Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Challenge of truth telling in the Army profession

July 12, 2014 Leave a comment

If a large organization like the Army which is so renowned for the quality and caliber of its leadership and integrity as difficulties with different levels of command and leaders telling the truth to each other, how much of an unseen force is the lack of candor in commercially-based organizations where there is more self-interest among individuals?
How important is it to the culture of the organization that people can tell the truth without fear of repercussions? If that’s not one of the cultural values of the organization, what are the implications going to be for large-scale transformations that require honest and open communication?
How do we break that political and cultural barrier?

STEM vs liberal arts as preparation for the life of the mind

September 14, 2013 Leave a comment

it used to be we said that liberal arts education provided us the broad creative and critical thinking skills that prepared people for a life of the mind in a challenging and changing world, but I would make the other argument: that STEM is better general preparation for the kinds of rigorous evidence-based thinking that we need to handle chaos and complexity

Categories: Uncategorized

IRS managerial incompetence: as if

May 14, 2013 Leave a comment

IRS malfeasance: what a farce, to claim this is simple negligence and that “mistakes were made, nothing to see here, move along”.

if it really were incompetence, then you would expect for a number of errors of this type to be committed that crossed all sorts of political boundaries, but because ONLY conservative groups were systematically investigated and delayed then it is clearly evidence of a different sort of agenda.

This isn’t simple negligence, this isn’t even gross negligence; this is willful misconduct and is the consequence of too much power centralized in Washington.

This is nothing other than simple power politics, using the instruments of bruite bureaucracy to reward your friends and punish your enemies, and all the civil liberties people who ought found their voices to rage against the Patriot Act are typically silent when its not their ox being gored



Categories: Uncategorized

Models and “maps” as guides to thinking

March 23, 2013 Leave a comment

In the OD network  on LinkedIn a question was asked “What models have you found to be effective?”

my thoughts were:

Models are maps.
I once used a map to help navigate an unfamiliar territory.
At different times the map was alternately more and less helpful.
It’s good to know the uses and limits of maps.
It’s interesting to be a map-maker.
It’s good to know how good is the map is
It’s good to learn to judge the opinions of others about maps
I trust the maps of trustworthy scouts
Don’t forget to look where you going while you consult the map
You might want to look around first before you consult the map
You might want to look around AND consult the map before you start walking
If being tracked by wolves, you better not consult the map for too long
You either have to go to unfamiliar places or wait for the world to bring you what you need

Categories: Uncategorized

Online courseware

February 7, 2013 Leave a comment

am eating my own cooking by starting 2 online courses as a student:  the Sante Fe Institute’s MOOC on Complexity nad the MIT course on Creative Learning.  I am in Lesson 1 of complexity and having a blast.  Its well done and highly recommended already

Categories: Uncategorized

Reflections on Grading classroom participation

January 5, 2013 Leave a comment

I like to use a scoring system from 0-3 (Hattip to Professor Dave Garvin at Harvard)


3- added significantly to the discussion with an insight that shows evidence of synthesis and/or deep insight

2 – contributed in a meaningful professional way that demonstrates appropriate mastery of the subject and evidence of preparation for class

1- attended but was a free rider in the discussions, did not contribute to the learning of others

0 – did not attend

Some people learn by talking and hearing their thoughts and through collaborative dialogue. If they say it 9 times wrong and then 1 time correct when they finally get it, did their 10 “contributions” outweigh the participative value of the introvert who has carefully prepared their insight, and offers a single cogent, deeply penetrating insightful summary that makes us all smarter?.

Participation grades are not “merely” opinion. A professional opinion, inhabiting the land between pure objectivity and pure subjectivity, is an opinion that is informed by both theory and practice and carries more weight than “just an opinion”. This point of view reflects a consideration of teaching as “craft” in which informed judgment is more than “just an opinion”. The judgment is not absolute, can be judged by peers and students, and be subject to calibration and standards of evidence like all craft work.

One of my concerns with grading participation concerns the motivation to participate: we want people to participate as a way to encourage an inquiring mind for its own sake, and not in order to meet a minimum number of speaking events in public to secure a grade. It seems to me that the effect of the contribution on others and as a window into the preparation and thought processes of the student is more important than the motivation behind the offering, and so, to “reward” the participator, and to respect the effort they put into the participation, it seems fair to assign grades for participation based on professional judgment. Studies of allowing anonymous peer grading demonstrate that in adult education peers are pretty well aligned with teacher judgments about quality of contribution.


Congressional pay freeze recommendation doesn’t go far enough

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment