toward enrollment growth, then understanding how to increase the force in the working growth engines will increase your rate of growth.
Coasting Along Is a Risky Strategy
Some schools are still relying upon the momentum they built years ago. Sports championships, high scholarship rates and powerful testimonials all boost growth, but they also lose force overtime. The digital world gives us new ways to measure and foster momentum. We really can know what people are saying about us, and we can empower those with positive things to say.
A growth plan has to take these factors into account and allows us to employ as many positive forces as possible. It doesn’t support hiding our heads in the sand or ignoring the real forces at work, but uses honest appraisal and targeted strategies to build lasting momentum.