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Friday, July 15, 2005

Appreciative Inquiry, Organizational Change Stories, and Time Management

This morning, in the school of eduction colloquium, I participated in an Appreciative Inquiry process with several other educational technology students. The process focuses on the presumption that the questions we ask when facilitatig organizational change will, of course, affect the process and outcomes... and that the asking of positive questions has a powerful correlation with more positive results. In other words, we get the best results by asking what we are doing well and how we can build on that, rather than asking what we are doing wrong.

Now I am sitting in the IU Auditorium listening to Dr. Stan Amaladas, a 2004 graduate of Walden U., present his award winning dissertation on the effect of stories on organizational change. Specifically, he is concerned with how the stories people tell about their experiences in turn color their experiences. His focus was on stories that either facilitated or resisted organizational change, a topic particularly important to educational technologists. In short, it is better to tell positive stories about an organization if you want it to improve. His theory boils down to "we author our own reality" and the obvious corollary is that we ought to author a reallity that we will like.

These things are very much in keeping with my own organizational change and leadership philosophies (and experiences), not to mention my personal philosophies... especially with respect to finding and drawing out the best in people.

However, as I sat here reflecting on these ideas, I realized that I need to apply these ideas to the things that have been frustrating me lately... speifically my lack of time... see how negative that is?

Last year I found peace in Bloomington... and I had hoped to this year as well. I thnk there are some very concrete reasons why I haven't - many of them related to this blackberry - but the point of this post is that I resolve to now focus on what I AM getting done each day... and to NOT feel busy anymore. I want to live up to my boss' comment that I am a master of time management... and I want to be known for remaining calm and happy despite the demands of work, phd studies, ... and relationships.

I include this last bit becuase at another session earlier today, in which 6 of this year's phd graduates spoke about their experiences, the last person I heard speak ended her talk with the advice to "make sure you have loved ones left when you finish."

Thanks for reading.

-Mark
--------------------------
Mark Wagner
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

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