Discussion: LEAD 510

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Thread:This is your area…
Post:RE:RE:Venting on LEAD program (but not 510)
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, April 25, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Chris – you make some very good points, and I’ll certainly take your advice. Thanks for your kind post, and congratulations on your walk!
John.

Thread:Final Reflections
Post:RE:Final Reflections
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks: “Consider what has impacted you the most in the class. Things to consider: Any surprises. Any personal revelations. The most important things you learned. What’s changed in your perspectives or attitudes. How you may apply the material you learned. How you may change your style or approach given what you have learned.”
I’d say that I was surprised in this class in how differently each person’s answer is to the questions and situations being presented. I tend to have a philosophy that says that generally speaking we all walk a similar path, and by allowing us the depth traveled in a distance learning class via written dialogue, we begin to see how deeply different we are, which is a wonderful, beautiful thing.
Personal revelations include the absolute importance of the strategic plan in the direction of the institution at every level. Before taking these classes, I thought the strategic plan was just a feel good document – something to show outsiders. Now I know exactly how important it is to the health of the organization. In my own life, when I begin to work with an organization, it’s the first thing I ask for in assessing the organizational situation: Where’s the strategic plan? What are your mission, vision, and goals? When will you be achieving these goals? How will you know?
The most important things I learned included the ways in which I felt I could apply these planning and specific leadership skills to several volunteer, not for profit, and small organization positions I hold. They didn’t know what hit them. It was my new found sense of the importance of goals, feedback, and assessment of progress.
The changes in my perceptions and attitudes include a continued increase in awareness of the importance of emotional, diversity, and strategic intelligences.
I will apply the material in the following ways. I have already begun to ask key questions of the groups and gatherings I belong to, such as: Do we need to be here? Why are we here? What do we intend to accomplish? By when? How will we know we’ve done it? How often will we ask these questions? Will we go on forever, or just until these tasks are complete?
I will change my style and approach by making sure that I consider more than me in my efforts. I will consider more than the us of my immediate boundaries. I will ask those in my organization to consider the much larger us of the community, the county, the state, the world. I’ll make sure that communication is given the proper attention, transparency, feedback channels, communication channels, and direction necessary to make it effective.
Thanks so very much for an absolutely fantastic class, a great learning experience, and a very nice set of conversations.
John.

Thread:Reflexion post.
Post:RE:[reflection] post.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, April 19, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Lots of fun as usual – I have found this class to be one of the most mentally stimulating of my graduate career at Rider. Thanks to all for keeping it interesting and fun.
One note that I wanted to pass on as a parting thought: For users of Microsoft Office 2007, you may have noticed that they replaced the ‘file’ menu, arguably the most clicked application menu in history, with their Office Logo. It’s a brilliant bit of marketing strategy that gently, quietly, passively, visually reminds you each and every time you open, close, save, or save as that you are using Microsoft Office and not something else.
In the interest of all that is free and open, I despise this, but I can’t help but admire their advertising genius.
Great weekend, all!
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, April 19, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “‘Open’ certainly is.”
Thanks for visiting, Dr. D!
j.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Chris and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, April 19, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “Going from there some advertisings can be legal but not moral”
Certainly – most any herbal supplement might fall into this category (legal, immoral), but it depends on who you ask. Some people swear by them. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, April 19, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I’m sorry, Linda – I’ve never had comcast’s DVR installed. I’m a directv customer myself.
j.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:Blocking Web Advertising
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, April 19, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D liked the links and Arthur says “I don’t know where you get all these sources from! I got all of them on a little file since the beginning of the course! Thanks!”
This is what I do basically for a living – I try to find and share great (usually open, free) technology tools for people that solve problems. Sometimes I share tools that create new problems, but I never intend to. πŸ˜‰
Thanks for the thanks – I find appreciation to be of high valence in my personal values.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, April 19, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Keith says “The best one of all is noodlebib.com which configures your references for you.”
Sounds like Robert Lackie visited you – one of my favorite people. My personal favorite tool for this kind of thing (collecting references and citing sources) is Zotero, a tool for Firefox that recognizes certain kinds of content automatically and can record author, date, url, and snapshots of the article all in one click. It’s free, and it’s indispensable.
http://www.zotero.org/videos/tour/zotero_tour.htm gives a tour of features.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 17, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “If that would ever happen, I hope we will have control over it, for example that we can change it to something we would actually enjoy seeing e.g beach setting”
I don’t think we would, unfortunately, just like we have no control over the advertisements in public places now – if you don’t want to be attacked with commercial radio in Subway while you’re trying to enjoy your meal, you’re out of luck.
Only in our personal environments and settings do we have options like TiVo’s 30 second skip, Ad Block Plus, Nuke Anything, choice of media, DVDs, etc.
When we’re in a movie theater or the mall or the convenience store – we are subjected to mass advertisements.
I work every day to avoid it, and resist entirely the vision of the future devised in the Minority Report clip. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:Degradation of privacy and advertising.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 17, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Jaclyn says “I think a billboard that changed its message depending on the interests of those passing by is far-fetched but probably not impossible.”
Very very possible.
We almost all have modern cell phones. Each of them have tracking devices in them, usually GPS based. If a person could be identified by their phone, their identity could also be associated with buying habits, destinations, credit card use, web sites, thier car, their home, and lots of other information. If anyone thinks this identity data doesn’t exist for them, you’re just simply wrong. Every time you swipe your grocery store card or your credit card or you log in to a web site, information about you and your habits is being collected.
For instance, when you visit the Rider web site, you’re tracked, so that we know that someone who’d interested in Blackboard was also interested in commencement and also interested in the academic calendar, so that we can pay more attention to the most popular paths on our sites. We’re not selling that data to anyone, but many other web sites and companies are.
When this data is linked up with other data about you, such as your phone, there can be a connection made.
With the right legislation, the right RFID or GPS hardware, the right access to technology, and the right mix of capitalism and opportunity, electronic billboards could be alerted to your presence, fed information about your most likely purchase or destination, and then show you something of likely interest.
I could see this being used to capture criminals, setting up RFID or GPS scanners on highways to alert authorities when a phone used in a crime passes a certain stretch of highway. Once the infrastructure is in place, you just need an advertiser with enough money to suggest that the infrastructure be used to generate revenue for the highway, like no more bridge tolls, but you have to allow your citizen’s phones to be scanned, etc.
All in a few seconds, they’ve got your number.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:Chris and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 17, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “until the authorities enforce a law to stop this kind of advertising, who can blame them”
As we’ve all said here so many times, law is not ethics, and ethics is not the law. No one can blame them, but it may be short sighted.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:Nicole and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 17, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “Wow!, I did not know about it John! I thought only an administrator could do such a thing, thanks!”
I love when this happens, and it happens all the time. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:Blocking Web Advertising
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 17, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “Almost every company is aware of them and use them. Consumers are well aware of these ads. This form of advertising is getting old and people simply are annoyed by these ads. As soon as I see them I close them. I couldn’t even tell you what they are for.”
In the same vein as TiVo ad skipping, I wanted to mention some firefox plugins.
One is called AdBlock Plus, available to firefox users for free at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865
You can use this to remove many kinds of web advertisements simply by this application being aware of them and removing them from your view.
A more customized solution in the same vein is called NukeAnything enhanced, available at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/951 and allows you to right click on any annoying image, advertisement or other page element and simply tell the browser to never show it again.
The next time you get the ‘swat the fly and win $5000’ ad, just right click on it and choose ‘nuke this’, then never hear that silly buzzing sound again.
Tools like these and TiVo’s commercial skip are forcing advertisers and marketers to choose more direct, more attention stealing methods for advertising. They are also empowering consumers to choose what they have to endure regarding advertisements.
If you’re simply forcing yourself to ignore these ads, just know that there are better ways to give yourself some peace.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Alyssa says “Working with students, I frequently use Facebook, MySpace and Instant Messenger to communicate with students.”
And with the embedding features of many social and web 2.0 sites, you can bring those kinds of features (IM, discussions, invites) to where people are already visiting, rather than asking them to go there.
For instance, I could try to embed a chat client right here, using Meebo, except that in some cases, Blackboard prevents certain code (like stray DIV tags) from being seen. You can always embed it properly in other DIV friendly places, though, like a personal blog:
http://www.lemasney.com/blog/?page_id=597

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:Chris and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kim says “You migth remember a few years ago a Tom Cruise movie called The Minority Report. It is set in “the future” and when Cruise enters a shopping mall (I think), he is immediately bombarded with 3D virtual reality advertisements aimed just at him.”
I included a clip of this scene from youtube on this thread a couple of days ago. here’s the link:

and here’s the embed:

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:Nicole and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kelly says “because I already purchased what I wanted and completely disregard their emails since I know I am not interested in purchasing what they’re targeting me for.”
This is another interesting way in which we are constantly advertised to, via email, and in this case, Kelly knows that she doesn’t want to see these particular ads anymore.
While spam filters might not pick up this email, since it’s a legit company that you actually purchased from, you could tell your email client to simply disregard further email from them so that you need not see it anymore. Filtering in email clients like Thunderbird and Rider’s webmail, Zimbra, allow for this kind of filtering quite easily.
In Thunderbird, for example, go into tools, message filters, then set up the criteria, such as “sender contains postreupedic.org” and set up the actions, such as “mark as junk” or simply “delete”
From then on, you won’t see those messages anymore and it will be one less thing for you to manually filter.
I’m very interested in the ways that we keep ourselves from being advertised to – I’ve made this a focus in my media watching – by using TiVo, mail filters, no-call lists, anti spam services, and listening to non-commercial radio, I’ve eliminated many of the advertisements I used to be subjected to.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:Nicole and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “For example, my mother in law takes certain emails and mailings very serious since they are addressed directly to her with additional personal information.”
Agreed – there are so many ways that marketers can misuse these personalization and trust strengthening methods if their intent is to simply get a great deal of money without providing a great service.
Many of you likely remember before mail merges and printers were commonplace, how surprised we were to get a letter in the mail that told us that “Hey, <firstname, lastname> you are one magazine purchase away from $5,000!” in bold type.
Now we see little colored flashing advert blocks telling us “<greeting>, <firstname, lastname> from <triangulation location> you are one purchased cruise vacation away from $50,000!” everytime we visit less refined pages – the people who are doing these kinds of titillating simple personalization ads are harping on a very old idea.
There are so many better ways to target and connect with your audience than just including my name in the ad – keep my name out of it, and send me something relevant, like Google does.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:Chris and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “What would you think of a billboard that changed its message depending on the interests of those in the cars passing by? Far- fetched?”
I think there should be a study on the increase of accidents near them.
Also, via many technologies, including cell phone triangulation, many aspects of your marketing profille could easily be captured and passed on to a billboard, where it could flip me an ad on computers, and my boss an ad on luxury cars.
Sigh. John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:Cody and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “McDonalds is one of the world’s top brands, well known by billions of people. Given that, why does McDonalds continue to spend billions on advertising and marketing annually? ”
Because spending billions on advertising and marketing keeps people coming in, making McDonald’s one of the world’s top brands.
I’m lovin it. No I’m not.
John

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “If you were a broadcaster, how would you combat Tivo or channel changers?”
One way that they have been doing it is by asking producers at NBC to increase in-show product pacement. One other trend is the increase in free web based content, like entire shows, without and interim Tivo to allow the 30-second skip.
Want to see every episode of Heroes for free? You can – just visit our commercial driven website, and put down that TiVo remote.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:Nicole and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “For example, the personal page in Amazon when you login. Highly personalized, tailored emails or even mini-catalogs are certainly possible as well. ”
Many of you may have noticed that Blackboard greets you by name when you log in, as in “Welcome, John!”
The welcome tab, in fact, is highly customizable, and you can add remove and edit many features on that page, though few users do unless thye are specifically trying to resolve an issue and they ask us about it.
For instance, on the welcome tab, did you know you can remove old classes from your list of courses? Click on the yellow pencil icon. You can also remove or add entire blocks of content. Try it!
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “I can’t stand the over the top presentations where animations and videos are forced into your view. Now they make the close button so small you can’t even find it sometimes. I would pay attention to these smaller ads rather than the larger ones that are forced on you.”
This is an insidious trend – the ad that won’t go away, that you don’t want to click, that is covering what you want to see. Does this really make me feel anything but utter disgust for the advertiser?
Since we typically are searching for text based information, Google has it right to make the ads in the same format as what we’re actually looking for.
Google++
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:John
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “If done well, the payback far outweighs the investment. What I like most about the service is the ability to adjust it continuously to get it right or to fit changing situations.”
I think that Google tries to integrate your desired continuous adjustability into many of their products – for instance, they give you the ability to collect other people’s content into their viewing space (Google Reader) they allow you to import and export documents into a central store where you can collaboratively edit, modify, and share them (Google Docs) and they give you a way to create your very own modifyable news feed of information based on keywords that interest you (Google News Custom Feed Builder).
Their centralized focus and their seemingly endless flexibility and openness of the data they collect and store is one reason I tend to look to them for solutions – I know they will likely provide a way for me to do what I want, even if they don’t provide the precise solution themselves.
John

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Some computers may not show the embedded video, for those, please take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQbVD5hlddk

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, April 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

There is of course, the danger that these connections can go too far. For those who want to see one futurist glimpse of the way advertising can hyperconnect, take a look at this (g-rated) scene from Minority Report, one of my favorites.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, April 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Cody says “We are constantly being bombarded with commercials and advertisements from all perspectives and at all times during the day. One cannot even view any content on the web without having to endure a 30 second advertisement, not to mention the constant popups.”
I think one interesting countertrend is where companies like TiVo have begun to allow consumers to skip past commercials, so that you can make a choice about whether you want to invest your time in consuming that advertisement, to the horror of ad executives everywhere.
http://www.weaknees.com/30/ shows how to enable the 30 second skip feature on a series 2 TiVo.
John.

Thread:Marketing Communications
Post:RE:RE:RE:Marketing Communications
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, April 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “What important connections are made possible by technology? Offer specific examples of companies taking advantage of such connections.”
Then he refined the question “Keep in mind the necessity of “integration” as well. Aligning messages in advertising, websites, direct mail, e marketing and even direct sales creates a single impression. The key is to ensure that all marketing communication creates consistent connections to the intended target.”
As far as connections and integration are concerned, I see few people doing it better in web based technologies than Google with their AdSense Product. By leveraging the content of the page that interested a viewer against the vast database of meta information Google collects about everyone and their activities, past visited sites, locality, interests, and even shopping data, Google can target you in very specific and effective ways, much more specifically than a magazine, movie, television show, or radio advertisement.
The other great thing is the passive, subtle way in which they deliver the advertisements, in text based format, always the same point size, always in the sidelines.
They’re incredible. https://www.google.com/adsense/login/en_US/
John.

Thread:Reflection
Post:RE:Reflection
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, April 11, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Rumors, informality, carbon copying, and messaging overload were all great parts of this week’s discussion. I have a true respect for the best nodes in the rumor mill at Rider, the ones who know how to release facts into the channels. The informal nature of these channels make it easier for all to become involved, but we also taked about how those who are not socially active int he organization may miss out on new information or not know how to determine accurate information (signal vs. noise). I think we all enjoyed the exercise of tracking interactions with others via all of our myriad channels. I know I did.
Thanks to all, and have a great weekend!
John.

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communication in Organizations
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, April 11, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

πŸ˜‰

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communication in Organizations
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, April 11, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “Now we have telephones, webcams, emails etc. Which has taken face to face communication away. Communication does tend to get misunderstood because of the tone of a e-mail or the tone of your voice left as a voice mail. Face to face gestures and communication is never misunderstood because it gives you the opportunity to say what you have to say to get a better understanding.”
I would say to this that telephones, webcams and emails have not taken away face to face conversation, but rather given it a higher level of respect and importance. For instance, if you take the time to write a note or a letter on fine paper and send it to someone, they often take it with a much higher degree of attention than the same message in an email. The same is true for an in person visit vs. a instant message.
Also, face to face gestures and communication can be misunderstood very easily – for instance, if you’ve ever given a speech and heard someone laughing or seen them smiling you might make assumptions that the laughter is intended as feedback for your content, but this isn’t necessarily the case. You also might not be able to take the time to stop the show and ask what the person was laughing about, because it might be inappropriate.
A well written email that was thought out may be more effective than a visual cue without any verbal reinforcement at all.
John.

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:Alyssa and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 10, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “As leaders, you should know who are the “nodes” in the rumor mill. In other words, who are the most active points in the rumor process? This can be very useful in figuring out who is adding to the rumor mill, who can be used to get information out and who is most likely to spread either positive or negative news.”
In Daft’s Leadership Experience, he talks about how ingroups and outgroups can affect how you receive information, and whether or not you have access to these nodes in the mill.
If you are seen as an outsider, and are reluctant to participate in the mill, or simply don’t have access, you won’t get a feeling for what the accuracy percentages are for individuals – some people have great sources, and reserve their commentary until they have facts in hand; These people have higher rates of rumr accuracy. There are others who simply start an idea to see how far it goes, or build on top of a hint of a possible truth to make it more interesting, hurtful, or popular as an idea.
If you’re not keeping any sort of mental scorecard about who (typically) knows what’s actually going on, it’s exceedingly difficult to discern the good nodes from the bad ones. When you have some history of the nodes, you can tell what’s a rumor for the sake of one’s one thrills, and what’s a secreted fact.
John.

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communication in Organizations
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 10, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “Dr. Dool you can read what a person mood is by the tone of and e-mail. Capital letters, things written in red, bolding of words. These types of things grabs a persons attention.”
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!
Sorry, I couldn’t resist. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:RE:RE:Tracy and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 10, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “Semler has implemented a policy that is hard to replicate in other organizations who see things totally differently.”
This is very true – the best laid plans (such as an emotional color coding system) can be trashed at the first sign of dissent (such as employees not wanting to share their emotional state).
We did a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) study in my organization in order to learn more about each other’s personality types, so that we might understand team dynamics, reactions, abilities in projects, and general working styles between types, and while everyone was mandated to take the test and to participate in an initial workshop examining work styles and MBTI, the aftermath was that sharing your type was completely optional, and many simply refused to share.
While I have learned quite a bit from MBTI and the work dynamic between myself and those who sharedd their type, many people witheld the information, and so they remain mysterious comparative to those who shared.
I’m an Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceptive (INFP) type, by the way.
John.

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:Lets Shift to the Rumor Mill
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Think about the rumor mill in your organization. How active is it? Does it tend to flare up? If so, based on what? Do you find yourself engaging in it? Is it accurate?”
The rumor mill at Rider runs hot and cold. It depends on the suborganization, the context of the conversation, and the current events of the day. If something scandalous happens, we very often hear it at the beginning of a phone call, as in “didja hear bout the thing with Joe?”
It is very active, and is very often a way to gather information quickly though in a flawed way when more formal channels have not been opened. In other words, if the leader isn’t sending out an official email about what’s going on, that won’t keep people from discussing the topic.
I tend to stay out of rumor mill conversations that are purely rumor, unfounded, or potentially dangerous to take part in. I do engage in it though, as in some cases, it may be the healthiest option available for gathering information.
It is sometimes accurate, and sometimes not – it depends on the links in the chain, the way the information is passed, and the source.
John.

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communication in Organizations
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “I use an AOL account for junk, anytime a site needs an email address, I use that one. It has hundreds of junk emails in it but it keeps my earthlink account relatively junk free.”
There has emerged a service for just this problem, where you need to provide a real email address in order to sign up for a service, but likely never need again. I often talk about these sorts of services in our internet security training offerings, where we discuss the dangers of passing your legitimate email along to a possibly illegitimate source.
From the site:
By clicking on the link below, you will be given a temporary e-mail address. Any e-mails sent to that address will show up automatically on the web page. You can read them, click on links, and even reply to them. The e-mail address will expire after 10 minutes.
Why would you use this? Maybe you want to sign up for a site which requires that you provide an e-mail address to send a validation e-mail to. And maybe you don’t want to give up your real e-mail address and end up on a bunch of spam lists. This is nice and disposable. And it’s free. Enjoy!
Address : <http://10minutemail.com/10MinuteMail/index.html&gt;
Date Visited: Wed Apr 09 2008 19:17:49 GMT-0400 (EDT)

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:Tracy and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “Some employees made a “mood meter” and had my assistant put it up outside my office (I was the CEO).”
This seems a lot like the Semco (i think) story about people wearing colors to indicate their mood at the time, so that others would know as they approached what another’s mood/setting was before saying a word, and might back off of a difficult topic until a time where the mood/color/feeling was more amicable.
I love this idea – there’s so much that we can do environmentally and visio-culturally to inform people in the organization of many things.
John.

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:RE:RE:Communication in Organizations
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Why two different emails and voice mails? ”
Why only two different emails and 2 different voicemails. I find myself working to separate and conquer along the dividing lines of my life, starting with work and home, but separating deeper into home/consulting and work/server administration or home/house/projects and home/house/finances
In the past I did this with folders, sometimes physical, sometimes virtual. Now I find myself using tags in order to provide mysel;f with a vocabulary or personal taxonomy of what’s important in my work and home lives.
And as far as phones and voicemail, it’s all converging so that my messaging becoems unified, available in the same formats and structure (voicemail audio, text messages, emails) from many different interfaces (phone, email client, web site) and I imagine that we will continue on this messaging and communicaation convergence trail.
John

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:Communication in Organizations
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, April 7, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Try this – keep a stroke count of incoming communication on Monday or Tuesday. Use categories that make sense (email, face to face, letters, calls, etc). See it is matches your initial estimates. How do you cope with volume? How do you organize them?”
Today was extraordinary in face to face, but ordinary in other ways. I had two full training sessions with many interpersonal interactions, a community group meeting this evening, plus 3 formal meetings, 2 informal meetings, 2 hallway conversations. I would estimate that I had about 40 verbal exchanges of some substance today. My throat’s a little sore.
I sent out three pieces of paper, and was handed at least 6. I gave one formal powerpoint style presentation, and others were more spontaneously delivered electronic media.
I likely received 60 email messages today among three email accounts (rider, webmaster@rider.edu, and gmail), and on most days I’m able to process at least 60% of those – mostly by tagging, deletion, foldering, delegation, or calendar transfer. Today, I was away from my desk most of the day, so I had to catch up this evening.
I got 3 text messages, 6 cell phone calls, 2 land line calls, 4 or 5 instant messages, and even a comment or two on my blogs.
I train people to manage the volume of messaging. I offer several techniques in order to become an email ninja, for instance. One of my favorite sites on the topic of email management is 43 folders, but there are many others that offer fantastic tips:
http://www.google.com/search?q=email+productivity&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a
John.

Thread:Communication in Organizations
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communication in Organizations
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, April 7, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “Think about your boss, can you “read” his/her moods before words are spoken?”
My boss today was often head in hands, looking down, shaking head slowly, and visibly tired.
Today was not a good day, and she didn’t have to say a word.
John.

Thread:Friday’s Reflections
Post:RE:Friday’s Reflections
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, April 4, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I had a fun time this week talking about communication. I think the most important discussion for me was what we talked about in terms of democracy, buy in, broadcasting, and change management. It’s something my organization is struggling with right now, and so it’s nice to be able to read so many other takes on the concepts here.
Thanks all – great weekend!
John.

Thread:Wed and Thursday
Post:RE:RE:RE:Wed and Thursday
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, April 4, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

You said “Why is it that management try so hard to make decisions on their own?”
I’m not sure, but I definitely agree. I feel like some people above a certain hierarchical threshold suddenly feel the need to take credit for the work of their underlings because they are not so deeply involved in that work any more (or sometimes ever) and so they force themselves into a process that they don’t really need to be in, just so that when the success comes later they can say “I’m so glad I helped you guys out with that sticky part”
(rolls eyes)
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Arthur and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, April 4, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “I warn our students that if teacher X is about to make them cry when they have chosen her as a thesis adviser that means they are doing well.”
Ha!
j.

Thread:Wed and Thursday
Post:RE:The Aftermath?
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 3, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

dr. D asks “After significant decisions are made in your organization, are there any post-mortem reviews? If so, in what form? If not, are decisions ever reviewed?”Not often in any formal sense, but very often in higher level meetings or weekly gatherings on a particular project that is ongoing. As portions of the project are completed, they are reviewed for improvements, changes, and unexpected outcomes. However, it would be nice to have a regular meeting scheduled in relation to major changes to monitor and review outcomes specifically, instead of in an impromptu way. John.

Thread:Wed and Thursday
Post:RE:RE:RE:John
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, April 3, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “To our earlier discussion, inequity inevitably leads to conflict. Is the leaders aware of this and taking any steps to manage it?”
We concur. There is a rising tide of conflict of late, and very much related to perceived inequity.
The leaders are not only aware of the perceived inequity, but often ignorant of it, citing that leadership should be followed as such, just because. The leaders are often the ones creating this perception in lower ranks of the inequity. This is not your run of the mill boss vs. employee divide related to nicer cars, etc, but rather a real ripple of belief that if you are a certain rank or above, you answer only to yourself. If you are a certain rank or below, you answer to everyone, including peers.
We are currently a bit reluctant to voice our opinions on the ways in which we feel that this should be righted, because each time someone speaks up, they get called in for a meeting, sent a correctional feedback email saying that they were disrespectful, or simply told in the meeting that their concern has been noted, and that we are going to move forward anyway.
It’s a bad place to be, Dr. D.
John.

Thread:Wed and Thursday
Post:RE:John
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Has anyone tried to get a decision through without following this process? If so, what were the ramifications?”
Directors do it all the time – I was recently told that a proposed project (by a director) was an ’emergency’ and did not have to be subjected to the change management process.
However, I’ve have projects stopped midstream and told that they have to go through the process.
There is a certain level of inequity building in my organization due to this and other apperances of a double standard according to rank.
j.

Thread:Wed and Thursday
Post:RE:Wed and Thursday
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

dr. D says “(1) How are decisions actually made in your organization? (2) Is the the most effective methodology? (3) How could it be better? ”
We have a pilot in place for a change management process in order to help us make decisions with more buyin from the group, but in reality, it’s really just another vehicle for leadership control.
In my organization, decisions are made in a highly controlled way in which
1. every change-driven idea is proposed and presented to supervisors in a change management process, then 2. approved for peer review, then
3. peer reviewed, then
4. modified as a result, then
5. put before a directoral review and approval process.
It’s a complicated and treacherous road for a new idea, and while it gives the group an opportunity to hear about and suggest alterations for the idea, it also allows the directors, in the end, to simply say no.
It is effective in that it presents, reviews, and challenges new ideas, but it is flawed in that the final approval is a non-diverse, single point of view, very often without the up-to-date knowledge of all available technologies that lower level staff might have.
A more effective methodology would be an open forum where ideas were spontaneously presented wihout critique, then given a review period, then given a voting and suggestion process, then given an approval process from a roving mixed review team that included not only directors but representatives from each stakeholder group.
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:RE:Monday and Tuesday
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “Diversity always causes conflict even amongst those who are very easy going.”
In my opinion, diversity (differences in age, gender, race) is not causal of conflict. Differences of opinion (how to do the task, who’s responsible, what’s the best solution) are causal of conflict.
I don’t suddenly have a different point of view when someone’s age, race, or gender is different than mine. I have a different point of view when someone has a different line of thinking about a topic, which may or may not be influenced by lots of contingencies: background, diversity, experience, education, awareness, etc.
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:RE:Monday and Tuesday
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “Once someone is conditioned to appease a person in a nice respectful manner and keep the respect you are entitled too. One learn how to avoid conflict”
I wonder is appeasement makes for the most effective work situation. If I am always setting my own feelings aside, I might be avoiding the critical thought necessary in order to make great discoveries, celebrate and instigate change, and feel rewarded and supported in my work.
I don’t feel like avoiding conflict is the point, nor do I feel that if it can be avioded it should. I think thta the point is making sure that when conflict is present that we recognize it, make the issues transparent, find commonality, build a framework in communication to work through it, then to work through it.
Conflict is just another opportuinity disguised as a problem.
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:Imbalance…
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “But, in compromise, it could be argued that both sides give up something and settle for less than they want. This may be fine but does it result in the best solution? Does it break new ground? Is it bold? Others argue that compromise is limiting and that only in collaboration with full accounting for all points of view can we reach something new and better than expected.”
The best solution is sometimes a compromise, sometimes a win/lose, and sometimes a lose/lose.
The best solution may not always break new ground – sometimes the best solution avoids innovation and celebrates the ordinary in cases which innovation’s risk is an almost assured loss.
The best solution is sometimes bold, but I don’t think this is true all that much. Bold solutions that are effective require a certain kind of environmental, situational, contingency set that allows for the bold new untested brave solution to take a foothold and gather momentum necessary to succeed. In learning environemnts, where tranformational leaders are at the helm, and innovation is culturally encouraged, I think bold solutions that are successful are more likely.
I think compromise, in which some win and some lose, but everyone gets something, is usually the resultant best solution.
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Monday and Tuesday
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

says “I see that in my organization a lot when we over discuss certain topics because we are trying to build consensus.”
In my organization there is a trend in which change management is being implemented, and a subtle but corresponding trend in which people are redefining projects to make them appear as though they are not a change, but rather a variation on an existing project, so that the project will be instigated and completed outside of the change management process.
I’ve been in meetings where this has happened, and felt powerless despite objection. I was given feedback to quietly dismiss my objections, and told that it was fine for “this one project to remain outside of the process” since putting it through change management might keep it in limbo forever.
Of course, if people in the chjange management process would have objections, isn’t that exactly why we should be putting it through that gauntlet, instead of just assuming no one would have anything important to add?
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:RE:Arthur and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “I’ve seen people being bullied at work but it is so delicate than to report it one would need to have solid evidences and a lot of credence.”
I think Arthur hints at a key to it — very often passive aggressive, negative, or physically delivered negative body language is so very difficult to record in any sort of a reporting fashion.
I have struggled with managers in the past who were demotivating, degrading, and just bad leaders, but who delivered their jabs in quiet, hinted, or passive aggressive, even nonverbal ways, or in such ways that describing them on paper or in person to an HRM would make it sound like a nonsense complaint.
I can see right now in my mind a manager who would shake their head in a negative way, roll their eyes, or smirk and snicker while I offered ideas in meetings. This same person might look away, check their phone, step out of the room right as I was trying to get across the most important part of a presentation that was essentially just for that manager.
Not an actionable offense, not anything that HR would likely be interested in, but the sorts of things that make you feel absolutely worthless in your abilities. If your supervisor’s not backing you, you feel like you’re swimming behind the boat.
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:RE:Arthur and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “At first I did not recognize it as bullying but one day I ‘woke up’ and made my manager aware of what she was doing. Instantly she realized she was doing it because she was bullied by her mom all her life and she copied her behavior. She immediately changed and never did it again.”
Good story. I had a similar experience as an undergrad where a teacher was repeatedly calling me out, challenging me, and taking on a confrontational tone – other students asked me what I did to upset him, I said I had no idea.
After a few weeks of this, I asked him about it, he said he had no idea he was doing it, couldn’t understand what it was about, and we soon became rather good friends. He treated me with a common respect ever after, and he became one of my favorite teachers.
Sometimes it’s just a little feedback that breaks that negative loop, whatever the cause.
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Terri and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “Men have claimed that is the best way to get out their frustrations or deal with criticism and clear misunderstandings.”
I think you know my reaction to this. It starts “What men where?”. I’ll spare you. πŸ˜‰
As I said, I encounter conflicts on this low level scale all day long, (I believe we all do) most of these happen with my instructional technologist, who is a woman, has many fantastic ideas, many of which I differ with for a time, and vice-versa. We always come to agreement through compromise, innovation, or agreement, but never coercion.
The same is true of my wife. We disagree, we work it out, we move on. Conflict happens.
Most of the people in my technology group are women (a majority), many of whom I encounter conflicts with on a regular basis. Some are men. We all get through the conflict in varying degrees of success, and we all most of us get past them.
We should resist assuming that our ability to resolve conflict with others is dependent on the gender of the co-conflictors. I think that’s a dangerous assumption that breeds impassable conflict for superficial reasons. It would also make it impossible for me to do anything in my work effectively.
John.

Thread:This is your area…
Post:Venting on LEAD program (but not 510)
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Just figured since it was here for venting, that I might ask all of you how you feel about the LEAD program and the summer offerings in particular.
I for one, have taken 3 classes so far, am in two online classes this semester, and was hoping to continue to take classes aggressively to get out of the program by 2009.
There are only 4 classes available per semester this summer for LEAD, and I’ve already gotten all of those credits. I’m a bit frustrated that there’s no way for me to continue my education this summer, pushing back my degree by at least one semester and maybe two. Also, apparently I cannot take the not-very-well-defined concentration classes for COMM, since you must finish core classes first.
Also, part of the reason that I started this program was that I was told that by the time I finished, I would be able to take all of my classes online. Then shortly after meeting the new director for this program, I was told that I in fact would not likely be able to finish all my credits online. In fact, most of my concentration and some of my core would not be offerred online.
Since there are people in the program who do not live anywhere near our campuses (TX, for example), I wonder how they feel about this. I live right down the street, I’m on campus every day, since I work here, and I’m also unable, for various reasons, to even consider many night classes – the flexibility offered by distance learning was the main reason I agreed to joining and investing in the program. I would consider summer session physical classes but there are none offered.
I feel discouraged, mistreated, and a little less enthusiastic about finishing. We’re building a program here, and it seems stuck in low gear.
Thanks for the opportunity to vent – I appreciate it, Dr. D. Also please know that this has no reflection on you, my classmates, or my classes, all of which I enjoy, and benefit from all the time.
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:Chris
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “Resentment around perceived inequities often is a source of frustration which leads to conflict”
Isn’t this notion the basis of equity theory, in which percieved inequity can affect motivation, followership, and effectiveness in workers?
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Terri and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “Unhealthy relationships, or, in some cases, jealousy or excessive use of power over another.”
I always have felt that conflict can be much more low key than this – I encounter conflict to some degree in every day of work – today I had a conflict with a co worker where we went back and forth about whose responsibility a particular function in Blackboard would be moving forward – we both felt that certain aspects of this responsibility were more in keeping with the other’s role.
It was not loud, it was not long, and it was not a great debate, but it had a moment of disagreement, a short lived discussion about the precedent, a talk about the implications of the change in ownership, and a resolution.
However, despite this conflict, this person and I have a healthy relationship, no jealousy, and no power over another. We just needed to work through something and we did.
Isn’t conflict inevitable all the time? Isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t that how we signal and generate the changes that need to happen?
John.

Thread:Monday and Tuesday
Post:RE:Monday and Tuesday
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, March 31, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asked a set of questions:
(1) Is conflict inevitable at work?
(2) Is it preventable in any way?
(3) Is it necessarily bad?
Conflict is inevitable, unless everyone is simply working without communication, voice, or feedback. If you care not a whit about what you’re doing, are doing the same thing day in and day out, and are happy working in a mindless state, you might be able to avoid conflict for a while, but I’ll bet not forever.
Conflict is not preventable, and can be worked through or resolved by those willing to use the tools necessary to do that. More often we fall into feuds, hurt feelings, and ineffective work relations. If we were to consult Mark Gerzon’s Leading through Conflict, he’d give us a series of tools (choosing our communication style, listening intently, and devising innovations amongst them) which we can use to be “mediators” and to establish innovations and effective work environments by seeing the challenge of conflict as an opportunity for change.
Conflict is not bad – it is a signal that there is an imbalance in points of view, and an opportunity to find commonality, devise innovations that try to meet the needs of all stakeholders, and celebrate the best capabilities of communication.
Conflict? Bring it on.
John.

Thread:Weekly Reflection Thread.
Post:Weekly Reflection Thread.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, March 28, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I had a great time this week, as usual, and looked back through some of my posts to find some insights I gained and observations I recorded. I included these below. Thanks to everyone for a lively week and hope you all have a great weekend.
John.
Change in modern organizations is inevitable, quick paced, beneficial, and necessary for transformative growth. Nothing comes from stagnation but stability, which is not always a good thing.
[I]n my experience, employees at Rider are becoming more and more willing to accept change relatively quickly as it becomes faster and more frequent. The ones who are not have left or are leaving. Those who are steadfastly resistant to change are having a very difficult time right now in our particular organization.
We have gone so far as to implement a change management process, though a simple subset of more complicated models, in OIT at Rider. It starts with a form that is proposed and reviewed with a supervisor, then approved and submitted for review in a Blackboard discussion, then finally presented and defended in a physical group setting, followed by a directoral approval and implementation.
I’d say that leaders need to consider the stakeholders to be communicated to, the communication channels best suited for the job, the frequency of communication, the message itself, the intended impact and outcomes of communication, and ways in which to solicit and gather feedback.
I know individuals, who are young, old and other, who can not stand change, usually due to a history of bad experiences with it, whether it be technological, organizational, structural, ideological, chosen or imminent.
I feel like I’d rather have the facts and try to find my own silver lining. When I detect that someone is trying to pull punches, defend a bad decision, or quietly pass through a difficult change as though it were going to be easy (especially when I’m the one being asked to do the brunt of the work), I tend to feel insulted, defensive, and maybe a little angry.
I know how leaders can instill a sense of fear uncertainty and doubt. I know how they can surely increase uncertainty. I know how they can reduce and flatten confidence: By not being transparent. By being translucent or opaque. By knowing big scary ideas and keeping them from the people who need to know them. By hinting at big changes without full disclosure. By asking people to ‘be quiet’ and ‘keep this amongst ourselves’. By having closed door or senior management meetings that are closed to some managers.
I think about people who have become accustomed to the peer-to-peer model of networking, and the microsecond that it takes to google a weath of knowledge about any keyword. Information flows today like a faucet, like a stream, like the Mississippi. We just have to know know to fjord it.
A great leader will see stepping down or being removed as one of many possible solutions to a problem and will help choose or accept that outcome accordingly.
In this situation, some simple feedback may give people the opportunity to inform you and possibly prevent you from having to redo or restart the project from scratch. I think the adage “measure twice, cut once” applies here.
I’m not saying that younger people don’t adapt as quickly as older people, or the converse as you are, I’m saying that without some standard of assessment for the ability for a person to adapt to change, you can’t begin to assume that one group is able to do it in a superlative way, and not without assessing a substantial group of both young and old peers in the same ways to come to those statistical conclusions.
My leader needs to be more open to feedback. My leader needs to listen actively. My leader needs to be more transparent. My leader needs to be more open to change, new ideas, and voices from below. My leader is grasping at what to do in order to stop people from pursuing their own ideas, and the general technique at the moment is crushing opposition.

Thread:Friday’s Discussion
Post:RE:Friday’s Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, March 28, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “[H]ow would you rate your leader’s ability to communicate change? What does she/he do well? What needs to be better?”
My leader does not communicate change well. I would rate ability at a 4 out of 10. The actions my leader takes are often reactionary, self-contained, and driven by higher hierarchical demands rather than a mix of vision, mission, leadership, intuition, and lower hierarchical feedback.
Feedback is often interpreted by my leader as a personal attack, even when the feedback is positive or constructive.
My leader is good at listening to the feedback being given from above. My leader is good at reminding us of our place in the structure. My leader is good at clarifying their own position and why we should agree with it.
My leader needs to be more open to feedback. My leader needs to listen actively. My leader needs to be more transparent. My leader needs to be more open to change, new ideas, and voices from below. My leader is grasping at what to do in order to stop people from pursuing their own ideas, and the general technique at the moment is crushing opposition.
That’s no way to communicate changes effectively.
John.

Thread:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Post:RE:Andrea and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Seek input from all 170? Seek input from his/her management team? Seek input from a sub-set of the 170? If so, how?”
At the very least fire up a discussion board. Shoot out an email and ask for feedback, or (gasp!) have a meeting with the 170 people. Call it a town hall. Call it a mob scene, but give people an opportunity to speak. Communication is most effective with feedback, I think we agreed a few weeks back. Feedback can only happen when you hear what’s being said back.
John.

Thread:Monday’s Discussion
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Monday’s Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “I just meant that younger people are adapting quicker to change than older people generally speaking. This is not an opinion IT IS a fact.”
No offense taken, Arthur – I respect your willingness to share and debate.
However, if this is indeed a fact, then please show proof of this. I know a lot of older people in my organization who seem, as individuals, to be adapting to change better than younger individuals in my organization. Maybe it’s experience, maybe it’s a certain sense of calm that comes with age, or perhaps it’s just those individuals.
I’m not saying that younger people don’t adapt as quickly as older people, or the converse as you are, I’m saying that without some standard of assessment for the ability for a person to adapt to change, you can’t begin to assume that one group is able to do it in a superlative way, and not without assessing a substantial group of both young and old peers in the same ways to come to those statistical conclusions.
When you say it’s a fact, I say ‘show me’. πŸ˜‰ That’s why we cite.
John.

Thread:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Linda and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “This policy assumes a level professionalism and perspective, doesn’t it? Can we trust all our employees to understand how to use the information they will learn?”
If we are willing to trust our employees, then we can begin to build a framework in which this can work. Maybe the open meeting policy would have to be changed in order to be effective: perhaps a fishbowl clause, that says that the invited attendees may speak and respond, by visiting floating guests must be silent until after the meeting, where discussion can occur.
Maybe I’m an idealist, too. πŸ˜‰ Regardless, right now what I am is frustrated and ineffective, because I have to catch the right grapevine in order to know what’s really going on around here. That’s not good business.
John.

Thread:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Post:RE:Arthur and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Arthur makes the point that those who are most effected by the change should have some input into how the change will be managed. I would agree, this is ideal. The question is this – is it practical?”
Like everything else, it all depends. Ah, contingency.
If there is an opportunity to allow for feedback, it is more likely to initially stagnate forward movement, but the alternative is that the nonparticipative process will get to a certain point where 10% of stakeholders might suddenly say ‘hey your new solution doesn’t solve for X which was the main reason we need your solution. ‘
In this situation, some simple feedback may give people the opportunity to inform you and possibly prevent you from having to redo or restart the project from scratch.
I think the adage “measure twice, cut once” applies here.
Incidentally, speaking of contingency, leadership styles, and participative consideration, here’s a great (big) image that demonstrates some leadership styles in regards to participative approaches:
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/fig/0260260601020.png (Decision-making attributes of Sheard and Kakabadse’s (2006) leadership roles)
John.

Thread:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Post:RE:Linda and Class II
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Leaders are often some of the casualties of change, it is realistic to expect them to be empathetic when they are at risk as well?”
A truly great leader will always be looking at the benefit of the company, the business, and the organization, and if they are ethically minded, they may even consider the company before themselves.
A great leader will know when they are causing more harm than good by staying in their position.
A great leader will see stepping down or being removed as one of many possible solutions to a problem and will help choose or accept that outcome accordingly.
A great leader will be open to feedback and other messages, including messages to remove themselves from their position, and if they agree that it’s the best thing to do, they will follow suit.
Is it an easy thing to do? No. Great leadership often isn’t.
John.

Thread:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Post:RE:RE:RE:Linda and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Chris says “With all the facts and an honest message, people can determine on their own (or by consulting each other) what the best course of action should and will be in order to complete the changing process (or whatever task is at hand). I like to know exactly what is going on because I feel it will best help me determine how to respond to it.”
I feel like some leaders are so afraid of the effects of transparency, and yet so deeply in need of it in their organizations. With all of the increases in the speed of change, we need to be able to know all that we can about all aspects of the organization.
I think about people who have become accustomed to the peer-to-peer model of networking, and the microsecond that it takes to google a weath of knowledge about any keyword. Information flows today like a faucet, like a stream, like the Mississippi. We just have to know thow to fjord it.
But not in many of our companies: in my own organization the information isn’t ripe for the picking, easily available, or transparent in the least. At least not yet. If I want some pieces of information, I need to be invited to a certain meeting, friends with a certain set of people, privy to certain files, or simply allowed.
I think one of Semler’s best ideas was the open meeting policy where anyone from any level was allowed to attend any meeting anywhere in the company at any time. What a refreshing tool that would be.
I’d go further to allow anyone with an EasyPass account to access video or audio feeds of basically any meeting. I’m sure that’s not realistic for certain meetings, such as academic review meetings or penalty driven negative feedback meetings, but for many regularly scheduled meetings in my organization, it would be far better to have them be public.
John.

Thread:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Post:transparency
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “However, often leaders may not know enough to “limit uncertainty,” at least in a manner that inspires confidence. They also may misinterpret the potential of the change. Can leaders realistically limit uncertainty? If so, how?”
I know how leaders can instill a sense of fear uncertainty and doubt. I know how they can surely increase uncertainty. I know how they can reduce and flatten confidence
By not being transparent. By being translucent or opaque. By knowing big scary ideas and keeping them from the people who need to know them. By hinting at big changes without full disclosure. By asking people to ‘be quiet’ and ‘keep this amongst ourselves’. By having closed door or senior management meetings that are closed to some managers.
It’s a disease, and it breeds contempt. Let your people know everything you do, and trust and confidence will follow, possibly after a period of wailing. Get it all out there.
John.

Thread:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Post:RE:Linda and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Do you all agree [with sugar coating]? I have found this to be a difficult balance – confident yet realistic, direct but not scary, full disclosure versus “need to know.” Your thoughts?”
I feel like I’d rather have the facts and try to find my own silver lining. When I detect that someone is trying to pull punches, defend a bad decision, or quietly pass through a difficult change as though it were going to be easy (especially when I’m the one being asked to do the brunt of the work), I tend to feel insulted, defensive, and maybe a little angry.
But that’s just me. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Monday’s Discussion
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Monday’s Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “Generally speaking, younger generations don’t mind, older ones may have more difficulty to adapt to the pace of it all.”
My apologies — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this kind of generalization about generational divisions is highly dangerous. It all depends on the contingency.
I know individuals, who are young, old and other, who can not stand change, usually due to a history of bad experiences with it, whether it be technological, organizational, structural, ideological, chosen or imminent.
I know other individuals of every age, race, and other primary and secondary diversity, who embrace most changes, because they see in it opportunity, a new point of view, and a chance to make things better than they are, wisely or not. Thye have seen and experienced wonderful things with change.
On top of that, add bad communication efforts, unnecessary changes being forced, or a lack of vision or execution, and everyone I just mentioned, regardless of their diversity, will not like, enjoy, or anticipate the change. It has to do with the change at hand, the way it’s handled, and the situational contingencies. It has little to do with how [age], [race], [gender], or [primary diversity] you are.
John.

Thread:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Post:RE:Tuesday to Thursday’s Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. Dool asks “What do leaders need to consider in communicating change? What are some of the best practices in communicating change?”
I’d say that leaders need to consider:
the stakeholders to be communicated to,
the communication channels best suited for the job,
the frequency of communication,
the message itself,
the intended impact and outcomes of communication,
and ways in which to solicit and gather feedback.
I think some best practices in communicating change are exemplified in this article at inc.com, included below. For me, among the most important of these is “Give people multiple opportunities to share concerns, ask questions, and offer ideas, and make following up with answers and updates a top priority” — I think that feedback and listening are key for the communication of change to be successful.
John.
10 Tips for Communicating Change, Leadership and Delegation Article – Inc. Article found on Tue Mar 25 2008 10:07:17 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
Remember that there’s no one perfect way to communicate change. Change is uncomfortable, and adapting to change is messy. The perfect Gantt chart does not a painless change experience make. Why? Because tasks are easy to list, but behavior and long-held habits are not easy to change. Gather outside information, solicit perspectives, and adapt the approaches for your organization and group.
Start by asking yourself what exactly is changing and why. Too many programs are heavy on the jargon and light on the substance of what the buzz phrases mean in the day-to-day reality of the organization’ s people. You have to make that link. For example, what does it mean when you say the organization needs to be more responsive? What behaviors characterize a so-called flat organization? Go to the root of what you’re trying to achieve from an organizational behavior perspective, and give the jargon life.
Know what results you want, ideally, from both the change initiative and the communication program or tactic. What’s the call to action for the communication program? What’s the call to action for the specific communication tactic? What systemic or operations changes are under way that provide the framework for the desired results and behaviors?
Include communication strategists at the very beginning of the discussions about the change, on the strategic team from the start. Too often, qualified communicators are involved after backlash is in full force, when the leaks and rumor mills are rampant. The corporate lawyer or the MBA with one or two classes in PowerPoint is not qualified to understand how the people of the organization will respond to change and what information they’ll need. Their particular expertise is most likely legal requirement and cost cutting, not communication.
Share information with employees as soon as possible. There’s a real dilemma in public companies, where investor communication is a priority and employees hear about a merger or reorganization on their car radio while commuting to work. Once fear and insecurity are heightened, you waste a lot of time getting back to a place of order, understanding, and productivity, and many people head for their desks to update rΓ©sumΓ©s and to call employment recruiters.
Keep in mind that quantity is fine, but quality and consistency are crucial. Most CEOs and managers are quoted as saying, “You can’t communicate too much,” but you can communicate too much insigificant or insensitive information. You can’t communicate too much significant, substantial information.
Longevity. Remember that a change effort starts with the announcement or a merger or change initiative. Many leaders and managers underestimate the length of time required by a change cycle. That’s why numerous reports indicate poor performance following many IPOs, mergers, change initiatives, etc. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither do people and organizations change in a week, or even a year. Think of it as changing some very ingrained habits; that’s what you’re doing.
Remember to use a variety of communication pathways and vehicles. Some organizations make an enormous mistake in using only one vehicle, such as e-mail or the company intranet site. Redundancy and repetition are helpful in creating an effective communication program.
Don’t confuse process — visioning, chartering change teams, planning, endless PowerPoint presentations — with communication. While those meetings and processes can be communication vehicles if designed mindfully and handled in the context of a broader program, they aren’t adequate to meet change communication needs.
Give people multiple opportunities to share concerns, ask questions, and offer ideas, and make following up with answers and updates a top priority. The more people are involved in the process, the fewer you’ll have walking out the door or worse, staying and acting as internal saboteurs.
Source: http://www.inc.com/articles/2000/06/19312.html

Thread:Monday’s Discussion
Post:Change Management as adaptation.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, March 24, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Do you think we have become so bombarded with change that we have become desensitized to the whole notion of “change’?”
Desensitized sounds rather negatively connotated to me. I think that with more and more change, we have begun to adapt and expect it than to resist it. In fact, like the idea of seeing ‘problems’ as opportunities, I think that change is often more frequently seen as an opportunity as well – a chance to rebuild, a possible path less traveled revisited.
We have gone so far as to implement a change management process, though a simple subset of more complicated models, in OIT at Rider. It starts with a form that is proposed and reviewed with a supervisor, then approved and submitted for review in a Blackboard discussion, then finally presented and defended in a physical group setting, followed by a directoral approval and implementation.
This allows the change to be properly communicated, planned, given a peer review, assessed for pitfalls, and if necessary, rejected.
Desensitization doesn’t seem to have brought this on – it was adaptation to the chatic way we had been dealing with change up until now.
John.

Thread:Monday’s Discussion
Post:RE:RE:RE:Monday’s Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, March 24, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “In your experience – are more employees willing to accept change readily or are more resistant initially?”
Again, I’d say an accurate response would likely require some contingencies being defined, but in my experience, employees at Rider are becoming more and more willing to accept change relatively quickly as it becomes faster and more frequent. The ones who are not have left or are leaving. Those who are steadfastly resistant to change are having a very difficult time right now in our particular organization.
John.

Thread:Monday’s Discussion
Post:RE:Monday’s Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, March 24, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Is [change in organizations] inevitable? How is change viewed in most organizations – as a positive or negative force?”
Change in modern organizations is inevitable, quick paced, beneficial, and necessary for transformative growth. Nothing comes from stagnation but stability, which is not always a good thing: stable pay means no raise, stable job means no promotion, and stable workday means doing the same thing you did yesterday. McDonald’s is a very stable job.
I can’t answer the second question realistically: one organization will react differently to a particular change than another. One individual will react differently to one change than another. Two groups in the same organization will react differently to the same change.
Like so many other things in organizational theory, it comes down to systems, culture, and contingencies.
Let’s say the contingent factors regarding the idea of whether change will be regarded well or not are leader, manager, subordinate, change, and organization. You’ll get a certain outcome for each set of contingencies:
President: Mort
Manager of Training: John
Instructional Technologist: Angel
proposed change: Technology Training being outsourced
organization: Rider University
Now, who are we asking if the change is good? Rider Faculty? John? Mort? What is the problem being solved? Who are the stakeholders? If the reason is good enough, and the change is necessary, communicated, and executed well, I doubt that I could argue with outsourcing technology training at Rider. However, I know a few people who would likely be upset if the reason, communication, or execution were bad.
Good format Dr. D! That change was a great one.
John.

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:RE:RE:Theresa and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Without question – but leadership strains fir a closer connection between the two.
John.

Thread:Weekly Reflection
Post:Weekly Reflection
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, March 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

As usual, I had fun this week. As usual I learned a lot. I also like the way that Dr. D continues to reinvent and shake up our methods for posting, reacting, and developing.
Although I was a bit confused more than once about where I was supposed to be this week in discussions, and when I was supposed to be there, it all turned out okay.
One kind of nice outcome about that is that it was an additional sublingual message about the limits of workgroups who only work in one communication channel, especially asynchronous channels. We all made a choice to participate in distance learning, and for many of us, it’s a choice that has to do with the need to be able to participate at 5 am or 11 pm. Because of the relatively independent nature of our work here, I think that that’s okay.
I wouldn’t want to have to rely on the people I work with everyday in the same way, though – only being able to work ‘together’ separately – it would be frustrating to have to wait a day for an answer on an important question because the person with the answer wouldn’t be ‘on’ until tomorrow.
However, with the way that the world is growing smaller, and the way that internationalization is changing the face and relative hours of the people we work with, we may end up developing our asynchronous work skills more and more.
Thanks for the practice, Dr. D. Have a great break everyone — you deserve it.
John.

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:Theresa and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, March 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “If we admire the style and it helps us feel good about the future, what happens to that feeling if the underlying action steps to fulfill the message(s) is not all that solid?”
This is an issue we usually have to deal with everyday. We are constantly bombarded with beautiful superficial messages promising depth and promise, if only you’ll do X, where X is pay for it, vote for it, attend it, etc.
It has so very much to do with advertising and sales. I’ll give you a visual example: Of the following, which is the advertisement, and which is the actual product that you’ve gotten? Would you have still paid for the product if you were advertised to with the actual product? How many of our choices are the result of great photography, practiced, perfected phrasing, and other manipulations of our senses?
John.

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Profile Discussion and Debate
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur brought dow nthe house with “I reckon that when Andrea meant that Obama is more approachable, she may also have been putting in the equation the fact that women find him good-looking and young.”
Well, I guess, if we’ve moved from substance to looks, there’s no question, I’d vote for Obama. But is that really what we’re relegated to?
John.

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Profiles are Posted…lets debate
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas said “the American public will never elect someone who cannot speak well or does not sound educated.”
Ahem. Bush. Twice. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:Theresa and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “I have heard “on the street” interviews where the person loves him but can not articulate any of his positions. Nor could they answer the question – Obama is running on a theme of _______? (Change)
Think about leaders at work, if they are positive, enthusiastic and articulate, do we give them a pass on the notion of substance?”A very interesting interview on NPR/Fresh Air today where a music marketing mogul essentially described that one of the reason that marketing leaders were often successful was because they ‘looked good’ and that once that was achieved , they could essentially say any non-substantive thing, and as long as it was generally positive, would be regarded with a certain license of genius. I’m not saying that Obama is without substance, but rather that to many, it’s more important that he’s presentable, which he is, without question. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88182360John.

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:Chris
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “In other words, do we give [communication ability] too much or too little weight? ”
I think we give it all or most of the weight of impact, because without communication ability, what is a leader?
Not much, I assume.
John.

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:Theresa and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Do you think either of them would pass a consistency test? Is this a fair standard to hold a political leader to?”
I think that Hillary has done a lot of self-presentation adjustments in her efforts to control and influence public perception. She might get national polls that show trends in her appearance as being ‘arrogant’ or ‘aggressive’ which relate back to her historical perceptions by the public, and so she might do the next three debates as a “kinder, gentler” Hillary, in order to show that side of her leadership style.
I personally think that Obama has a much more superficial, and by license of that, consistent stance, and as a result, has been able to focus on a singular message, Hillary has to deal with all of that history. Obama can write his history right now.
John

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:RE:Profile Discussion and Debate
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Andrea says “However, Obama seems to be more inviting and more approachable in his demeanor. Clinton stands tall and proud, which are positive attributes, but also stern and overpowering.”
Here’s a video from YouTube in which both candidates seem to me to be approachable and inviting, and I think that context has a lot to do with the way that they are perceived. In this video, both seem to stand tall and proud. Neither seem especially stern and overpowering.
Andrea and class, can you direct us to any examples of Obama’s approachability vs. Clinton? Is there a story showing Clinton’s relative sternness or overpowering pride? Thanks in advance.
John.

Thread:Weds Profile Postings
Post:RE:RE:Clinton Profile
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kelly says “What style of leadership did you collectively decide she
exhibited most? ”
I don’t think there was a cohesive theme or statement about leadership in the final draft that was presented here, but there were some conclusions about leadership style in some of the discarded content.
For instance, there were some paragraphs dropped from the final draft of the profile in which we placed Clinton in the Leadership Grid, and found her to be an impoverished leader type according to recent revelations about the way her campaign was being run.
For example:
If we look at the Ohio State Leadership quadrants, which analyzes a leader according to their level of consideration as well as the level of “initiating structure” or well defined parameters of action the leader gives to the organization (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 1996, p. 92), we might define one aspect of our leadership. Hillary Clinton was recently described in a report in the New York Times as neither considerate of followers, nor willing to develop a framework for progress. This is evident due to her relying heavily on subordinates to define their own plans or fend for themsleves, and either ignoring or being unaware of infighting and communication breakdowns amongst her people (Healy & Zernike, 2008). If these allegations are well founded, we might classify Clinton as an ineffective leader. A leader who is both low in consideration and low in initiating structure might be considered an impoverished leader type in the Ohio State and Managerial Grid theories of Leadership (Hersey, et al., 1996, p. 101).
I was not participating in the final revisions for the final draft, because of the asynchronous nature of the way we were working, and so I was not available when the final cut was being prepared at 10:00 pm last night. It’s not anyone’s fault – we had to put out something, but I feel like if we had been working synchronously, we might have had a more cohesive product that looked at more aspects of leadership in the profile, and might have hads points that were supported by academic sources more cohesively.
This all seems like a metaphor for/exemplar of the negative issues with modern communication and working styles. We were all over the place, unable to feedback efficiently, unable to synchronously align ideas, unable to get approval and cohesion in a timely manner.
I am not 100% behind the profile we put out, but given the nature of the way that we worked on it, I’m still happy that some of our people took the reigns and something got put together and submitted. I was under the mistaken impression that we would finalize and post the profile today (Wednesday), and so when I last looked at the draft at 7pm, it was still fairly fluid and open. By this morning, it had been posted.
John.

Thread:Weds Profile Postings
Post:RE:Clinton Profile
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I was confused about where we were working, and so Andrea and I were working separately from the rest of the group for a day or so. We developed a series of paragraphs that were only minimally referred to in the final draft.
Dr. D says “The profiles are a bit skimpy. I was expecting more given the size of the teams and two days to build them.”
With that in mind, I thought I’d reintroduce the paragraphs that were reduced to a line in the draft in the interest of a fuller, more rounded profile. They can safely be ignored if necessary.
John. Supplementary paragraphs follow.
Hillary Clinton is potentially flawed as a modern leader because she is not willing to be transparent and face troubles head on. For example, when New York’s Governor Eliot Spitzer, once a major win of support for her campaign, became the main focus in a high priced prostitution ring, Clinton’s web site began quickly removing Spitzer’s name and note of backing from the campaign site (Nichols, 2008). A more modern, innovative leader might take the opportunity to bring light to the importance of morals in today’s leadership (Daft, 2007). Instead, her actions show that hiding the truth away is the way she might deal with scandals of her own.
If we look at the Ohio State Leadership quadrants, which analyzes a leader according to their level of consideration as well as the level of “initiating structure” or well defined parameters of action the leader gives to the organization (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 1996, p. 92), we might define one aspect of our leadership. Hillary Clinton was recently described in a report in the New York Times as neither considerate of followers, nor willing to develop a framework for progress. This is evident due to her relying heavily on subordinates to define their own plans or fend for themsleves, and either ignoring or being unaware of infighting and communication breakdowns amongst her people (Healy & Zernike, 2008). If these allegations are well founded, we might classify Clinton as an ineffective leader. A leader who is both low in consideration and low in initiating structure might be considered an impoverished leader type in the Ohio State and Managerial Grid theories of Leadership (Hersey, et al., 1996, p. 101). However, other examples might place her in the Management Grid in a different quadrant.
Hillary Clinton conducts her leadership practices from a managerial standpoint. She is very task-oriented and her visionary approach is mainly directed inward. She leads with a low consideration, high initiating structure. An example outlined in BusinessWeek refers to Hillary’s actions as head of the health-care reform initiative during Bill Clinton’s first Administration. She reviewed and analyzed various views concerning needed improvements of the health-care system’s performance. However, instead of engaging and involving the necessary parties in a process of change, she made assumptions and in turn, created resistance and opposition.
Daft, R. L. (2007). The leadership experience (with infotrac ) (4), 528. South-Western College Pub.
Healy, A. N. P., & Zernike, K. (2008, March 10). Sniping by aides hurt clinton’s image as manager, The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2008, from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/us/politics/10clinton.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin.
Hersey, P., Blanchard, K. H., & Johnson, D. E. (1996). Management of organizational behavior: utilizing human resources (7), 627. Prentice Hall.
James, O. (2008, February 8). Obama vs. Clinton: leadership styles.
BusinessWeek, managing. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/feb2008/
ca2008028_331189.htm?campaign_id=rss_topEmailedStories
Nichols, J. (2008, March 10). Spitzer scandal opens an ouch moment for clinton. Retrieved March 11, 2008, from http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters?bid=45&pid=296891.

Thread:Profile Discussion and Debate
Post:RE:RE:Profiles are Posted…lets debate
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Chris says “As leaders, I think Barack Obama, although less experienced, has the upper hand because of the way he has handled recent and past situations.”
I think this gets to the heart of one of the key issues in the perception of each of their leadership styles.
While inexperience may appear to be a detriment to Obama, it is also potentially an advantage.
People may be able to read into Hillary’s past actions as a First Lady and as a leader living and working in the White House in order to predict what she might do, and how she might react and communicate, as the President. Her experience potentially betrays her future actions.
Obama can focus on a communication style that promises change and hope for a different future because he has less of a public past to analyze than Hillary does. It means there are still lots of question marks about how Obama might react to an issue that might be a well known response from Clinton.
When I was first applying for a mortgage, I had very little in the way of credit history, and I thought that it might hurt me as a borrower. The lender explained that it was much better to have no history than to have a very well known history, because lenders would be more willing to take a chance on an unknown with good prospects.
I think Obama’s relatively unknown history of answers helps him in this way, and allows him to focus on a better future as a message.
John.

Thread:Weds Profile Postings
Post:RE:Clinton Profile
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I saw the final draft only after it was posted. Even though this was posted by my team, I have to say I disagree with the idea of “her style of male, aggressive leadership has led her to be NY senator. ”
I don’t see any of our cited evidence that was gathered laid out to reinforce the ideas that we are putting out here. What about Hillary is ‘male’ and what about that maleness makes her aggressive? What actions, statements, or facts exist to confirm that she is aggressive?
I think it is a dangerous assumption to associate male and aggressive. It’s like associating any other primary diversity and any other likely description. ‘Old’ and ‘technologically incapable’ is one of my favorite examples. It’s a bad assumption.
John.

Thread:Weekly Reflection
Post:RE:Weekly Reflection
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, March 10, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Cody said “my birthday was Friday”
Happy birthday, Cody!
John.

Thread:Thurs/Fri Discussion
Post:Reflection post.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, March 8, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Lots of great ideas this week – Loved the points on diversity.
Dr. D says “There is no doubt that increased awareness is a good thing. Creating a short-hand that captures the key learning points certainly embeds the knowledge.”
And of course it’s still clear, as Dr. D notes elsewhere, that simply mandating the programming does not actually modify one’s acceptance or openness to diversity. In my example, the person who I spoke with understood the shorthand of what I meant by ‘go yellow’ but even though our conversation became more civil, and it’s less likely that this person will ‘go yellow’ with me again, this person likely thinks continually in a red light mode, constantly having to censor himself to others, and still believing that others are less than himself due to gender, age, sexual preference, skin color, etc.
It would be much better if this person actually thought in the language of diversity, but in the mean time, I’ll accept the compromise of him appearing to accept diversity as an idea, so that we can carry on a necessary work conversation without me or others having to be offended. πŸ˜‰
Great week this week. Thanks to all.
John.

Thread:Thurs/Fri Discussion
Post:RE:Linda and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, March 7, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Do you think mandatory requirements regarding diversity work? For example, mandatory training or reporting?”
In my experience it does — by each employee being given a baseline understanding of what is expected behaviorally, acceptable in terms of action,
and encouraged in terms of langauge and conversation, there is a starting point for action when the commonly studied line is crossed.
At Rider, we had mandated anti-harrassment training, in which we were given a shorthand of green light/yelow light/red light.
Just today in a conversation with a colleague, he crossed a line in terms of language and ideas regarding diverse lifestyles. I gently reminded him that he was not speaking appropriately by saying “you just went yellow”. He acknowleged the correction, corrected his line of speech, and respect was restored to the conversation.
I didn’t have to explain why it was inappropriate for him to be speaking in this way, I just had to remind him that we were on a bad path, and it worked.
John.

Thread:Thurs/Fri Discussion
Post:RE:Thurs/Fri Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Why should diversity matter to leaders or organizations? What do leaders need to do to adapt to leading a multicultural workforce?”
Diversity breeds innovation. Diversity prepares a leader and an organization for the unexpected by inviting the unexpected. Diversity encourages and prepares organizations for change. Diversity educates by its presence alone. Diversity matters because nationalism is (hopefully) facing extinction. Diversity allows for more, better, whole-systems thinking ideas.
Leaders should use the various tools available for organization effects (training, culture, documentation, communication tools, presentations, programs, and meetings) in order to discuss, promote, and instill diversity. Leaders must be open minded. Leaders must consider that the way things are known to be are not the only ways that they can be, and primary and secondary diversity in a workforce can start those discussions about alternative possibilities.
John.

Thread:Weds Discussion
Post:RE:RE:RE:Weds Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Can you add to your point about “protecting” diversity?”
In my mind, Rider protects diversity in lots of small ways.
We are reminded when hiring to keep diverse applicants in the forefront of our mind, and reminded that diversity is important in our organization.
All managers and directors in the University were given mandated training in sexual harassment awareness, which touched on diversity issues such as why saying ‘Men are so stupid.’ might be offensive. And rude. And shallow.
By the presence and integration of Sanda students, we are reminded everyday that the University values diversity, which in turn reminds us that closed mindedness on diversity issues isn’t expected or appreciated.
“Diversity and community” is even listed in our Community Values Statement.
We are encouraged and reminded regularly in lots of small ways to value diversity, which allows the culture to protect it effortlessly.
John.

Thread:Tuesday Discussion
Post:RE:RE:RE:Tuesday Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, March 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “one would hope that children remember what’s taught to them and pass the message along to other children to educate them as well.”
Nice point, Sonya. I think this goes back to the systems approach of organizational theory, in which every part has the opportunity to affect and influence every other part it comes into contact with (physically, electronically, idealogically, visually, etc.) and so when we are teaching our children, we are influencing the way that the interact and change the world around them.
When we properly train and develop employees in, for instance, diversity awareness and cultural intelligence, or sexual harassment, I think that we are influencing not only those organizational members, but each of their interactions with everyone thereafter.
It’s a systems based cascade-crescendo effect, and one that raises the bar of importance on org. member training and development as well as what we pass on to our children.
John.

Thread:Tuesday Discussion
Post:RE:RE:Art and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy used the metaphor “Salad Bowl” as a potential replacement for the dark, smoky, cheesy melting pot and I loved it – to me it really exemplifies the idea of crisp outlines of a beautiful spring mix (individuality), different textures like croutons vs. cheese (persona), spicy or rich flavors like peppers or arugula (charisma), brilliant but differing hues of vegetables (race, country and background), and I thought that the dressing and bowl, the things that marry all of the flavors and keep it all together are like the organization itself – the dressing being the organizational culture — smooth and creamy french or spicy honey mustard etc.
I’m hungry.
Not sure if this was Tracy’s idea, or if it was introduced elsewhere and I overlooked it or missed its signifigance, but what a great metaphor. Thanks.
John.

Thread:Weds Discussion
Post:RE:Weds Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “How has diversity impacted your workplace? How has your organization adapted to the US demographic trends, if at all? Do you think your organization values diversity or does it manage diversity to avoid a lawsuit?”
Rider University has been deeply affected by diversity – our campus is a wide and healthy mix of cultures, races, ages, gender, religions, heritages and experiences.
Diversity is encouraged, protected, and celebrated in our organizational culture.
One example is the brilliant cooperative between Sanda University and Rider. We have an amazing group of Chinese students who bring with them a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow in our cultural awareness and diversity.
Our faculty and staff are from many walks of life, and our collective respect for each other is reinforced in our cultural artifacts, interactions, and atmosphere.
It’s one of the things I absolutely love about Rider.
John.

Thread:Tuesday Discussion
Post:RE:Tuesday Discussion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “What does the term “diversity”mean to you? If you had to describe it to a 10 year old what would you say”
Diversity is the differences between people, ideas, cultures, and paths.
Diversity is that which allows us to be excited by the ordinary.
Diversity is something that teaches just by its existence, which is hard for other things to do.
Diversity is a reason for two or ten or one hundred people to try to learn about each other, so that they might make themselves more whole and less just themselves.
John.

Thread:Monday Postings
Post:RE:Monday Postings
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, March 3, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

The Are you Ethnocentric survey was a bust. It asks “Compare your two-scores and consider what they say about your own degree of ethnocentrism. In what ways are you ethnocentric? To what extent do you think your stereotypes about another person’s culture are real or grounded in truth? Do you think your stereotypes about your own co-culture generally reflect the way everyone really is who belongs to that group? Why or why not? Are stereotypes ever favorable? Why do you think so? Can so-called favorable stereotypes ever be a problem for members in that group? Why?”
My scores for this survey were both unavailable, because I felt unable to apply the idea of ‘aggressive’ to males or impulsive to Canadians, because both of those ideas are prejudiced, limiting, and require you to make assumptions about groups based on their group alone. I thought for sure I’d get to the end where it would say “Of course, you know if you were able to complete this, you’re biased. ” As a result, I felt icky even being asked to do so. I will gladly stand by not being able to complete this survey. If you were asking me to define one’s individual rating of pleasure loving vs. mine, I might be able to venture my opinion there. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that comparison with most any of you though, since I don’t actually know most of you.
Reading the Cultural Intelligence piece and doing the “Diagnosing your CQ” piece solidified this for me.
I feel rather contrary when someone says something like ‘old people don’t handle technology well’ or ‘outsourcing tech support doesn’t work because you can never understand them’
It’s one of my absolute emotional buttons, and while I have prejudices, they very seldom if ever have to do with primary diversity factors like race, age, gender, or the like.
However, I very often make other assumptions and generalizations once I am aware of a personal trait such as prejudice, intellgence, or political choices. I know that this is potentially limiting to me as a leader, and hope to improve my CQ and diversity awareness by focusing on correcting these assumptions.
I very often will ask questions when I am in the presence of someone from another culture as respectfully as possible, and only with license to do so — if I am lucky enough to fully engage and indulge in multiple aspects of the culture, I will very gladly do so.
For instance, I recently visited with someone who was up until this time only a passing acquaintance and celebrated his culture with him in the form of food, drink, customs of relaxation, music, asking questions about his religion, his country, his clothing, his hair, and his experiences as a culturally diverse visitor in America, who simultaneously accepts and rejects anything different than the all-American-whatever-it-is. I am forever indebted to him for sharing his culture with me to the degree that he has, and I look forward to continuing to learn about his and many other cultures.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:Weekly reflection post
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 29, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Great conversations this week on technology and community. I have some very strong pro technology feelings, and so I’m very challenged in my mindset and assumptions when the idea that community can’t exist using just technology, when in fact I still believe that with more time and awareness, and tools based in technology, we’ll start to overcome and challenge the limits of what we see today in technology based communication.
I know it’s not perfect, but often it’s still useful, necessary, or even preferred to good old in person visits.
However, very often if an in person visit is all that will do, then technology just isn’t going to do the job.
Great week everyone – thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Daniel
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 29, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kim says “at Rider, there seems to be a culture that embraces on line learning, so that mechanism often has a positive interpretation associated with it”
I’m really surprised to read your statement here – in my NBWA conversations, online learning at Rider is often despised, looked at like an also-ran, and even discouraged as less beneficial than in-classroom learning by some. I’m always a little bit shocked by this, and I go into my pro-online-learning diatribe.
I’m relieved to hear Kim say this.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:LInda and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 29, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “What we need to consider is this – what happens if the entire organization yields to the “e” route as it’s preferred and dominant communication medium?”
I think that given your analysis of the drawbacks of technology based communication e.g. that there is a lack of persona present in e-exchanges, that the persona of the organization may also be lacking.
Given the way this class is run, I think we can still get work done, but I don’t think that we necessarily have the same warm and fuzzy feelings about each other we might get from an in person class.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Diane
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 29, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “Often times folks can lash out at each other via e-mail one because they can not reach you by telephone or they were not able to see you face to face when a issue arises.”
I just recently had a sit down visit to repair a negatively escalated email exchange that was essentially just a series of miscommunications. The 6 emails that preceded the sit down visit got progressively deeper into an issue that really required the interactive, emotional, and clarification aspects of richer communication channels.
No matter how many emails we would have sent, I’m sure we wouldn’t have solved it until; the sit down happened.
The sit down visit was just over 2 minutes long. By the end of the meeting we were laughing about the [non]issue.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:Diane
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 28, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I said “we get a heck of a lot of highly structured, easy messages across in a much quicker fashion using text based or other technology based messaging tools with much less investment. We now choose when to make the extra effort to invest time, emotion, presence, or thorough clarity – it’s not always necessary. ”
Dr. D asks “John, do you think any nuance gets lost in the process? Have you found it to be one-dimensional at times?”
Well, certainly – technology based communication is much more about efficiency than nuance. It is more about enabling communication that might not happen otherwise – it’s not the richest channel, it may be the only or quickest channel.
When you mention dimension – I think that’s key – The 1st and 2nd dimensions of height and width are present in every text based message. However, this is a flat space.
The 3rd dimension of depth only occurs in real space. Even in situations where you are looking at videoconferencing, where you can get a better sense of depth, you are still looking at a flat screen of pixels.
Also, the more senses that are put into receptive action in communication, the more likely that it will have a greater impact – if you can only see what someone is saying, it’s not quite the same as being able to see and hear them, or see and smell them. I know. Sorry.
However, the recorded presence of the 4th dimension, time, is probably more enhanced by text based messages like ours in this discussion, or video based content, since it can be viewed and reviewed again and again, like in a time machine.
Wow that got pretty deep there for a second.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:Tracy and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 28, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Are communication media choices made based on the message, audience and author’s comfort level? Or, based on habit?”
As someone who spends his days trying to convince people to use new technology in addition to or instead of existing methodologies they’re familiar with, I can tell you in my experience it’s all of the above.
A person will choose a media for communication based on the message – you wouldn’t send a text message to someone in order to fire them. Well, you might, but that would be crude.
A person will choose a media for communication based on audience – I can’t only use a blog for my announcements to my community organization because not everyone has access to the internet.
A person will choose a media for communication based on personal comfort level – I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t know what an IP is or who has never used a PolyCom videoconferencing device before just jamping in and saying – “Yeah, let’s set up tomorrow’s meeting as a videoconference!”
A person will certainly choose a media for communication based on habit unless a great benefit to an alternative is demonstrated. If someone is used to passing notes to their neighbor, and they’ve never used a cell phone to text a message, there’s a resistance to the newer technology despit some pros to texting. Simplicity will often trump other more beneficial methods, unless someone says ‘Oh, you can do /that?/’ at which point they consider the other technology for the added benefit.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:Daniel
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Terri asks “It also shows me that once these definitions and the rest is in place, it is necessary to balance all of that with the human aspect of the environment. Do you feel this might be the most difficult part to balance or do you think that this is where the type of communication, informal and formal (as determined by the community), plays the largest role? ”
I would say that if those elements are defined, the human aspect element is in part defined too. Once the human aspect element is defined, it becomes easier to determine the primary form of communication (informal or formal) — in our class, the human aspect is reduced a great deal, and formal methods more forward in importance. In the neighborhood watch, the human element is so very much more important, and the communication method is likely far less formal.
I don’t know if there is a direct causal relationship there (more human == less formal) but it is an interesting insight on Terri’s part.
John

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:Daniel
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “I have emailed people who are located two floors above me but I haven’t seen them in months.”
I wonder if you tried to give up emailing (I double-dare you!) and decided to visit someone every time you wanted some piece of information that, due to the increased workload and throughput provided to us by technlogy, if the visitees might ask you to stop stopping by so frequently, so they could get back to work.
I know that in my work culture, people simply dropping by when they need something without a heads-up email or without an instant message saying ‘mind if I stop by?’ or without an advance calendar invite are quickly given negative corrective feedback.
I’d say that our local interpersonal communication has been altered to have different expectations and prerequisites now to protect workflow.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Theresa
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “I do not necessarily reckon one is better than the other, I think each approach is suitable within the right context; and that is for the Leader to define.”
And for the followers to buy into and participate within. Or not. Which may or may not affect the leader’s definition.
Miller explains again and again that organizations are often systems and culture driven, and contemporary organizations resist a top-down-directorial leadership, whie preferring one that allows for dyadic relationships and networks of people.
The cultures, systems, and networks will have a lot to do with the acceptance and use of formal and informal methodologies and a lot of other issues. The leader, if she’s in tune with the network, will benefit from listening.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Theresa
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “For example I find our online classes more convenient but also more time consuming than in-house classes.”
I also find that according to my learning style, my values, and my educational goals, the extra effort of the online classes to be much more insight provoking, rewarding, and fruitful than any in person undergrad classes I ever took. However, it has a lot to do with the fact that there is no alternative for participation for us – in other organizations I belong to that have both in person and online presence, the frequency or infrequency of participation in either of those realms will be an indicator of the beneficial outcomes.
If people spend a lot of time adding posts, the discussion will be rich and fruitful – if people have the opportunity to simply talk in a room instead, those benefits reaped in the online discussion may never appear – what’s more, the discussion in the physical room often has no record, no opportunity to formally respond, and no other critical forum.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:Diane
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy says “I think this may be why so many of the employees, including managers in my office don’t use email for certain types of communication. Some things really need to be spoken. I think it is the mark of a good leader to make intellegent choices when it comes to communication based technolony.”
I agree wholeheartedly – when a situation calls for an in person visit, an email can be a horrible choice. In many cases, 2 people have the whole gamut, from in-person to tech-based, for choosing channels of communication.
When choosing to either affirm a meeting time or to have an emotional discussion with someone, you can choose to text someone or call them or visit them – making the right choice is key to the success of the communication.
Some things can and should be done with a text message, and some should be done in person. Of course this is a luxury that people on other sides of the world might not have, and one which many of us in this class don’t have either.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:Blackboard as technology based communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “Often, we jump at technologies available to us nowadays in order to communicate. That feat, has somewhat made many lose that ‘human’ interaction. Albeit it is a fact, technology is great for people who communicate but are half way around the world from one another.”
We are conversing on two issues, as you note: 1) the easiness of using technology-based communication when an in-person visit might take a little bit of extra effort, and 2) communication in which we have conversation participants that are halfway around the world from each other.
A third situation is a special mix of those, like our situation here in this class, where we are not synchronously available, even though we might be able to meet in person it would be more than that ‘little bit’ of extra effort to do so. We agree to allow for the offset necessary to participate asyncronously.
Then we have a situation like we had today where the very basis of our ability to communicate in this class goes away or is severely limited, (definitely my responsibility but I promise it wasn’t my fault!) and we have very little in the way of an alternative.
A similar situation happened to a class in which Rider students videoconference with students in Egypt each week – you may have heard that there was a break in the transatlantic fiber pipeline, and it directly affected our ability to videoconference.
The best communication system has secondary channels available to participants – you need to have a backup in place so that if you are not getting across your idea verbally that you have an opportunity to draw a quick picture on a board.
In the same respect when someone cuts your transatlantic pipeline, you need to have another way to ‘talk’.
I very sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by the limited availability of Blackboard earlier – we’re in a situation where we don’t have a good second equivalent channel for these OL classes, and it’s a considerable problem.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:Daniel
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Technology certainly creates more access and in theory more community building because it is easier and faster to find those with “common interests.” But does technology create more “community” within our own organizations?”
It depends on how you are defining the technology, community, and organization.
If the technology is discussion boards, the community is the classroom environment, and the organization is LEAD 510, then by all means, technology helps to build community within our organization – without it, what, exactly, would we have?
However, you could apply the same lens to another contingency, and come up with a less optimstic answer.
If the technology is a blog, the community is a physical neighborhood, and the oganization is a neighborhood watch, then the technology may help build community, but not nearly to the extent that it needs to – for the purposes of that organization and in order to meet its strategic goals, it’s likly that richer channels must be chosen and executed.
For the former situation, technology is all we have, and likely all we’ll need, if my past few semesters of experience is any indicator.
Loving this discussion this week.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:Theresa
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Do you think the mix of informal and formal communication creates any issues? It is clear what is “formal and informal” to all participants? Do you think technology creates more “informality” in communication?”
I think that the mix of formal and informal communication is likely a given in any organization. The choice of a formal message versus an informal one is contingent on communication participants, the situation, the culture, the environment, the issue, and the channels being used, and not whether technology is present in communication. I’ll explain more below why I feel ths way.
It may or may not be clear to all participants how formal and informal are defined, but very often the closer we get to classical organization styles and written doctrine, the more likely that formal styles will be chosen and enforced (Miller, 2006).
For instance, the structure of our discussion here is a friendly work environment, but not a social endeavor. We read most of our content, and we are ruled by a syllabus, the Source, and other written rules. We could just as easily break into ‘txtsp33k’, but it has been demonstrated by the nature of our discussions that culturally, it wouldn’t be acceptable, and would likely lead to confusion and counterproductivity, if not bad feelings amongst participants. We have a culture as a part of the university, this class, a master’s program, and a distance learning course that rewards and values formality, academicism, and scholarship.
No one explained to us that we should adopt any level of formality or avoid informality, and yet here we are doing so each to his or her own degree. It is likely a result of the cultural basic assumptions that we have collectively, quietly and passively created simply by our organizational actions (Miller, 2006, ch. 5).
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:Diane
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “Diane, do you think your unit’s cultural proclivity towards technology gets in the way of effective communication at any time? Has it had any unexpected impacts?”
I think that there is a similar affection in my office and group for instant messaging, email, texting, and other less rich communication channels because they do not require the same level of emotional investment, time, or travel that other richer channels require or suggest.
There are often times that this choice of technology based communication over good old visits to the next office over actually cause confusion, misconceptions, unnecessary doubling of effort, and even situation comedy level misunderstandings that would never have happened in person, but very often if the technology based communication method wasn’t available, it wouldn’t be as easy to instigate communication, and the communication might not happen at all. As time goes on, we build a structural framework and a shorthand that allows us to communicate more effectively, more succinctly, and more clearly even within the bounds of the limits of technology based communication channels.
Plus, unlike this class, we can relatively quickly send a message like ‘I’m calling in 5 to verbally clarify issues’ or something far less formal, where participants can increase the channel richness (retreat to face to face [f2f] or voice to voice [v2v] channels for instance) to eradicate the limitations of email or texting.
However, we get a heck of a lot of highly structured, easy messages across in a much quicker fashion using text based or other technology based messaging tools with much less investment. We now choose when to make the extra effort to invest time, emotion, presence, or thorough clarity – it’s not always necessary.
John.

Thread:Technology and Organizational Communication
Post:RE:Technology and Organizational Communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 25, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Which [approach to communication technology processes] best describes your organization? What are some of the benefits and challenges related to this approach?”
I would say like many others, it’s tough to choose just one – I think it becomes easier if we match approaches with levels of organization or systemic branches.
If you ask what approach we could apply to Rider as a whole, I’d say cultural – many of the communication tools that have been implemented on a widespread basis across the organization have been tools “through which cultural values are developed and communicated” such as many aspects of the Rider web site (Calendar, Stategic Plan, RedDot) and official, formally produced emails and sites like the Newswire methodology.
If you were to ask what approach is applicable for OIT, I’d say Critical – of late, much of the communication in our own area has been about doctrine, reminders of rules, passing down orders, repressing emotion and individuality, and centralization of order and control. The latest example of this is a change management system that offers the benefits of a democratic approach through submission and review, but may quite possibly be abused to publically deny requests for new technology suggestions.
If you were to ask what approach applies to Rider’s Technology Training group, I’d say classical – we are using technology in many ways, but most recently to replicate human presence in desktop training situations, by offering technology based training materials in the form of videos, texts, and other resources. We are however using these in conjunction with an in-person approach to training, so that the technology can be supplemental.
An example of this is http://www.rider.edu/technology/email
John

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:Reflection Post
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, February 23, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I really enjoyed learning about systems thinking this week and I feel like it allows for a much more realistic metaphor for thinking about organizational issues than earlier mechanistic metaphors.
We work in a series of intricate overlapping networks, hierarchies, liasionships, and social constructs which systems thinking starts to allow us to disassemble, analyze, and figure out.
Thanks to all, and have a great weekend.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:Daniel and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, February 23, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda said “when several people work on the same project or are linked to it we have formal guidelines written down for it in our department. This protects the one worker from getting a bad reputation due to the lack of work from the other.”
This ideas reminds me of the Miller chapter on early or classic organizational theory, in which the ‘right way’ of doing things is well-defined, indoctrinated, and incorporated into a culture of top down, directoral, vertical commnication channels.
The problems with it, potentially, are that innovation, different ideas, or a horizontal or diagonal directed suggestion might be less possible as a result of the ‘written in stone’ rules.
I think that incorporating something like a wiki, in which (authenticated, vetted, responsible) people can modify and improve upon a single central published, written work collaboratively over time, can help to keep the benefits of a written record, a centralized set of rules, while also allowing for changes to happen relatively regularly, relatively easily, and in a structured, authenticated way.
Imagine if the strategic plan for an organization was simultaneously released in an existing ‘finished’ snapshot along with a wiki version that all employees in the organization could sign in to, edit at will, and ‘improve’ collectively.
There might be some (huge) issues with it, but if it was used as a way to hear the voice of the worker, and to have an easy way for suggestions for changes to the actual plan, some great ideas and innovations might be produced that might otherwise never see the light of day.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 21, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kelly says “However, when my feedback is not even considered, or dismissed quickly because it is lacking, I am not encouraged to try more. It makes me shut your mind and mouth to avoid further humiliation! ”
What Kelly says rings very true for me too. I think it’s so important, if our goal is innovation, to feel that the environment, the people, and the leadership all support and demonstrate trust.
One of my favorite trust building environments are verbal brainstorming sessions in a chosen, considerate communication style called Councils (Gerzon, 2006) in which everyone takes a single turn in a group throwing out an idea in solution to a proposed problem; only one person can speak at a time, no one is permitted to negate or otherwise challenge the ideas, and a general attitude of positive is assumed. Critical thinking might happen at a different session, but these sessions are about questions, answers, and attentive, respectful listening by mandate.
Councils create a mandate for trusting, respectful, innovative communication environments.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 21, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Diane says “I have a feeling this will also be frustrating to me because there will be things that I cannot change such as availability of rooms to rent.”
Maybe your feedback from the surveys to external clients will give us some of the necessary impetus to make sure that there is enough space – given the importance of statistics and surves in acquiring data for academic arguments, human behavior prediction, and planning documents, maybe your studies will lead to new buildings, rededications of space, or other solutions to what is maybe an issue of Rider lacking space for AS.
From a training perspective, I feel your pain – if one of the reliably available spaces happens to be unavailable, it usually results in a date, time, or other change.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 21, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya asks “Does your department have one contact person that provides this type of follow up information? I almost feel like its a waste of time but when I review unresolved issues sometimes we have find that things are unresolved or unassisted. So I guess its a good feedback method.”
We have a helpdesk team run by a manager, and that manager is responsible for managing feedback information, unclosed tickets, unresolved issues, poorly resolved issues, and other quality control issues. We are constantly looking for positive and negative trends, hints at problems and successes, and good and bad numbers. Without the feedback, this would be a lot more difficult than it is now.
However, this is mostly used only by the helpdesk and training groups – other areas do not have this same kind of information stream.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:NBWA (sic)
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 21, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Cody says “People joke about emailing something to the person in the next cubicle over but it happens more than we would like to admit. I believe just seeing the effort made to get up and speak to people face to face has a huge impact on perception and effectiveness of a superior.”
I agree that the extra effort holds a quiet message of importance, but I would say that part of the reason we rely so heavily on email, instant messaging, etc., is because of that simlicity and quickness to processing simple messages.
I’d also like to introduce the idea that walking around doesn’t just help leader-follower dyads, but also peers, customers, and other work relationships, which we might consider ‘networks’ as per the systemic view of organizations (Miller, 2005) and might refer to a variant of MBWA as an effective way of /networking/ too, or (NBWA).
I think part of the key to maintaining strong dyadic relationships is a rich mix of communication channels – some face to face MBWA (or NBWA), some email, some instant message, maybe a phone call, all taken together will create a more well rounded and multifaceted dyad and network than any of these alone.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:Daniel and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 21, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy says “MBWA is also a good way for them to see just what goes on in the daily function of the office, of which some managers have no clue. I think it is a good hands on motivational tool as well.”
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of working for a leader who manages mostly remotely by way of email, when it would be just a bit more effort to make a visit, you know that it can be an sorely ineffective way of managing.
Email is great for quick messages that do not require real channel richness, but to convey support, or other emotionally charged messages, it can be lacking (Daft, 2007).
Also, sometimes you’re standing in the middle of an outright fire, and you look at an email from your boss reminding you that ‘fire extinguishers’ cost too much money or are superfluous to the core of our work, and you wonder why they’re not standing in the fire with you, where it’s obvious that fire extinguishers are worth every penny, and essential to workflow.
There’s a person rather high in my organization who I report to, indirectly, who wouldn’t recognize me if I bumped into them. This person does not manage by walking around, but I wish they did. I would find it much more motivational than the current state of affairs.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:Linda and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Do your firms use [360 reviews]? If so, how effective have they been?”
We at Rider don’t use them, but I sincerely wish we did – very often the negative aspects of the classical management approach used at Rider is most evident in Performance Development Plans – no where does an employee who feels that leadership is negatively affecting performance get a way to express that. In these formal PDPs, feedback only flows one way — down.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:John and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr D said “I use one to validate the other or to add nuance that I might miss.”
I hadn’t thought about that – cross checking assumptions with formal and informal feedback is likely to give a more complete picture in terms of assessment – thanks, Dr. D.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:Daniel and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “Given the ‘systems’ characteristics of organizations – how can a leader formalize feedback mechanisms while also maintaining an active informal process?”
Well, in a systemic way, a leader might offer formal opportunities for feedback by way of a feedback form, electronic survey, or even a ballot. Then, in conjunction with feedback gathered from these, that same leader might perform management by walking around (MBWA) and ask related subsequent questions.
We have done this in the past wih projects involving wireless internet access at Rider, where we had installed the service, put out a survey to affected parties about the service, and then physically sought out customers who were using the new service to ask infomally about their success.
We found that this mix of formal and informal feedback gave us a broad mix of reliable and unreliable feedback, but also gave us information and awareness of issues we never might have known about otherwise.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:Daniel
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Diane says “It may not be that people are afraid of the formal feedback but are afraid of being judged on the feedback they are giving. I also think that it is scary for people to give constructive criticism and perhaps this is why managers do not do it as often as necessary.”
I think that these ideas start to speak about trust issues between members of a feedback loop. If the feedback you are getting is from an assessment instrument, or peer, or supervisor, or consultant that you really trust, you will be more likely to believe, follow, and redirect your action based on it.
Also, if you are in a trusting, innovative, learning environment, critical thought is not only allowed but expected, and trust is a bg part of that.
Without trust, feedback will be harder to give or get, and will be less likely listened to or followed.
This also speaks, I think, to Dr. D’s concerns about checking assumptions. If you do get feedback from a source that is less likely to alter reality for the purposes of saving your feelings or buttering you up, etc, you may be more likely to trust it, even if you don’t like what you hear. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:Keith & Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “I am not suggesting that consultants do not have value, I am suggesting that we should not discount employee’s ideas, analysis and suggestions.”
I was in an organization (or maybe I’m in it right now) that was using a 3rd party consultant in order to do organizational development and relation repairs, and started with a climate survey, did individual anonymously recorded interviews, gathered data on perceived problems, offered solutions, executed the solutions (MBTI training in a retreat, charter building) and more or less left it at that.
Many of us feel that we know how to resolve various aspects of the problems – systematically speaking, there are some virii present, fevers raging, and rest required.
Regardless, despite hours and hours of expensive 3rd party consulting, effort on all fronts in resolving issues in the organization, and many clear ideas presented by employees regarding what’s wrong, many of us feel that no one is listening, that we don’t have a proper voice, that issues go unanswered, that we are being threatened instead of listened to, and that the problems will continue until real listening, real solutions, and real change is put into place.
Often the consultants add very little value or added insight into the problem – if someone had just listened to employees in the first place, we could have saved a boatload of money and maybe even some time and effort.
Worst of all, we are still engaging the issues we had pre-consultation.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “when a help desk call is placed and the issue has been resolved two days later staff would receive a customer service feedback survey. Because we outsource our IT department this feedback is very important to IT department because they use this information and compile all the negative issues and weakness and try to find a way to fix the breakdown either in communication, timeliness or assessing the level of service overall.”
Sonya – we too offer this kind of end-user feedback via email survey upon the closeout of internal tickets at the helpdesk. Our helpdesk is not outsourced, but we (meaning OIT, the university, and end-users) still need to have numbers from this and other sources in order to correct deviance, resolve assessed issues, and track improvement over time.
This kind of passive, automated, semi-informal (though formally presented) feedback gives us an easy way to get some assessment opportunities out of many service calls that might otherwise go unassessed.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:John and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “What has been your experience with informal feedback? Do your leaders nurture informal sources?”
If the question is which is more beneficial, I might agree that informal feedback is more beneficial – it’s more frequent, more available, somewhat more believable, less shrouded in the language of formality.
However, the question was originally, which is taken more seriously – something about the black and white of a formally presented survey on the success of a presentation or program gives some extra weight to it – If I tell my boss, informally, that a project is going well, it has a certain impact. If someone who is a customer of a project tells my boss independently and informally that a project is great, it has a different, likely higher, impact. If someone fills out a form, writes a formal letter, or awards a project with some formal merit based laurels, then it’s likely to have a greater impact, or be taken more seriously.
But when it comes down to it, it’s more ‘useful’ to have 10 people go out of their way to tell me something is being done well (positive-reinforcing, informal feedback) without prompting than to have any formal positive feedback to the same end from a scheduled review.
To answer the 2nd part of this latest question, my leaders emphasize the weight of formal sources, but use informal sources much more consistently.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Terri related an article that believes “feedback must be present for continual ‘learning and improvement,’ and ‘many of the best measurement tools and techniques are severely curtailed in a feedback-adverse culture.’ [The author she quotes] also believes it is management’s style and way of approaching the idea of feedback that sets the overall organizational culture for its presence and use.”
I agree on both counts. Without feedback, we are moving about in an informational closed loop fog, in a constant state of Karl Weick’s organizational concept of equivocality (Miller, 2006, p. 82). Without feedback, we are constantly answering our own questions about direction, progress, and success, because we are not getting it elsewhere. Sensemaking and clarification will only take place with proper feedback – outside of that feedback, our conclusions may just be glorifid assumptions.
If feedback is in place, the level to which it is taken seriously will be very much related to the way in which it is delivered. If you get a smirk from a peer when they see you drop a suggestion in a suggestion box, you are getting a certain kind of feedback (peer driven, slightly negative) that you can likely discard. If your boss sees you do it, comes over and shakes your hand and says “letting us know your ideas is what keeps this place going” you’re going to take the feedback (supervisor driven, strongly positive) a bit more seriously.
John.

Thread:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Post:RE:Communicating in all this mess – getting through the noise
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 18, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D. asks “Given that change within the system may create ripples in unexpected places and unexpected results, it is critical that leaders put in place active and broad-based feedback systems.Think about your organization – are there formal feedback systems? Are they taken seriously? Do they impact actions, decisions and behaviors? What about informal feedback systems – do they exist? Do leaders use them?”
There are formal and informal feedback systems at many levels throughout my organization, in superstructures, like academic affairs or external organizations, and sub structures, like networks or user support services, and throughout my level in then system.
Informal feedback systems might include tone, facial contortions, body language, off the record sit down discussions, and may lead to somewhat ambiguous understandings, sometimes lending themselves to equivocality and sensemaking opportunities according to Karl Weick’s Organizing Theory (Miller, 2006, p.81-83).
More formal feedback systems include performance development plans, assessments and surveys, and strategic plan review sessions, which are very often much more structured feedback opportunities, reducing equivocality.
Regarding System Processes and types of feedback, the feedback types might be either negative/corrective (a shot of a glance at a employee acting badly) or positive/reinforcing (a shining performance review)(Miller, 2006, p.75).
In my organization, more formal feedback is taken more seriously than informal feedback, but even formal feedback is often without teeth, because it is seldom practiced in the same way by two different people. Performance development plans are taken rather seriously in the office where I give them because goals are collaborateively devised, revised, and timelined, but my own PDP given by someone above me has none of these features except for the existence of goals, which are typically handed to me without a editing process.
In my own office, the PDP is looked at on at least a monthly basis in conjunction with weekly individual meetings. Goals are assessed and reviewed, and progress is noted.
In contrast, in my meetings with my superior, we look at the PDP once per year, and progress isn’t checked regularly at all. My PDP has a lot to do with my employees, but little to do with me. It’s sad.
There is an informal feedback in that related example – it’s clear to my employees through our actions that regular assessment and feedback is essential to progress. It’s clear to me in my meetings with my boss that it is not.
John.

Thread:Reflection post
Post:Reflection post
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Lots of enjoyable learning this week – emphasis on great ideas like the definition of talent, the importance of passion, the current effects of Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory, the ways that environment and other contingency can alter one’s talent, passion, and innovation, and the ongoing quest for intrinsic rewards.
Oh yeah, and we turned in a paper! You just have to love that great strategic communication auditing matrix and auditing methodology.
Have a good weekend all. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:What about this…?
Post:RE:RE:RE:What about this…?
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Nice set of beneficial results, Dr. D.
j.

Thread:What about this…?
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:What about this…?
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “I guess I it’s not up to me to decide or be too concerned I continue to do my best and it has been noticed.”
I think this is key – seeing this behavior, yet continuing to strive to do your best in light of the fact that others might get a better more beneficial response from leadership or peers while performing the same behaviors as you or less.
Sigh. Glad it’s Friday.
John

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Human Capital and Communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas says “Although life expereince is important in building who we are, organizations that I have worked for place a heavier emphasis on achievements related to or within their immediate field/ industry. Does anyone else ever see this occuring?”
I think that a smart organization with an innovative learning environment will take life experience into consideration.
If we are culturally aware and diversity means something to the organuization, for example, then life experience is a factor in hiring.
If we see life experience (e.g. who we are and what we have done) as related to work experience (e.g. who we are and what we have done) then there is no question that life experience is a factor in hiring.
When we review a resume for a candidate, don’t we always try to read indications of a person’s persona and experience beyond the previous employment section? If not, we should – a person is far more than what they’ve gotten a paycheck for.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:Arthur, Theresa et al
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “There are great talented and fit employees that will supersede other employees that hold no value, however because they are being look past they are starting to seek other opportunities elsewhere to be heard by someone who wants to listen and value their opinions and suggestions.”
I think this is probably in keeping with the text’s discussion on disposable workers – if longevity with the company is not of valencefor the organization, maybe just using up our energy and stamina is the point, until we simply decide to move on.
However, I find it so hard to believe that it’s the best thing for an organization to churn through personnel, even if that’s the trend.
So sad.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Human Capital and Communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya asks “How far does this binding go and whose responsible for keeping the bind solid? Those that write the non-disclosure do they comply and how would one know.”
What are the terms of the NDA? Will you be jailed for disclosure? Are you willing to go to jail? If you will be fined for disclosure, let’s say $10,000 – was it worth disclosure? If it becomes clear (evident) that you were the source of a leak, and the leak led to major losses for the company – are you eligible for fines and damages?
You are bound by the duty implied in your signature.
You are bound to be forced to meet the terms in a court of law. The contract you sign will be produced. The evidence that you disclosed and broke the agreement will be produced. The fines will be very clear, and you’ll be paying.
You are bound only to the extent that you are willing to be punished.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:re: ethics of omission of facts.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 15, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “Nine times out of ten some people really do not know what’s in the non-disclosure agreements so do you think it’s being too dishonest when they reply to what may seem like a lie, with a No answer? ”
Let’s just say 9.8 out of 10 times. πŸ˜‰
‘Dishonesty’ would require the person to know that what they’re saying was an omission of the truth – if someone signs a NDA, and understands that they are not supposed to reveal certain details of their work until it is public knowledge or published or whatever, and then they tell the first person who asks with a bribe in hand, that’s clearly dishonest, despite no omission taking place. Omission of known facts may equal dishonesty, but worse scenarios may prevail without omission.
It really does go both ways.
The original question might be better stated: Are there some situations in which the omission of facts is required in order to stay in good standing with your ethical position, which I would say is affirmed with the idea of NDAs.
Calling someone on the phone and pretending you’re someone you’re not in order to gain benefit for yourself or your company might be called social engineering, social hacking, lying, covering up, omitting facts, dishonesty, or manipulation.
However, your boss might call it a brilliant bit of research technique.
It is contingent on the environment, the mission, the leadership, and the willingness on the part of the organization to take part in the omission of facts.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Human Capital and Communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Christopher says “If someone asks you a question, they are generally entitiled to the honest and full answer.”
Who are the people? Is one under a non-disclosure agreement about the omission?
Sometimes it’s not as clean and simple as being right and wrong. Sometimes morals are in the way, sometimes group ethics are binding, and sometimes, it’s just plain unlawful to not omit.
John.

Thread:What about this…?
Post:RE:RE:What about this…?
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kelly says “I was hired for face painting without my knowledge.”
Look it up – it’s in your job description, Kelly. πŸ˜‰
j.

Thread:What about this…?
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:What about this…?
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Terri asks “is it that certain employees better communicate a perceived contribution to the bottom line or is it the criteria leadership is using at any given point instead of making the determinination of who’s productivity, innovation and effort is above average in supporting the overal goals and mission of the organizations strategic plans?”
I think that very often it is that age old game of playing your own best qualities to the boss while showing a darker less helpful side to others that can create this kind of tension between the best perceived workers and the best workers in reality.
I’m not saying that the best workers are not ever recognized as such, I’m saying that sometimes great workers go unnoticed because they are too busy getting the job done to stop for kudos, while someone else who is seen as a ‘distinguished worker’ got there because she knew how to get there — not by the old fashioned method of hard work, but rather by playing the system.
It takes a leader who is willing to investigate who the real distinguished employee is, but sometimes it’s just easier to accept that the distinguished employee is who it appears to be on their surface.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Passion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy says “if someone Loves what they do the passion for it comes natural, but sometimes their are factors involved in a job that crush the passion and motivation one has for their job.”
I agree with this wholeheartedly. No pun intended, and happy Valentine’s Day.
One’s passion has intrinsic drive as a factor, but must also certainly take environments into consideration when evaluating the likelihood of passion.
If you take someone who absolutely loves teaching, like Tracy’s mom, and put her in two different teaching environments, maybe 2nd grade vs. 4th grade of the same school, or two different 2nd grade classes in different towns, or a college class vs. a high school class, you’ll get different outcomes.
That teacher, no matter how much she loves teaching is going to be more or less passionate about the teaching in one environment vs. another.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Jaclyn and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “There is an argument that confidence and ability are intertwined to a large degree.”
I think your note about arrogance versus confidence is a threshold issue for determining the value of a worker.
I know technologists who are confident and very able. I know technologists who are confident to the fault of arrogance who are less able, but comparable. Users who get to choose seem to go for the confident technologist vs. the arrogant one.
This seems to speak, again, of enthusaism, attitude, and social disposition in one’s makeup of talent.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Arthur, Theresa et al
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asked “where is the line between a person’s responsibility and the organization’s responsibility to meet the employee’s needs[?]”
The line is quite blurry. It is a cooperative responsibility. In the same way that leadership and followership meet to cooperate in productivity, the employee and the organization must cooperate in order to meet the needs of both.
An employee should make their valences known, and the organization should ask what the emplyee values.
An employee should be given opportunity to develop their goals, and the company should encourage employees to create, revise, and maintain them.
An employee should be communicating, making their needs well known and make every effort to determine what it is that they actually need to work effectively, and the company should recognize, evaluate, and fulfill to its greatest ability, those needs.
Otherwise, Herzberg can tell you what might happen. Demotivation, missed goals, bad feelings, and possibly separation.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:re: ethics of omission of facts.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I just thought of a good example of ethical omission: A company that has everyone sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement about an upcoming product that revolutionizes an industry.
It is in the ethical code of the company to have employees obscure known facts to those outside of the company in order to preserve the value of the new product until it is released.
It might still be considered dishonest if the person was asked ‘So what are you working on this month at Apple?” and the worker, lying, says “Nothing ground-breaking.”
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:re: ethics of omission of facts.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Isn’t “omitting” known elements actually unethical and even dishonest?”
Omitting known facts is a way of obscuring the truth. Obscuring the truth might be seen as a form of lying.
Ethics, however, is a set of moral rules created through the lens of the organization, group, or individual affected by experience, environment, and doctrine. Omitting might be strictly within the ethics of a given organization, despite it possibly being against the ethics of its stakeholders or its critics.
Dishonesty is a little clearer path. If honesty is free and open passage of the truth then omitting directly counters it. Omitting is likely more easily labeled as dishonest.
In my personal ethical code, omitting facts could be performed to save someone’s feelings, e.g, omitting that someone’s grammar is lacking.
In other words, the answer to your question of ethics is contingent upon the exact fact being omitted, the context in which the omission came to happen, and the ethics of the organization or individual performing the omission. It’s likely dishonest in any case.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Human Capital and Communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Terri says “We can initiate our own means of professional growth (classes, as we are doing, learning new software on our own, etc. ) but it takes the right environment to foster this. ”
I agree Terri – I think this is the ‘innovative’ or ‘learning’ environment in which we are moved, driven, by the organization to improve ourselves, the organization, its stakeholders, and the outside world.
Otherwise, we’re being asked simply to stagnate.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Arthur, Theresa et al
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “We well know that these theories, albeit applicable because fundamental, are difficult to put in practice, especially with today’s fast pace work environments.”
I’m not so sure that Herzberg’s two factor is so difficult to implement and apply in an analytical way.
Can’t we all look at our environment and determine whether there are ways that we could evaluate the climate of the organization in relation to hygiene factors, motivations, and work to adjust the environments accordingly to allow for intrinsic motivations in the workforce?
If we are in possession of positional power, it likely becomes even easier to implement beneficial changes.
John.

Thread:What about this…?
Post:RE:RE:What about this…?
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “high performers will always be privileged because they affect the bottom line positively”
What about if you are a high performer in terms of productivity and output, but there are no numbers attached to it?
What if you are deemed a high performer falsely because you always have the ‘right answer’ but never ask the tough questions?
Privilege in my organization very often goes to the wrong people, and as of late it has been the source of a lot of controversy.
When an anti-innovator is scheduled to get a privileged ‘distinguished’ overall performance rating on their review, it makes some workers scratch their heads, and other workers raise their ire.
John.

Thread:What about this…?
Post:RE:RE:RE:What about this…?
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Linda says “Of course schools need to keep up with changes as well such as by offering online courses and more technology based courses but if that wasn’t done yesterday it won’t be devastating.”
It will be devastating in the long term.
If leadership is about vision, leaders need to emphasize planning for the future, and in academia, that may mean technological capability, but it will certainly mean building a talented workforce that can innovate, technology or no technology.
Choosing employees based on ability alone, or because they look great on paper, or because they interview well has gotten our technology division into a situation where despite many in leadership positions, leadership itself is lacking because no one at any level as just the right mix of vision, positional power, and creativity to move use forward.
We are in a reactive mode, and it shows. We need to shift to a proactive, critical thinking mode — that requires talent, not lowest common denominator, in any organization, not just ‘business’.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:Human Capital and Communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kim said “To have passion, I think one has to have a genuine interest in what one is doing (the functional role) and emotionally connect with the mission of the organization (drive and ambition to fulfill mission, improve performance, expand opportunities and meet challenges).”
I just thought this was well said and succinct.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:Human Capital and Communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Terri asks “what brings on the level of enthusiasm an employee has for not only his/her work, but, the company for which he or she works?”
I think that this is a tougher question. I answered your question on enthusiasm for the work itself elsewhere in the forum, but in regards to the organization, I feel like that is purely experiential. There was a time that I was neutral about Rider. There was another time when I was highly passionate not only for the work I did, but the place I did it. In the last few months and a bit longer, certain environmental aspects of my work have really begun to drain my enthusiasm, not for my work itself, but for the place in which it happens.
It’s a broken situation, and while we can work hard to fix it, big changes will have to take place at one end or the other for that passion for place to return. Wow, that’s cryptic.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:Passion
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Terri asks “Wonderful points all, my questions would be what gives that person the passion?”
Terri, I think that passion is very often an internally driven element – a recognizance of an intrinsically valued need to work in a particular way at a position.
Great artists often refer to the ‘need’ to paint – they don’t do it for fame, or money, or to achieve, or to be the best, though all those things may happen as a result of their absolute undeniable need to create. I think that passion is sometimes easier to acheive with art based or creative positions, but soem people really absolutely love their clerical work, just like I absolutely love technology.
When I come home I get on the computer and essentially continue the work that I left at work, but to me it all blends together – work is less like ‘work’ because I’m doing what I love. Passion is undeniable, but probably hard to get if you don’t already have it.
I think the key is in discovering what you’re passionate about and pursuing it in a paying position.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:RE:RE:Jaclyn and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Cody says “I would rather my surgeon be talented in his profession then have a positive attitude when they discuss a procedure with me.”
I don’t know. I think if I had two surgeons of similar (both good) abilities, but the one with slightly lesser abilities was more enthusiastic about pursuing and fixing the (insert surgical problem here) than the expert who might feel that she could ‘do this with her eyes closed’ or felt that she’d ‘seen it all and this was just another spleen removal’ or whatever, I think I’d rather have the enthusiast.
Actually, I’d rather just not be having surgery. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:Arthur, Theresa et al
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Do you think the applicability of [Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation-Hygiene] remains appropriate with today’s workers”
In my estimation it absolutely does. I’ve been having increasing dissatisfaction with my position due mostly to herzberg’s demotivational hygiene factors, like stressed relationship with boss, increased directional supervision, and negative changes in policy as well as a lack of positive motivational elements such as increases in recognition, advancement or growth.
When you feel that you have something to offer the position, but the position is slowly removing your ability and will to offer it, you may start to seek out an opportunity elsewhere. For me, Herzberg’s theory is still very applicable.
John.

Thread:What about this…?
Post:RE:What about this…?
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “What is the process for hiring? Does it reflect a concerted effort to find and attract the best? Are managers rewarded in some way for recruiting and developing a strong team? Are the most valuable employees treated differently? How are non-performers handled?”
I’m sorry to say that in my experience in the past, Rider (especially OIT) is not nearly as interested in finding great talent (enthusiasm, fit, intrinsically driven, highly ranked) as they are in just trying to fill the position with a suitable person. I think that it has become very difficult to be choosy in academic environment technologists in the last few years, and we have done well to get people who are simply able to do the job in a qualified way, but not in an overwhelmingly great way.
I do not think that this will continue, because I don’t think it can. We need talent badly. We have a lot of putty stuck in our dam.
Managers are not rewarded nor punished for the quality of their hires. It’s not a bad idea, but Rider does not do this.
The most valuable employees, in my opinion, are often misidentified by those who might reward them properly. The ones who are rewarded in my group are the most visible ones, or the ones with the most answers. Workers who ask good questions are often quietly ‘shushed’. Employees who think and speak critically, what Daft would call an effective follower, are often reprimanded in private and reminded in public not to raise their opinion against the leadership’s assumed view, because ‘it might look bad’.
In this particular respect, we are enduring a bad time in our corner of the organization.
Non performers are really allowed to go on underperforming for years, and will often only find their way out of an organization by being subtly pressured to perform until they decide to go get another job elsewhere.
There is no effort to discover worker valence, promote intrinsic value in one’s work, or really to develop one’s sense of pride because for most of the leadership in technology at Rider, motivational theory is as well known as the benefits of cross training and flattened organizational structure: it’s not known well at all.
We will change and improve, or we will be eliminated. We are at a critical mass.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:Organizational Fit
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 11, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “When you look for talent, how do you assess “fit” ? Would you accept someone with less talent but who seems a better fit?”
Fit is really about vision, specifically the supervisor’s vision of whether this employee will be able to become a effective part of the organization.
Like many other endeavors, if you can’t see it realistically, it will be hard to make it happen. Vision comes, then plan, then execution. It’s likely the same with hiring and seeking talent. If you can foresee this new candidate in the position a year from the interview in command of the position, executing as an effective follower, thinking critically to improve the organization, and growing a series of dyads with other workers, then it could happen. If you don’t see it, or can’t envision it, it’s likely a sign that it shouldn’t happen.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:Jaclyn and class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 11, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “There are some who believe that finding people with good attitudes, good interpersonal skills and a willingness to be accountable is more important than skills or experience. After all you can train skills”
They have to have a modicum of both, to be sure. However, if you have the greatest, most skilled person, who knows all of the tricks, is well read in the literature, and is on the prowl to learn more all the time, but yet is unapproachable, socially inept, or not interested in human interaction, you’re quite possibly going to have a hard time tapping into that genius.
John.

Thread:Human Capital and Communication
Post:RE:Human Capital and Communication
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 11, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “how do you define “talent” in an employee? Is just about skills and experience”
Talent to me is indeed about skills and experience, but it is so much more, as is evidenced here in the responses in this forum.
Talent is a special mix of the subject’s persona, emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence, applicable skills and experience as they relate to the job, but also skills and experience in their personal life which can make them ‘fit’ perfectly in the organization.
The organization plays a part in the subject’s talent, too. It shapes their work environment — what highly talented employee will show it in a non-innovative environment?
However, as Dr. D states later in the thread, enthusiasm and energy are key to one’s ability to shine, affect their organization, and make innovations happen. In my experience, the difference between a good employee and a knock-you-down-flat employee is not skill, awards, feats of managerial bravado, etc, but rather their ability to be excited about their work and enthusiastic about what someone else might consider the mundane.
When I interview for technologists, I always want to know how they use technology for fun. If someone responds “What, like games and stuff? I don’t do any of that” or “I really don’t use technology that much at home” or the like, I know that they’re not going to be sitting up nights looking for the latest and greatest technologies in their spare time just for the love of it – they’re going to be likely dreading coming into work the next day.
Enthusiasm, in my opinion, is so much of what makes one talented.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:Weekly Reflection
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 8, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

This week we talked about “Organization Communication, Structure and Culture”
My organization has changed quite a bit in the last five years. In fact, it’s changed a whole lot in the last 6 months. It has a lot to do with communication, a lot to do with our adherence to the strategic plan, and a lot to do with our internal division’s growing pains.
Moving forward, we’ll need to know how to keep an open mind. We’ll need to keep blurring our organizational lines and thinking globally. We’ll need to redefine relationships, reassess our organizational directions, and refine our goals.
This week talked about a lot of great topics and technologies, which was fun, but the underlying current for me was about innovations in communication tools, and how important it is to stay on top of them, to become more efficient, and to stay in touch with our goals of customer service, connected community, and thorough support and training.
Thanks for your help with all of that, and have a great weekend.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:John and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 8, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Keith says “Facebook and Myspace are certainly causing problems for higher education. Students are posting photos of themselves in compromising positions which places the Universities and colleges in awkward positions for discilpine. I know athletic departments across the country are especially feeling the stress of having to act on these types of imagines which surface on the internet. This places additional stress on leaders of higher education institutions to communicate with the students about their behavior on the consequences which can follow. ”
You should know though that the opposite is sometimes true too. With all due respect, you might have just as easily said:
Facebook and Myspace (and YouTube and LinkedIn and 100 other social networking sites) are sometimes causing opportunities for higher education. Students are posting photos of themselves in flattering positions which places the Universities and colleges in coveted positions for admission. I know athletic departments across the country are especially feeling the rewards of getting to act on these types of videos which surface on the internet of their athletes’ abilities. This places additional rewards on leaders of higher education institutions who communicate with students about their behavior and the (beneficial) consequences which can follow.
You can use fire to burn down your house or cook your dinner. It’s versatile that way, and so is social networking.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 8, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “For me just wanting an instantaneous response from technology is what I am looking for.”
It’s our collective holy grail as a technology addicted society. πŸ˜‰
j.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Experience vs. Access to information
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 8, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marybeth says ” It’s not a cool as the Remote Assistance, but it helps the users to know that I know where they are and I can tell them exactly what they should or should not be seeing, and refer them to the helpdesk if necessary.”
I just wanted to note that while I’m as into a cool technology as anyone, most of the ones I choose have nothing at all to do with ‘coolness’ and so much to do with powerful usage or increased productivity or enhanced abilities.
For a support tech, that notion of trying to walk someone through an on-screen action over the phone when a tool exists that can relatively easily add a visual layer seems ridiculous.
As an example, try playing, then explaining the following screencast tutorial to someone just using a phone, and you’ll see the impact of using a visual tool for support or training is so much more that just its coolness – it’s really about keeping one’s sanity in reaction to trying to explain what a dialog box is for the 100th time, when a visual tool explains with a much smoother ease.
John

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:John and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 8, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “in all honesty, a normal individual, with a minimum of education, politeness and common sense, can easily understand what is appropriate from what is not”
Arthur, I think you might be surprised by what a /normal/ individual, with a minimum of education, political and common sense, might consider appropriate on a blog.
The sheer power and ability to publish to the world in 5 clicks is enough for the normal individual in your scenario to take a bad experience and turn it into a public display of over-the-top critical spewage. This isn’t such a horrible idea and allows for lively debate of many issues online, but if you are a representative of an organization, you have to keep your worst feelings about it from becoming a public destination. It’s one thing to be a whistleblower, which is not what I’m talking about here — I mean you had a bad day with your boss, and you decide to publish a modified photo of her doing something rude on your blog.
Some educated people might think it’s fun, an exercise in photomanipulation, or a release. But if your organization finds a copy of the photo with your name attached, expect a pink slip soon after.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Experience vs. Access to information
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 7, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Chris related a tool when he said “Yet, another way technology has advanced (and I just learned about this today) is that Microsoft Windows has a program called Remote Assistance. When two computers have access to the same internet or network, Remote Assistance can allow for one computer to “take control” of the desktop of another computer. This way, even if two people are thousands of miles away, from my computer, I can access and see what’s going on on your computer. This makes troubleshooting and problem solving easier for all parties. I thought it was pretty cool and hopefully many people can get good use out of it.”
Another way that you can do this is by using the free application called VNC. There are many variants of it, my favorite of which is RealVNC, and it provides the same functionality that remote desktop does, though Remote Desktop Protocol has the added benefit of being preinstalled on every Windows machine. VNC however is not as restrictive in licensing with multiple simultaneous users.
VNC works on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and allows you to use a browser to manage a remote desktop.
http://www.realvnc.com/products/free/4.1/index.html

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 7, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kelly says “I think a lot can be said about the importance of presentation in leadership and communication. It is important to present possibly intimidating technology in a way that make users feel comfortable with it so that they can utilize it.”
Your response triggered a relevant web 2.0 idea: the separation of content from presentation. You can take the exact same idea in a basic format, maybe it’s an outline or a speech, and present it in sixteen different ways that will have increased or decreased levels of success with different audiences/stakeholders.
Some people respond well to a speaker in a suit. Some people like the color green a lot. Some people like makeup, and some people like things absolutely minimalist. When you can take the essentials of the message you need to get across and define them in total, then define your stakeholders and their presentation or environmental valences, you have a much greater chance of getting your message across.
My technology learners were very often intimidated by the space we were teaching in, and very often the best most entertaining training would be dampened in effect by the space.
What I’ve learned is that your content can be great, but if it is presented in the wrong context (determined by the contingency of the audience) it won’t be as successfully delivered.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:Arthur
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 7, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “Agreed but realistically can a leader effectively manage relations with every stakeholder group?”
She can definitely try. Balking at unrealistic notions never led to any innovations.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, February 7, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Christopher said a lot of interestign things including “I see this happening in Microsoft in the past few years which is why many people are opting to use their substitues (Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer, Apple instead of PC, Linux instead of Windows, etc.)”
What’s really sort of hilarious to me is that so often once a company has a chance at the top of a market, they seem to fall into the same traps of domination and anti-portability.
Case in point is that many say that after their market dominance with the iPod, Apple has become the new Microsoft. From the way that they have worked to keep the iPod/Apple store system intact and uninpenetrable such that their media isn’t portable, to the methods that they’ve used to push media and technology providers to bend to their will (breaking AT&T’s will on network design) it’s clear that if Apple continues on a successful path, they be no less monopolistic that Microsoft is, and as you suggested, with a borderline of legality to keep them running.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Alyssa says “Not their luck, another professor setup the video conferencing system in the room and the sick professor gave her lecture from home and she was able to see everyone in the classroom! I was so amazed!”
What’s really incredible to me is how easy this would be for every teacher who uses a technology equipped classroom. The teacher would only need internet access from home, and a video equipped laptop, like any macbook.
The one- or two-way video broadcast could be handled for free from any number of sites, and the cost would exactly nothing other than infrastructure (video/mic laptops, internet connection, ambient lights) since most of these solutions are free. My favorite right now is http://www.ustream.tv
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:John and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D. asks “Given the technology hurdle is very low, any employee can send organizational information anywhere, intentionally or unintentionally. How can leaders ensure consistency in messages emanating from his/her organization?”
Quite honestly, aside from managing access and workflow gates on the main web site, there is not a whole lot that a leader can do to control information being put out by employees, critics, customers, board members, opponents, or anyone else.
A leader might engage in a campaign to train the workforce on the responsibilities of media creation and publishing, but enforcing it becomes a freedom of speech vs. working rights issue. Not to mention, all other stakeholders wouldn’t be given any such obligation to attend the training or follow its best practices.
Go on YouTube and do a search on Rider University, and you’ll see that not everything is what Mort would want there. Fortunately for the rest of the world, Mort doesn’t get to dictate to YouTube how Rider University should be portrayed. Only on our site do we have that privilege, and on our site, reality is relatively skewed to favor Rider.
I myself have posted items on my blog reviewing (blasting really) my experience at a hotel in Virginia, complete with photos and a video of ants in the bathroom. As a internet user today, I have the ability to publish as I please, without editor, overseer, or controls. This is in fact one of the main tenets of Web 2.0: the idea of easy content creation, and continuous updates at a whim.
I may not be smart to post a scathing review of my boss’s speech at commencement, but there’s very little stopping me from doing it outside of the potential loss of income. That won’t begin to stop someone who doesn’t get a paycheck from my boss.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:Tracy and Class – “Paperless”
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “Electronic documents can be tampered with there is good and bad technology out there depending on what you need and use it for. I believe John could attest to this? ”
It sounds like Sonya was in either my email best practices training or my internet security training, both of which speak to the ideas of :
The pros and cons of encryption, and how it can protect you from a ‘sniffer’ and a ‘cracker’ from being found out.
The need for easy password knowledge and resets for the enterprise vs. the ability for social engineers to gather the requisite knowledge to gain your identity.
And the relative ease of storing secure documents in insecure places like email, where backup and access are both immediately in question.
Alternatively, we could just use paper, which joyously solves all of these issues, since many electronic neer-do-wells wouldn’t go through the trouble to visit your office or pick the lock on your filing cabinet to ruin your day.
Of course, sending an important document might take a little longer to a remote branch in a multinational company. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Terri says “That’s a great example and I often wonder how far on-line info can go.”
I had every intention of getting this degree entirely online, and still will if I can. πŸ˜‰
Also, I found a great howto online video resource regarding our online learning mechanic/minister topic:
http://www.howcast.com/
Of particular interest to this group might be
http://www.howcast.com/categories/37-Management-and-Business-Skills
I really love the idea of the continuing innovative ways in which online video and other technology resources are tools for sharing knowledge.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “It’s easy to ask someone else to [use a technology] for you but if you take the time to figure issues out yourself it can be a rewarding experience. Part of being in the field of technology is teaching people how to use new items and making them feel comfortable. If people don’t feel comfortable with a piece of technology, they will not use it. This will waste time and money.”
This has been a driving value and mission in our work in technology, Daniel. Sometimes we’ll have someone call and ask us to ‘just do it’ for them, and we regularly respectfully resist and protest, not because we’re trying to avoid work (teaching someone to use a technology that they’ve never seen before is far more difficult than you yourself using a piece of familiar technology) but because it is in the user’s own best interest to learn about the technology that they wish to benefit from.
In some cases, training happens a few times and simply doesn’t work, and we regretfully retreat or suggest that we take on the task as a service.
In other cases, the customer may cite their busy schedule with such protest as to force our hand to simply ‘do it for them’ but for the most part our users see the light quickly, are happy for the opportunity to learn, and feel that they benefit from the knowledge and experience.
On the note of comfort and technology, we have recently renovated our teaching space to resemble a comfortable living room with mood lighting and a front projection touchscreen. People tend to love the opportunity to come sit in the cool quiet on Ikea furniture to learn about technology for teaching, learning and working.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:Arthur
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “How can leaders… appeal to all stakeholder groups to engender organizational energy and alignment? Or, should they conserve their influence to those that really “matter”? ”
Leaders should contend with stakeholder analysis on a regular basis in order to define all the affected groups of an organization, to make sure they are making every effort to treat each group ethically, thoroughly, and in cases where the stakeholder is an adversary, being treated fairly.
At no time should attention only be paid to the 10% of the organizational stakeholders that lead or increase profits, or the shareholders, or just the employees or just the customers. There are enough things that happen in the life of a large company that push the organization to react in such a way that one stakeholder benefits (or appears to) more than another. The leadership should see those actions and biases and counter them with appropriate balance and navigation.
Otherwise the disenfranchised might look for the first opportunity to make life miserable for the organization. It is not the lack of “organizational energy and alignment” that leaders should necessarily fret over nearly so much as an actively energetic negatively charged faction. Though, both are ‘bad’ and should be avoided.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Christopher says
However, I think that if we look at current success stories such as Microsoft, Google, Dell, and FedEx (to name a few) it seems that the leaders of those companies did just that. They started from the ground and had a clear vision of how something needs to change, and they implemented it.
This made me think about Microsoft’s current bid for Yahoo!, their monopolistic practices in the past against companies like Netscape and Sun, and even how their first large success in software wasn’t actually theirs at all. Netscape, incidentally, was end-of-lifed as a browser as of February 1st of 2008, so Microsoft got their wish. I think that Microsoft wanting to purchase Yahoo! is another example of how they are not nearly as interested in innovation as domination through intimidation and acquisition.
The Unusual History of MS-DOS The Microsoft Operating System site tells us that
The “Microsoft Disk Operating System” or MS-DOS was based on QDOS, the “Quick and Dirty Operating System” written by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products, for their prototype Intel 8086 based computer.
QDOS was based on Gary Kildall’s CP/M, Paterson had bought a CP/M manual and used it as the basis to write his operating system in six weeks, QDOS was different enough from CP/M to be considered legal.
Microsoft bought the rights to QDOS for $50,000, keeping the IBM deal a secret from Seattle Computer Products.
Gates then talked IBM into letting Microsoft retain the rights, to market MS DOS separate from the IBM PC project, Gates proceeded to make a fortune from the licensing of MS-DOS.
In 1981, Tim Paterson quit Seattle Computer Products and found employment at Microsoft.
Address : http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa033099.htm
I think this is important to note considering that Microsoft is looking again to buy their way (by purchasing Yahoo!) to the top of another market, this time the Internet Search business, which by most analyst standards, they’ve failed at with Windows Live Search.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya says “Not all technology is bad especially when we can get good use from it.”
Sonya, I love GPS, but I love all kinds of other technologies for exactly the same reasons: the new or extended abilities they give us.
I’m always interested when someone suggests that the majority of technology is bad. As you say, not all technology is bad, inferring that good technology is an exception to your norm.
This idea is so antithetical to my world view, in which technology is an innovation enabler, a means to a new better end, and a catalyst for the best changes, that I always ask some questions, like:
What solutions would you suggest for altering a technology, or [T]echnology in general, in order to make it ‘good’?
What criteria do you use to assess a technology? By what scale do you measure how good or bad it is?
How does technology compare and contrast with an equal source of negativity in your life of your choosing?
I hope that any of you can continue the discussion, as I’m always looking for ways to balance what I’m sure is my own very biased view.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Theresa related a quote from Lohr who says “The wise use of technology, researchers say, is one ingredient in the recipe for improving the productivity of information workers”
The key phrase there for me, and a concept I hold close to my heart in my work, is the wise use of technology.
Anyone can open Word and type a few sentences and save it, but is that the most efficient way to do every word processing task, such as those involving other collaborative writers?
We have all used email, but what is the best way for us to quickly process and manage our messages so that we do not become inundated?
One of the best ways to learn about a piece of software is to stumble upon its functions to see what they do, even when it seems like you might ‘break’ the application by doing the ‘wrong’ thing. Sometimes it’s the wrong thing that is the best for learning. Have you ever opened up an application and simply clicked every menu entry to see what they do? You’ll likely learn much quicker than reading even the best, most complete manual.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 4, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Here is one of my favorite videos on the topic of changes in technology and ethnography, and how they are affecting us, by Mike Wesch, a professor in Kansas. Enjoy!
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 4, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “How are organization’s changing given the trends we discussed last week? How has your organization changed in the last 5 years?”
Organizations are changing in that they are now seeing past their borders to the edges of the world and beyond.
Organizations are now dealing with change at a breakneck pace.
Organizations are looking at new technologies every day in order to do their interpersonal, financial, and other transactions more efficiently, more accurately, and more seamlessly.
We are now in a major shift in terms of how the internet is changing the way that we interact with each other, and those changes include the growth of average user content contribution, audio and video creation and sharing, xml based content separated from CSS based presentation. RSS feeds can let us subscribe to and know about most or all of what’s being said about a topic by thousands upon thousands of peoplr around the world each day. We need to adapt by reconsidering copyright, education, knowledge, boundaries, and our own limits.
Rider University has been affected by so many of these changes in the last 5 years, but very specifically in the instructional technology department, my office and one part of OIT, we’ve seen teachers and students go from having only the most minimal inclusion of technology in teaching and learning to having blogs, podcasts, video, audio, photos, email, laptops, electronic documents, and collaborative environments become not a unique part of learning, but the expected and sometimes even preferred tools for learning.
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it – this is an exciting time for a technologist in any field, but in education, technology is an enabling force.
John.

Thread:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:Organization Communication, Structure and Culture
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 4, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marybeth writes “From my experience, even before the back-end users are trained, there must first be a comprehensive understanding between IT and business users about the intent of the technology, who will be using it (ie. managers vs. office staff), how they will be using it and why it’s needed. Once both sides understand each other, the communication needs to continue through the development (or purchase) of the new system and the integration and implementation of the system. Having an open mind will always help, and making sure both sides are clear in their expectations and requests is integral in the success of the relationship.”
It’s interesting to put this into practice because we are doing this, of course, right now with the changes in email for faculty and staff at Rider.
Unfortunately, any effort OIT makes to have the business users understand the intent of the change really requires the full blown training in order for it to be quite clear. If we were to try to offer some level of comprehensive understanding for end users before training took place, then training would not have to take place. Unfortunately, you can’t fit an hour and a half of new, challenging ideas into a few written sentences.
It’s a great concept, but very hard to achieve in reality, especially where something like technology is concerned.
In our training, for example, we are making an effort to offer best practices, internet security ideals, information about two email clients, and clarify settings for changes occurring on the server itself.
Despite this level of information and innovation being broadcast, many people are ‘skipping’ training because they think we’re going to train them in ‘how to use email’ and so when they hear from their colleagues who came to the training that so much important information was gone over, they call, somewhat angry, asking what they had missed, to which we wonder if we’re supposed to do training over the phone, right now, for an hour and a half. (!)
Training (or education) is often the only way to achieve a certain kind of comprehensive understanding on the part of users, but many users are in a constant state of assumption of sufficient knowledge.
It’s a difficult proposition, especially when users assume they can ‘get it’ in a nutshell.
John.

Thread:Week 2 reflection
Post:Week 2 reflection
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, February 4, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

We talked about a lot of great topics, including my favorite, technology and its change oriented impacts.
These discussions remind me of what a wonderful time we live in for technology, with TiVo, media everywhere, the ability to connect and be connected to at any time, if you wish.
It also reminds me of how much work there is to do from an technology literacy perspective, which for me means in part job security, but for me and so many others also means fear, uncertainty, doubt, and wonder about the future.
It’s imperative that we each work to be leaders in this regard and so many others, and we at least will have the advantage of an education in the pursuit of managing these changes.
It’s a wonderful opportunity, and I love it. Thanks for a great week – sorry for the ‘late’ summary post.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Long Distance Leadership
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, February 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I meant to include the video of this reply in the previous post. Here it is. John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:Media influence and TiVo commercial skipping.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, February 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marybeth asks “wouldn’t that take away the opportunity for their people to give insight to situations?”
I think that the insights come with education, study, and context based viewing with time for reflection. Simply being forced to watch ads when you can choose not to is nothing short of removal of free will.
The ad skipping capability is a great tool regardless, but becomes relatively necessary after gaining media and advertising awareness in an educational context.
I find myself not attending restaurants that play commercial radio, because I think of radio commercials as a certain kind of mind pollution.
I take what comes into my mouth pretty seriously since I had a nutritional re-awakening.
I feel the same way about my other senses.
When something that might harm me comes into my mouth, I spit it out – the same should follow for visual and audio content.
I’m sure that many of you might see this as extreme, or feel that advertising is inescapable, but with tools like TiVo’s ad skipping, and the ability to choose to frequent places that respect my need to control what I’m seeing and hearing, I gain some control.
Have you ever been to a restaurant where they have the ‘news’ on, or have the latest 24 on, or whatever? I feel disrespected by being force fed those messages while I’m trying to eat. I know that ‘everyone’ loves 24, but I don’t want my 3 year old to see it yet. We shouldn’t have to be subjected to it.
Sorry for the mini rant – I promise it had nothing to do with Marybeth’s question per se – in short, I feel like using the ad skip is doing your children a service, but it can also be used for things right in the show you might want to miss. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Saturday, February 2, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

The question was “Is Mort a nick name for Mordechai Rosanski, the president that has been chosen?”
Mort is what most everyone at Rider calls Dr. Rozanski, our latest president who’s been presiding for a few years now. I’m sorry for the confusion. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:phone technologies: GrandCentral
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I really just set it up because I like the concept – I’m a very minimal phone user – it hasn’t done too much for me as far as juggling my personal/private life, but for someone who spends a lot of time talking on the phone, I think it’s a no brainer.
As far as who’s in control the user or the technology, I think that’s probably a two way struggle for such a highly configurable service. I’d suggest it to anyone to try – if nothing else it’s kind of fun.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Long Distance Leadership
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I’m using my cheapest USB camera to prove a point, but please bear with me.
Daniel says “[Video Conferencing] still can’t replace meeting someone face to face. I think video conferencing hasn’t caught on yet because of the equipment that is involved and the network bandwidth required.”
I’m sorry, but I really don’t feel that these are barriers anymore – you can get a digital webcam like the one in this video for $15, and you can easily and for free upload and embed the video anywhere using YouTube to host and enable the embed. You can use exactly the same style of technology for free to videoconference, by using tools like http://tokbox.com/john32
Daniel also says “But once it is perfected I think it will be a great tool that will go beyond conference calls on a phone. It is still important to visit business partners to get a feel for what they are like and how their operation runs. There will never be a replacement for face to face communication. While all alternate forms of communication are great you can’t connect with someone on a personal level unless you meet in person.”
I think that the time of wide acceptance is well on it’s way. In fact I’d venture that it’s here right now. While it is fine to say that in person meetings provide a richer interpersonal experience, I think it is very unfair to say that you can’t establish a personal connection with someone in ways other than physical. If it were true, you would have no personal or serious emotional connection with any author you’ve read, music you’ve listened to via recording, or any other media in which you never met the creator or content of the media in person.
We get attached to the inanimate every day all day.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:Kim and Class
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “Any ideas on how a leader can ensure his/her key messages are getting through and retained?”
I think that basic communication closed-loop models hold a key answer – we not only need to encode, send, and listen for effective communication. We also need to complete that loop through feedback. It can happen in lots of ways, but restating a thought back to a communicator, asking related questions, being assessed for concept attainment are all different kinds of ways to provide feedback to a communicator.
Quizzes are a common way for instructors to assess the message’s delivery, and two conversant people in a room might give body language clues to each other to show that they agree, understand, or wish to add onto the conversation.
Whether in a group or one-on-one communication, you can assess the decoding of messages in lots of innovative ways.
John.
Search and Rescue – SAR Seamanship Reference Manual – Chapter 2 found on Fri Feb 01 2008 15:34:22 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
Once open and interactive communication has been established, the next step in avoiding misinterpretations is closed-loop communications. Closed-loop communications should be used every time important information is exchanged. In closed-loop communication, the sender transmits the message, and the recipient acknowledges by repeating all the important information. Then, the sender confirms the accuracy of what the recipient understood. If the recipient understood correctly, the communication ends here. If not, the sender will repeat the original message. The recipient will confirm once again and the sender will validate once more.
Source: http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/sar/nsm-msn/ichapter_02_e.htm

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Speaking of media, messages, regulation, and overload, for those of you who haven’t seen Minority Report in which there’s a scene where a futurist view of branding, advertising and identification is explored, I decided to attach the clip here.
It’s a frightening (though not really thrilling in any way – quite safe for work) way to experience how advertising might grow in the next 40 years, but if you visit Times Square, visit personalized web sites, or run through camera based red lights and get a ticket by mail, you know this vision is a possibility.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Terri says “customers appreciate speaking to a person and I think it helps the image of caring about one’s customers”
I would only say that what the customer wants is contingewnt on the quality of service. I’ve been at many, many service counters in my life in which I said to myself ‘a Perl script could do your job so much better than you’ and wished desparately for a mouse and a keyboard to find out what I wanted to know, get service, or at least get help without the requisite teen angst/attitude.
A good example for me is the Ask Anna bot at Ikea, which you can try out at the Ikea site:
http://193.108.42.79/ikea-us/cgi-bin/ikea-us.cgi
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I saw Cody’s post after I made mine – sorry for the duped ideas. I agree with Cody about lexicon adaptation to texting. The commercial from YouTube is the one that Cody’s referencing, too. Great minds think alike. πŸ˜‰
j.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:phone technologies: GrandCentral
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Me, for one. πŸ˜‰
j.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kim says “Arthur – I completely agree with you about the loss of language. Similar to Linda’s comment about students being unable to work out math without a calculator. ”
I always sense some flaws in these argumants against both calculators and the introduced lexicon of texting.
Some ideas:
Can anyone here multiply 378×478 in their head? You may be able to, but it’s easier and quicker to Google it. If I’m doing 10 of these calculations, and I want to be efficient, productive and correct, why wouldn’t I use a calculator? Why would I bring out a piece of paper or find a pen or rack my brain over this, when there are better tools to do the job?
By the same logic, we should all stop using word processors to write papers, since we all have the ability to write them out by hand.
On the idea of texting as language modifier, I think it’s only a matter of time before these elements of text begin to be incorporated into acceptable writing standards, much in the same way that okay and asap are acceptably used and uncontroversial in many formal contexts. If my goal is efficient communication, and everyone knows what I mean (this is a big prerequisite for this to work) by ‘btw’ or ‘afaik’ or ‘;)’ then why wouldn’t I use them to communicate more efficiently? Doesn’t that work towards my goals of productivity?
Two things to continue the conversation:
“NPR : ‘OK’, Present at the Creation found on Fri Feb 01 2008 14:33:39 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time) It’s one of America’s most popular exports, used just about everywhere, from Paris to Beijing, from Johannesburg to Calcutta. But how did OK come to be? Linguists have pondered the question for years, arriving at many colorful — but incorrect — answers.”
Source: http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/patc/ok/
And secondly, :
ttyal, John

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur, I’m sure you know that many people already work 100% from home. For some it may be the only way, such as those working as an independent consultant full time for a company that exists wholly in a different country. Many of us (myself included) are only taking the LEAD classes online (though I understand I won’t be able to get my degree without some in person class time. Sigh.)
There’s a bit of a movement for supporting these workers too, as evidenced in this blog post at zenhabits.net
http://zenhabits.net/2008/01/top-30-tips-for-staying-productive-and-sane-while-working-from-home/
It’s definitely not for everyone – some people simply won’t be able to stay productive if they are given the opportunity to watch tv at work, but for the self motivated and attentive, I think it’s a great option.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:phone technologies: GrandCentral
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sorry, Kelly.
I have a TiVo and don’t see too many commercials.
However, on the topic of phones, technology, productivity, multiples, and communication, I offer this video of the CEO of the technology company GrandCentral (owned by Google now) which allows you to have a single free phone number, which you can ring multiple phones with, keep independent voicemail for, and do other cool things, like hanging up your cell phone and picking up the call again on your home phone without stopping the conversation.
This is an amazing free product, and one we should all know about as communicators.
John.
From YouTube: “DEMO Conference Fall 2006 San Diego. GrandCentral’s CEO, Craig Walker, presents GrandCentral.com. GrandCentral is the world’s Ultimate Phone Service.”

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:Media influence and TiVo commercial skipping.
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy says “It was even more disturbing to realize how these ads subtly get these messages accross. After taking that class I have not looked at a magazine ad quite the same. It opened my eyes to the ways in which our society allows gender to be used by communication”
I think that just like interpersonal communications, nutrition, and effective writing, one must actually become educated in media awareness in order to see its effects clearly.
We are all continuously bombarded with messages. Many are from those who wish to influence us, and they are SO GOOD at it. So many of us are put into the position of filtering media, shielding ourselves from brilliantly crafted advertisements, and knowing how to discern fact from fiction in articles, though so few ever get an opportunity to become educated in knowing what to look for or knowing whe n to be concerned about media.
I had the great benefit in my undergradate studies of focusing on the effects of the influence of mass media, and as Tracy says, it makes you watch television, listen to radio, and read just about anything differently.
I often have a red flag moment when I’m watching something and suddenly I realize that I’ve been targeted as a demographic or called upon to act to do something the media source is asking me to.
When I first got my TiVo almost 8 years ago and discovered the commercial skipping feature, I discovered a fantastic tool against unnnecessary media influence. Skipping ads that don’t interest you is a great way to watch media, though I often have to explain what a TiVo is when someone can’t believe that I didn’t see this or that ad that gets played during every commercial break. Sorry, I’ve got a TiVo. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thanks, Tracy! I’m with you all the way.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

And exciting, nonetheless. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:Linda
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, January 31, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “Everything we post in cyberspace is free game and in the public domain – very risky for leaders.”
My first reaction to your thought was that a leader who commits to openness and transparency in operation will wholly benefit from the ‘public domain’ aspect of modern web publishing.
However, this does not account for the 5000 employees who might also decide to be entirely transparent about their personal lives on facebook, myspace, and youtube which may or may not be in keeping with the mission, vision, or goals of the company.
We should also keep in mind that the transparency is a choice, at least on the company web site, and with a well maintained security and firewall policy, robot.txt exclusions file, server log reviews, and regular expoit assessment, many of the common pitfalls of internet security can be seen before they become disasters.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:John
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, January 31, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “Or course, other challenges come up. How to lead virtually? How to measure and improve productivity? How to collaborate effectively? You see the point. It requires adaptation but that is what leaders are supposed to do – adapt and grow.”
Agreed. Leading is challenging when you have all the benefits of physical presence — add a layer of technology, and ‘reaching out’ and ‘keeping in touch’ becomes different.
However, we’ve already faced and begun to answer these questions right here. We are engaging each other here, we are leading and being led, and we are following effectively, without a physical layer of contact.
Measuring and improving productivity is more about assessment and numbers than about physical contact, probably. As in Arthur’s exemplar in Semler, success of employee empowerment is contingent on the organization’s ability to sustain and grow employees to be more independent.
As for collaboration – we are doing it here, too. And there are fantastic tools to help us to do it much more effectively than Blackboard allows. Working virtually and effectively from here on will require us to build a toolkit that helps us to do some key things:
We might use http://tokbox.com for spontaneous videoconferencing and remote group meetings.
We might use http://skrbl.com for collaborative whiteboarding.
We can all go into http://docs.google.com and work on shared documents, spreadsheets, and presentations together at the same time.
There are so many new tools, and for a technologist who’s interested in exploring, it’s an extremely exciting time.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, January 31, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kelly asks “But what about people who vote for the woman simply because she is a woman, or who vote for the black man just because he is black?”
Someone who was that interested in making a political statement about race or gender so that they chose the candidate simply on their elements of diversity is still voting, is still making choices about the candidates, is still taking the candidates’ personal experience as a element of character building into consideration.
I also feel that someone that evoted to a candidate for those reasons would also hear other reasons for voting in the stump speeches that would appeal to them. Clinton is sharing her unique female qualities as a candidate, and Obama is clearly running on the idea that he brings something different to the table, starting with his experiences as a black man in America.
No other candidates in history with these diverse experiences have come anywhere near this close to the office. I could definitely see why someone might consider voting just based on these elements of diversity, though on that front, those differences mean very little to me. I’m personally very interested in who supports Net neutrality most completely.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, January 31, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “Having a black President will certainly wake a lot of people up”
There are some misguided pundits who are starting to ask questionds like “Can a country that elects a person of color still contend that racism is an issue?”
That’s like saying ‘Can a city who elects a black mayor still be considered plagued by racism?’
I’m thrilled that there may be this opportunity for other primary diversity representatives in the White House, I just hope that no one thinks that it means the end of racism. It may mean that racism and prejudice take a step back in their public displays, but what lurks in one’s heart is often silent.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Thursday, January 31, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kelly says “Based on my basic knowledge on his reaction to students’ drug and alcohol abuse I see [Mort] as being very proactive about repairing and maintaining Rider’s reputation. ”
For those of us who have seen him act over a few years time as a leader, I think I can safely say that he’s making a lot of great moves. From a communication standpoint, he’s often right on top of an issue, with clarity and plans. He doesn’t sit on anything long – he gets things out there, and gets them done. Rider was a major investment for him, and I think that he treats the task of maintaining its image as a labor of lust.
I’m sure that sounds horrible, but the man is passionate about Rider. I often think of him as a great examle of leadership, which makes me proud to work there. I wish that all leaders at Rider were nearly as committed to its reputation and future.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:The promise of technology
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Sonya said a lot of interesting things when she said “Technology has taken “life” from living and the way we spend what should be “our free time” … Being on call 24/7 is not the way life should be. One should be able to enjoy life. In the past before there were all of these electronic gadgets, (cell phones, and blackberries ) workers would work a 8 hour day, go home, have dinner with their family, watch a little TV and get ready for the next day. … It’s something to think about and some of us wonder why our blood pressure and cholesterol is up. ”
Before we get back on track, can we talk about this a little? Where to start, as this is juicy stuff!
I really truly feel that my life (work and otherwise) is markedly improved by technology’s presence.
It allows me to take classes without being physically located in time or space with others. You too.
It helps me to stay up on nutrition http://health.yahoo.com , living with simplicity http://lifehacks.com , and enjoyable pastimes http://ratebeer.com . It helps to define my identity to the world http://lemasney.com . I’m not as much of a gadget wieder, but I do use a cellphone and I keep email open most of the day – I hardly ever talk on the phone, but I keep in touch with friends over text based and video based chat http://tokbox.com/john32 much more than I ever did by phone.
My workday isn’t 8 hours long, it’s more like 2 hours at a time with breaks in between, and because my work is technology, and I love technology, work very seldome feels like work at all. I not only eat with my family at least once and usually twice a day, but I often cook it thanks to sites like http://simplyrecipes.com
In fact, I recently lost over 100 pounds, http://www.lemasney.com/blog/?p=593 and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of technology in various forms, including a portable digital food scale and http://caloriecount.com
I’m always up for a debate on the relative beneficial outcomes of technology on society. I may not be the most common example of usage, but I think technology has done a great deal for me, including my health. πŸ˜‰
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:The promise of technology
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D. says “Leaders today have to learn to be effective in the environment and to be able to leverage technology without fundamentally altering the organization’s purpose or intent. Not so easy in reality.”
I think that this is where mission, vision, values and goals come into play as important communication tools for leaders and followers.
Without these key tools, the technology, information tools, and other elements of workflow might detrimentally alter the direction a company actually wants to go – the cart might get before the horse and get dug in deep.
With regular study, viewings and revisions of these leadership communication tools (mission, vision, goals, values), hopefully the technologists, end users, and all other stakeholders might foresee when a technology or other element stops helping and starts getting in the way.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D. says “When you have a technical person well versed in the bussiness they are supporting, or a business-end user that has a strong technical background, there will be a much smaller learning curve than if the technical person doesn’t know or care about the end-user or vice versa.”
I couldn’t agree more. I have found though hiring roulette that the best technology workers are not those who know each acronym, software package, and horizon technology, but those who have a good solid but broad grasp of many technologies (what Gartner calls a technology artisan) with the added benefit of social and interpersonal skills – if you have the most proficient technologist in the world, and she doesn’t know how to greet people properly on the phone, they she be relegated to a back room instead of sent on every call to gather praise and laurels for the department, if for no other reason than you don’t want to have to interact with her or deal with the trouble she might cause when interacting with users.
This is another kind of dinosaur (the bothered technology elitist as helpdesk technician) who is slowly making their way back into the primordial ooze, and good riddance. Some of us started there and have hopefully evolved. πŸ˜‰
A great technologist wants to help people to get the job done using technology or not. It’s just more fun for them with the technology involved.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy says “We are seeing the most diverse Presidential Election unfolding before our eyes and their will still be people who will not vote a certain way because of it. ”
It is an amazing time in our history, and what more beneficial time to have a class about communication and leadership than during a presidential election year with this much innovation in the candidacy choice. I won’t even mention Ron Paul. πŸ˜‰
Tracy says “I think that companies should take great detail in how they communicate diversity withing the [company]. It should be considerate of all areas represented thoughout the company.”
I agree, and I would only add that I think (and hope) that we are past the point of injecting race and gender as tokens in advertising and communications where there are always 4 people, where 2 are this and two are that and one is younger, one older, etc. I think there are more effective ways to communicate about diversity than to simply pull this old and limited trick of getting the viewer to think “Hey, someone like me is in that ad!”
Why don’t we find other was to display ‘commonality’ in diverse groups than stratifying the color and age of skin in an image?
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D. asks “Generation N’s and Y’s have grown up in such diversity that they should be fairly comfortable in a diverse workforce. Do you think they will impact the workforce when they enter it in force? If so, how?”
Absolutely! We at Rider recently had a climate survey, part of which had to do with diversity based harassment. Many of us who were able to hear the results were surprised to hear that not only did many in the university know about special negative treatment due to primary diversity traits, but that many of those had not only witnessed it, but were the target of the harassment themselves.
With the influx of groups (gen y and gen n) who were raised with a different level of understanding and awareness of diversity and its benefits, I think that those numbers, surprising though they were even today, will hopefully be reduced and reduced until they’re negligible. With people who are comfortable working in diverse environments, I think that a willingness to engage in equality based interactions becomes more natural, possible, and likely.
Here’s to hoping.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Theresa says “I feel one of the greatest challenges is reacting and handling the changing criteria and trends.”
I think that’s why transformational leaders are the ones being sought out by change-challenged organizations today – that ability and willingness to not only adapt to change, but to actively pursue and meet it head on to make it a propellant for an organization — that’s the stuff.
Imagine if Mort had been chosen for Rider, and he had been a transactional leader. Rider might not have endured some of its recent turmoil, but it also would not have grown – it might have stood perfectly still, just churning through the issues of the now, while change washed over us, but did not propel us. Rider is moving, acting to and reacting to change, and I think it has so much to do with Mort.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:John
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Arthur says “Having had the opportunity to live in 3 countries on 3 continents I can certainly testify of it.”
That kind of experience seems like it would be so invaluable today. What do you feel that having lived in three countries on three continents has done for your cultural awareness, your abilities as a leader, and your senses (literally your vision, touch, etc)?
From my limited travel experience, in and out of this country, I always feel like those elements of culture shock, memorable differences in social practices, or even differing patterns of speech are the things that we should be paying attention to, celebrating, and burning into our important memory.
Your views?
John.

Thread:Introductions
Post:RE:Introductions
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I was out of the email loop before Dr. D. was in Blackboard, so this is an original post.
I’m John LeMasney. I’m Rider University’s manager of instructional technology. I’m responsible for Blackboard at Rider, and so if anyone has any problems or questions, I’ll be happy to help.
I’m a father, husband, speaker, consultant, technologist, open source advocate, and artist. For more about me, please feel free to visit http://www.lemasney.com
I got my BFA in sculpture from University of the Arts in 1998. I got my AA in fine arts from Bucks County Community College in 1995.
I’ve been in the LEAD program since the summer of 2007. I’ve taken all online courses so far, and will do so until I am forced to take an in person course. Online learning matches my learning style. I know many of you and look forward to getting to know the rest.
I came to Rider University as a technology worker in 1998 after being a small business technology consultant in college and have been here ever since. I’m currently in charge of technology training for the university, where we’re working on a major migration of all employee users to a new email system.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:RE:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, January 28, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D says “The “supply chains” are now more interlinked and organizations are going to have to become adept at melding the needs of supply chain partners, both internal and external, into a seamless delivery mechanism. This will require even more effective communication and communication systems. ”
Thanks, Dr. D. I think this global shrinking has also become a wake up call to the dinosaurs of prejudice and the culturally homogenous that always thought that the world ended at the border, where the border might be the room they’re in, the fence they’re in, the state line or the ocean.
In participation in business, in society, and in life moving forward, those who choose to cut themselves off from others who are different are likely to have an increasingly difficult time.
John.

Thread:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Post:RE:Welcome to our Discussions and Week 2
Author:John LeMasney
Date:Monday, January 28, 2008
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dr. D asks “To fully understand organizational communication, we need first to understand what is happening in the larger eco-system surrounding the organization. We need to consider demographic, economic, social and political trends within which the organization must exist. What are some of the most significant trends in the eco-system? What are some of the related challenges facing organizations? Which one do you think will have the most impact? Why?”
Demographic trends point to diversification, globalization, and world size reducation. The related challenges for organizations are ensuring cultural awareness in members, giving members the tools to communicate effectively across a room as well as across the world.
Economic trends point to a national recession and a global shockwave. The related challenges for organizations are how to stay afloat through a major recession so that this hopefully short term correction in the markets doesn’t devastate businesses that are just getting started, are in their initial 5 year business plan, or innovators that were engaging risk to bring great things to market, but didn’t foresee a recession in their plan.
Social trends point to increased social connections, diversity and engagement due to the new tools of social networks, global markets, and increases in interpersonal communication skills and emotional awareness. The related challenges for organizations are making sure that members, followers and leaders alike, are aware of the tools, techniques, and trends, and specifically in the case of the technological innovations (you tube, blogs, facebook) the knowledge that there are some pros, some cons, and if used correctly, great organizational benefits.
Political trends point to a swing back to moderation, a rebuilding of international trust, and hopefully, peace. The related challenges for organizations are being aware of the sociopolitical changes so that they can be adapted to in the organization. Maybe there can be a trend in the leadership of an organization regarding the political lessons that we are beginning to learn from the last several long years so that member rights are respected, all options are thoroughly studied before jumping in, and democracy and consideration are put before profits and a demogogue’s emotions.
The challenge with the most impact is really an interweaving of the theme of all of these: globalism, consideration, a retreat from nationalism and separation, blurring borders, technology training and awareness, and quiet sobriety after a long debauchery.
I’m so glad to be a part of this class.
John LeMasney.

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