Institutional Excellence; Office of the President; Student Affairs

From the desk of the CWO: Translating vision to action


Last month, I shared my vision for Clemson well-being with you all, as well as Clemson’s Leadership Team: “To grow thriving individuals that transform the world.”

Those are lofty, feel good, subjective words. I love every bit of this vision. It encompasses everything the business world would describe as a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal — I’m not sure who came up with that, but it gives me the giggles every time I think about it).

So, how do you go from a big idea, into objective mission, scope, objectives and shared ownership? More importantly, how do we proliferate that vision throughout the Clemson community? 

You engage key stakeholders to participate in the process.

For me, this stage of my framework for whole community well-being is called “The Voice of the People” pillar and it ensures we have representation across our diverse population to weigh in on the health and well-being priorities we need to tackle. 

As a leader, I have my own ideas about the health and well-being priorities facing Clemson, but I know from my research and experience in this space I’ll be able to accomplish so much more of my vision if we are working together, not only on my priorities, but also those of the whole community as well. 

Visual framework for the future state of whole community well-being at Clemson

Consequently, on May 20, the Office of Institutional Excellence launches the Clemson Well-Being Council to bring together multi-disciplinary and cross-college leadership to plan, prepare, collaborate and coordinate recommendations for the Executive Leadership Team to make decisions and recommendations for resourcing.

The Clemson Well-Being Council is made up of 35 members. Roughly two-thirds of the membership are subject matter experts in health and well-being from across the university (Fun Fact: Clemson has more than 60 well-being related programs across nine divisions! We need to tackle communicating what’s available in a systematic way!). The other third is comprised of Well-Being Ambassadors from each of the colleges and divisions to help proliferate goals and objectives throughout our college life. 

This next step of the well-being strategy excites me. When people come together to collaborate, amazing things happen for a community. Our sense of caring, compassion and community flourish, and we begin to see potential instead of just barriers in our pursuit of whole community well-being. This is the sort of work that lights my fire. Idowu Koyenikan says, “He who masters the power formed by a group of people working together has within his grasp one of the greatest powers known to man.”  

As this team begins to work together, understand expectations, goals, needs and high-risk concerns, we can begin to set priorities and build action plans. My long-term goal is to be able to communicate those efforts through a comprehensive well-being dashboard so that everyone can see what we are working toward.

But we aren’t there yet. I get so excited in this work, that I always must remind myself, “One step at a time.” This next step is coming together by sharing my vision and beginning the process of building collaboration and consensus. I can‘t wait to see what the team brainstorms. It’s going to be amazing.