An ABC of leadership and management

I am enjoying teaching my 18-month old granddaughter new words using wonderfully colourful Dorling Kindersley books .  It’s marvellous as we go for walks around our village and she spots cats, dogs, horses, cows, birds and butterflies (pronounced blies).  Using the word “despondent” to describe Eeyore is beyond her pronunciation ability yet, but I succeeded in getting my eldest daughter to describe herself as obstreperous (“optrous”) by the time she was two.  We’ll see how my granddaughter’s eloquence progresses over the next six months. 

This joyous activity gave cause to this Grandad to consider how some of the keystone words from the lexicon of organisational leadership are used… and abused.  Accordngly, here is the first half of the alphabet with my thoughts about the real meaning of some of those vital words; more next month!

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We don’t need no education

So sang Pink Floyd in 1979 on their Christmas number 1 single Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 from their album The Wall.   It was a protest against rigid, didactic education. 

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Learning in the new millennial

 

So much written about Millennials suggests that they are turned off by the way generations before them have done things. As someone engaged in professional learning this interests me.

Millennials, it would seem, are more civic and community minded than their predecessors. Lacking the financial security from which their parents have benefitted they are not as interested in a career path as generations before them. Instead, meaningful work, creative outlets and immediate, interactive feedback mean a lot. One only needs to look at a random selection of start-ups  to see this behaviour in evidence.

What does this mean for those of us now who work in more traditional institutions, based on and run by baby boomers or Gen X-ers? It’s an important question because bigger and slower moving organisations still need to employ, engage and retain millennials.

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Exam season: prevention not cure

School blackboard
© | Dreamstime Stock Photos

It’s that time of year when a good proportion of the population works itself into a state of agitation.  It’s school and university exam season; time to judge the learning you’ve learned.  I guess almost every reader of this blog will have taken an exam at some time and/or shepherded their son(s) or daughter(s) through doing so.  They will have a broad array of memories about the experience.  Does our collective recollection indicate we were affected by the same degree of anxiety that seems to prevail today?  Or, is this one of those situations glimpsed in the rear-view mirror that appears smaller than it really is?  Were we scared, short of sleep and forgot the single most important coaching line ever uttered, “Read the [insert appropriate profanity] question”?

However, is there a deeper, more important question to pose at this time?  That is, “Is our approach to education fit for purpose?”  Have we forgotten what makes sound pedagogy; what represents real learning as opposed to mere information transfer, which like water finds its own course in and immediately out of someone’s head?

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