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EP7040 Reflection01

Page history last edited by John E. Martin 11 years, 3 months ago



Class 1 - Thursday, March 19th


There were a few things that stood out for me in this class as particularly meaningful. The first was the concept of leadership through imagery, which ties in very nicely with my philosophy of digital storytelling. For as long as we've been able to communicate, we have shared our experiences and built within others a sense of meaning through storytelling. It seems that it is a natural tie-in to building bridges, consensus and meaning in our leadership and planning endeavors as well. We strive to make meaning out of the all of the information with which we are presented. Sometimes it just takes a good storyteller to sort the wheat from the chaff and be able to cast a bit of illumination in order for folks to have the proverbial lightbulb go off in their own minds.


One of the other pieces was a reinforcing agent for my own beliefs about change and change adoption. The bell curve is something I've long discussed in my own areas, particularly in regard to technology and adoption amongst my faculty. On either end of the spectrum are your extremes, both your innovators and your resistors. From a purely quantitative standpoint, neither of these areas is one in which you should spend too much of your time simply because with your innovators, you are preaching to the choir, and with your resistors, no amount of convincing is enough to get them to change their minds. So from a leadership perspective we should focus our change efforts on the +/- 1 standard deviation group, the critical mass that can provide the momentum for a project, initiative or mission if properly informed, engaged and motivated.


The third take-away for me was Dr. Susan Dellinger's Psychogeometrics exercise. We've long known that a diverse opinion group is critical to the effective development of a project, initiative or mission. Too many of a like mind can pose problems by not taking into account some of the variables identified by those with another perspective. Contrary opinions can also be valuable in tempering unbounded vision with reality, not in the sense of shutting down an initiative but in ensuring that the vision is grounded and achievable. I identified with the squiggle as I found it representative of the non-linear and multi-focal approach I employ in my own work. That said, this approach has its own challenges and frustrations, particularly when trying to wrap up the planning phase and moving into the implementation phase of a project. I'd like to learn more about this approach as a complement to the typical personality profile tests so often used to identify team characteristics.


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