Goal Statement for 2017: Engage with Balance!

Here is my Goal Statement for 2017:

Engage with Balance

Like 2016’s goal statement of Think, Believe, and Act with a Healthy Balance, I want to try to be proactive and follow my passions while not rushing into things (leaving me out of balance) or otherwise distracting me from my  commitments (or even what is good for me). I find that if I only follow my passions, I become increasingly frustrated with things that get in the way, and thus the balance that I so need to embrace, or more actively engage, is defeated. Of course, balance on its own is a meditative state that just does not reflect my passions, and thus the active engage I list with it.

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Today is Earth Day. So What?! Foster an Elephant!

SiangikiToday, April 22, is Earth Day, “a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace.” While there are lots of ways to think of today, which just happens to be a beautiful spring day in New York City where I am, the Earth Day Network offers lots of suggestions for calls to action.

Sure, we can promote laws to help reduce the impact of climate change, plant trees, or volunteer to clean parks. All worthy projects on their own and all of which help us to get out of our offices, homes, and routines to interact with nature in some way.

Or, we can foster an elephant orphan.

This is what I did, fostering Siangiki, a little baby elephant Continue reading “Today is Earth Day. So What?! Foster an Elephant!”

2013 Has Come and Gone; How Did I Do?

The end of 2013 has come and gone, and no better time than the present to consider how I did with my 2013 Intentions for the year. I posted these on the top of my site so they would always be at the ready.

Let’s review what I intended and how well I did.

  1. I Will Finish My Doctoral Thesis (Dissertation) — I passed and was awarded my PhD forthwith on March 25, 2013. I then walked in the graduation ceremony on December 11, 2013.
  2. I will Publish an Article — I have it drafted and am planning to submit it within 2 weeks. Fingers crossed!
  3. I will Build a Consistent Online Presence [Twitter, LinkedIn, Academia.edu, ResearchGate and my own professional website — I have revised 75% of my site (most of it on the back-end with template and hosting), and am 80% completed with being consistent across my online life. Once the website is completed, I will take that consistency and apply it to the other social media and networking sites.
  4. I will drink 2 liters of Water Each Day — my dislike of measuring and numbers-without-context means that I have successfully increased my daily water consumption.

Given all this, my verdict is that I am happy with my progress, though not fully satisfied. Perhaps in this the notion of onward and upward, making progress along the way and keeping focused on moving forward is what is most important? To be fair, I am not sure I could ever be fully satisfied, even if I did complete each of the goals / intentions I set. I believe that is the point with these things, they give us something to strive toward.

Some progress is better than none at all!

Does Collective Learning = Organizational Exploitation? #change11

I had a really interesting comment from Allison Littlejohn in reaction to the Week 4 #change11 MOOC discussion on Collective Learning we are having this week. In her examples about collective learning in organizations or the workplace (or even academia), they all involve crowdsourcing or wisdom of crowds or greater learning by the collective than individually. That is wonderful for the development of large ideas or to solve seemingly inflexible problems, but what happens in the process to the individual?

Sure, the individual can relish in the personal learning, the sense of being part of something much larger, and the experience. However, who owns the product, or the solution? Whose value increases as a result of all that individual work? Yes, the organization or the corporation or the government. Perhaps the shareholders or owners or leadership? Ultimately, the collective benefits those who control it, while the individual components to the collective get swept up into the final product with the individual having little to tangibly show for the efforts. Without a vested interest on the individual level, the collective could probably not be effective.

Now, I have worked in nonprofits and academic institutions for years, and believe in the mission and vision of those organizations where I spend much of my time. I know that when I contribute to the collective, some aspect of society (and not shareholders) get the value of those efforts. However, can’t collective learning be leveraged to exploit the individual members by not giving them credit, or reward, or acknowledgment for their contributions? Can “doing thing for the common good” be said for the benefit of the few, and not necessarily of the many? Thinking in the context of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?), what is my WIIFM for participating in any formal or organized collective learning experience, if I will not in some way benefit from all my efforts?

Outside of my personal and informal reasons for engaging in collective learning, what is my WIIFM for doing it when others will leverage (exploit?) the results? I am not asking this in a greedy or selfish way, but there is only so much time and energy, and I have to wonder how easily (cf. hegemony) it is to work together, with only a few reaping the significant benefits. Are individuals exploited under the guise of corporate or organizational collective learning?

Goodness, I am now wondering about a potential connection between collective learning and critical management studies!