Focusing on the common good

common good“No decisions should ever be made without asking the question, is this for the common good?” – Michael Moore

As leaders, we constantly face competing priorities, projects, and perhaps most difficult to manage, competing interests. This fact was reconfirmed last fall when we surveyed higher education leaders in MnSCU to identify their most pressing leadership challenges. In that survey, leaders mentioned the need to:

  • Balance the good of the whole vs. individual good or good for my unit
  • Develop system solutions vs. individual institution solutions
  • Incent and reward collaborative work and behavior

This month we’ll be exploring these topics and more as we address some of the leadership challenges inherent in focusing on the common good. What challenges have you encountered while balancing the common good with competing interests? What has helped you to focus on the common good?

Anita Rios


2 responses to “Focusing on the common good

  1. Julie Smendzuik-O'Brien

    Anita and All – this is a particularly pertinent set of topics as the “common good” is a critical theme in public sector work. Many public administration and public policy scholars have studied this concept as contrasted with the influenced exercised by specialized interests. These days I think we see much of the latter in our civic sphere and little of the former. But I believe it’s critical for those of us who work or who have worked in the public or semi-public sectors to keep the “common” good always before us.

    I’ll look forward to seeing your collective comments on this concept.

    Best wishes to all at MnSCU!


    • Thanks, Julie! I appreciate your insightful comments. I’d love to hear more about your perspective. Interested in doing a guest blog for us?


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