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Clark Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary of RSG

By Brett Wilson | April 15, 2013

Admiral Vern Clark, USN (Ret.) spoke to RSG students, faculty and staff during his semi-annual policy briefing.

"This is a magical year for the Robertson School of Government," said Admiral Vern Clark, USN (Ret.) as he spoke to Regent University students, faculty and staff. The distinguished professor of the School of Business & Leadership (SBL) and Robertson School of Government (RSG) addressed the 30-year mile mark for RSG during his semi-annual policy briefing on Thursday, April 11.

"But, what kind of things do we think about when an organization is 30 years old?" asked Clark. "And how does that same organization sustain a winning performance?"

Long-term sustainability in an organization's relative marketplaces, according to Clark, is derived from a business' ability to adapt to change over time, without compromising the value of the particular product or service it provides.

"These businesses consistently put a fresh and energetic idea in front of its audience," said Clark while referencing Mental Floss's recent article, "30 Things Turning 30 This Year." The article showcased successful entities sharing RSG's 30-year anniversary, with its familiar products including McDonald's Chicken McNugget, Microsoft Word, The Swatch Watch, and the original Mario Bros. arcade game.

Though they have remained relevant in their respective industries for three decades, Clark explained that none of these products have made such a profound and "destructive" impact in the world today as another entity celebrating its 30-year milestone: the Internet.

"And now, we're living in a world with a generation that's digital from the cradle," said Clark. "All of the rest of us are late arrivals into the digital market by comparison."

The ubiquity of the Internet and the flourishing digital devices has coincided with the destruction of businesses who have failed to remain relevant to consumers and uphold an "enterprise spirit" in the midst of marketplace changes. The danger of destruction, according to Clark, also applies to educational institutions.

"If you think we're isolated from this change, we're not," said Clark. "The discussion is applicable to every one of us."

Clark explained that tablet devices, such as the iPad, have already affected how students today read and retain information, as well as the textbook market. The growing popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) has also begun to impact the educational industry. And this, according to Clark, is only the beginning.

"We're going to have to be lovers of change in order to be successful," said Clark. "And if there were ever a time for appreciation of the requirement for lifelong learning, we're looking at it."

Clark explained that though our instinct as human is to resist change, students—and the institutions they learn from—will have to adapt to understand the dynamics of the ever-evolving world.

"We can either love this and choose to embrace it, or we can shrink and fear what's going to happen to us," said Clark. "We need to keep our arms open wide to it so that we can be Christian leaders who change the world."

Learn more about the Robertson School of Government.


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