Archive for February 3rd, 2011
The idea of online scholarship has come up quite a bit recently at work. By this, I mean that part of a scholar’s work must, in today’s world, be done online, or at least exposed online. So when you write an article, you tweet about it. You have and maintain a blog in which you talk about your academic research and comment on events related to your field. A scholar really cannot afford to keep his or her work entirely in the hardcopy domain, passively waiting to be discovered and recognized.
It is my job, similarly, to take time to put my thoughts and ideas online. For me, topics would be educational technology, management in higher ed, and…lots of other things. If there is a resolution I’m willing to make for this year, it is not just that I will blog more often, but that I will make it a point to blog as part of my job. To be an active member of the online community on topics related to my job and my field. Yes, it’s still passive in that people have to find my blog or see my tweets, but I am here, online, and just a quick search away on Google…
I think that one’s choice of words can really say a lot about one’s perspective on many matters. One can certainly read too much into words – trying to get tone and meaning out of an e-mail is an invitation to disaster and misinterpretation (today, I decided against sending an e-mail and opted for a phone call because I couldn’t find a way to write a response without sound cold…).
But choice of words can mean a lot. A while ago, I was having a conversation about our respective departments and, therefore, staff. It’s perhaps too subtle, but what I noticed was:
“they work for me. they are supposed to do what I ask or tell them to do.”
“we work together to make our decisions happen. if our actions deviate too far from the plan, I ‘correct’ things, but then we try and keep moving along.”
That’s a bit of an exaggeration on both examples. But in both situations the staff do work for us, and they are responsible for making our plans happen. And we are in charge of making those plans. But the two descriptions couldn’t be more different in perspective. And it’s probably safe to presume that there is an underlying, corresponding difference in approach to management.
Just some random thoughts.