Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Going Beyond!!!

I'm not sure how to put it, but it's totally okay to go beyond the norm. Really, it's okay. Going beyond is how we get better. How championships are won. How things change.

I'm just saying. Just reach a little. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Interesting Perspective from an Old Book

I ordered Robert Denhardt's book In The Shadow of Organization. The book deals with the dynamic between the individual and the organization, in terms of today's societal context. Let me know your thoughts on the book, if you have reviewed it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Check out: 'Cutting School' on the Foreign Policy

I thought you might find this Foreign Policy article interesting:

Cutting School
By Michael Peck

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Benefits of Disagreement and Conflict

I would like to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Product of Higher Education

Again, this is a series of posts related to my discussion on designing higher education organizations by product, as opposed to function. So, let's talk about the product of higher education. What is the product? Many deem the product to be the student, and others believe it is education. I consider the product of higher education to be the credential - form of currency. As a potential employee, I can hand you a bachelor degree credential from Harvard, or I can hand you one from State University. Both in concept appear to be the same credential - currency. However, you as an employer have an understanding that you will have to pay more for the Harvard credential. The person makes no difference, nor the knowledge the person actually brings to the table. It's all understood in the currency he or she brings to trade for real dollars in wages.

And that's where we will remain in this framework to understand my point about organizing higher education by product, as opposed to function. For universities that remain fairly consistent in the credentials they produce, function can be a more efficient way to structure the organization. This approach is even justified by the works of Walker and Lorsch, as well as Burns and Stalker. Community colleges, on the other hand, are extremely fluid in the types of credentials offered in any given semester, and thus lend themselves to more efficient organization based on product. So, I argue that the community college structure may have some better forms of efficiency if there was more emphasis, value, on the product form of organizational structure.

I understand there will be many arguments that emphasize the constraints of this approach, and the potential myopic view I have by this decision. I will address these points at a later time. For now, I encourage you to give this some consideration, and begin thinking about the community college product, including applying useful analogies to strengthen the conversation. Think of the assembly line approach, and concepts such as time-to-completion, change-over costs, components, and other aspects of production. My next post will discuss the materials needed to produce this product/credential, in the form of a supply-chain and value-chain perspective. I believe it will shed some better light on the concept of the nation's completion agenda.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Predicament: To What Extent Should You Make Your Point?

So, I find myself in a strange situation, not quite to the point of an impasse. Rarely do I use this blog to express personal concerns, especially when expression has so much emotion it. But I have no choice.

It appears that this world has made a commitment to selfish behavior, probably indirectly tied to the concept that freedom involves only the pursuit of happiness. And I get it, what is more fulfilling than to have all of your efforts return back to you in the form of benefits you deem appropriate for the value you have placed on yourself? But, when the act of sharing, considering, and supporting those things that do not have a clear and immediate benefit to your quest for happiness becomes an uncomfortable inconvenience, I have no choice but to ask why do you involve yourself in things that require teamwork or cooperation?

I get it. You joined forces with someone or others to amplify the benefits coming to you, but surely you see the error of your ways.

I am committed to making a point from now on, to show the selfish how little they understand the concept. One, you rely on others to make it happen for you. Two, you have no mechanism for gratitude or genuine appreciation. And finally, you are horrible at faking it.

So here's what we are going to do. I'm prepared to being a very unpleasant person to deal with - no more pleasantries of appropriateness. I'm tired of pretending. I intend to tear down bridges, and leave it up to you to figure out how to rebuild it, if you deem it necessary. And just when you get the last piece of material on the bridge you had to rebuild, I plan to tear the bridge down again. I think it would be appropriate for anyone who refuses to understand, and is incapable of changing.

Let's do this so I can move on.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Random Thoughts

As soon as I think I will have time to develop blog entries on a consistent basis, life takes over and changes my plans. Anyway, I have plans to begin discussing a blog entry that has been very popular on my blog - organizational structure based on function or product. If you read my entry on this matter, I suggest the potential for a new approach to organizing community colleges based on goals I deem more relevant to the function of community colleges in higher education. The proposed  structure favors product more than function, and it also addresses factors of legitimacy from an institutional perspective.

If time permits, and I can only hope that it will, I will dedicate my next series of entries to a discussion on my structural design, including the pros and cons associated with such a solution. In the mean time, please take a look at this article as food for thought.

Have a good week.