Cat Herding 101: The Art of Teamwork

University of Indianapolis


There’s an essential piece of technology in our offices that we rely upon heavily: our conference room whiteboard. A few years ago, we sketched out this concept — the efficiencies of building a website in direct correlation to the number of people involved. Picture two opposing lines, one representing the increasing number of people, and the other representing the decreasing merit of the finished product. In other words, too many cooks spoil the broth.
When we first started working with UIndy, that was the scenario we feared: a big committee working to build a site for silos of audiences with widely varying interests. Instead, we learned that the folks at UIndy are unique for an institution of this size. Each person brought their own perspective and expertise, and each genuinely valued the other people at the table. While they may not have the same dog in the fight, they didn’t view it as a fight. Instead of bedlam, it was paradise.

“A university is a unique creature with unique challenges. Our audiences have differing needs in both the depth and breadth of communication. With so many needs to address, internally and externally, we have to walk a fine line of getting the word out to and for all our constituents. Rather than looking at our situation, turning tail and running the opposite direction, the Rare Bird team jumped right in. It’s been a great collaboration.”

Joe Solari | UIndy

Release the Hounds

We came to learn that this is simply how they do things at UIndy. Their spirit of collaboration extends from internal committees to outside counsel. Working with them to build a best-in-class site to help tell the UIndy story to prospective students, parents, alumni and the surrounding community was rewarding and enjoyable. At every turn, they thoughtfully considered alternative approaches and made expedited choices that kept the project on track and the messages on target.

Together, we devised a novel technical approach to present the right message at the right time to each visitor, something no other universities were doing. The result was improved communication, increased enrollment, and some award show hardware. So … that sketch about efficiencies in website building and too many cooks? Looks like it’s back to the drawing board.

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