Saturday, February 28, 2009

OD assignment for Valley High School

In looking at the SLC implementation at Valley High School within the context of the larger organization...key concepts:
Approaches that will be helpful for me in doing this OD are:
Appreciative Inquiry
Force Field Analysis (Lewin)
Internal vs. External demands/effects

Problems observed and/or discussed at VHS:
Communication (administrators and directives given to SLCs)
Buy-In (words and actions do not match)
Conflict within members of the group
No data at outset (what will "results" be compared to?)

The above were observed within the SLCs AND are a reflection of the culture of the larger org (the school itself)

Monday, February 9, 2009

OD assignment

I am looking at the implementation of the SLC concept at a site and discussing how it may be a reflection of the workings of the larger context (the school site). i.e. - Inherent to the success of small learning communities is a shared vision of what the group stands for, what it hopes to accomplish, and how might it go about accomplishing those goals. This same premise is applicable to the school in the larger context. Does the SLC accomplish this? Does the school? Further, SLC success relies upon the transmission and interplay of explicit and tacit knowledge amongst group members. Does this occur? Does any new knowledge building occur and if so, is that disseminated to the SLC and/or the organization ? If so, how? If not, why? What barriers exist? Does the organization AND the SLC a single-loop learning org or a double-loop? What examples exist? If not, what would help facilitate this?
What recommendations can I make to help the functionality of the SLC within the larger org?

Conflict Mediation & random thoughts

Love this topic. Not that I love conflict, but the topic and information covered go hand in hand with a lot of the work I do as a counselor. In my experience, both personally and professionally, one of the biggest challenges is getting people away from the "I have to win" or one of us has to be wrong concept. A productive answer does not have to be a study in dichotomy. The real skill comes in the communication and the negotiation. Also in helping individuals to identify what kind of modality they use in addressing conflict. On a personal level, I see a lot of avoidance and accomodation issues in people around me; at work I see a lot of compromise and collaboration, but also a lot of competition. I agree that there is a time and a place to employ any one of these -- knowing when to use which technique is the skill.

Regarding the 2/7/09 symposium at UCSB. Outstanding. I wish we could have heard more from Dr. Sally Kingston as I felt she was trying to take a lot of information and condense it into a much shorter time frame for us. Jack O'connell was fantastic -- and very funny -- which I appreciate. All in all a great day.