Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Hope in Troubling Times

How can we deal with all the negative things swirling around us?  A natural tendency is to hunker down and avoid the bad vibrations. Just wait out the negative things until positive things are possible. Of course, if everyone does this, anything positive could be a long time coming.  Michael Curry has a proposal. Curry […]

Transforming Anger

It is so very easy to get angry about the current situation in the US.  Pandemic, recession, hurricanes, flooding, fires, earthquakes, protests about racial injustice, attempts to pack the Supreme Court and undermine elections are all woven together over the past six months.  It is almost a perfect storm of calamities. My anger is not […]

A Reformed Optimist

“Everything will work out in the end and, if it doesn’t, it is not the end.” This was a theme in the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) but attributed to Paul Coelho and John Lennon much earlier. I am an inveterate optimist, but I am reconsidering my inclinations.  Look how we have handled […]

Wrenches in the Works

It is very difficult to foster change and innovation in complex social systems.  You need to understand key stakeholders; their perceptions, concerns, and values; and how to gain their support for central elements of the changes being entertained.  It can take much time and work to build a coalition capable of moving forward. Examples of […]

A Real Deal

We have in the US over 400 years of injustice in our country. Native Americans, African-Americans, and more recent immigrants have all been abused. We have taken advantage of them for the benefits of mainstream Americans at the time. What was this mainstream?  Initially it was immigrants to Massachusetts and Virginia. Over time, we added […]

Dealing With Risks

This is a very risky time. What does that mean?  Risk equals the probability that something unfortunate happens times the consequences of it happening. It seems like both sides of this equation are working against us. So, what to do?  First, we need to differentiate risks to you and the general public. If you have […]

A Complex Society

Recent challenges suggest that the complexity of society in the US has become increasingly difficult to understand and manage.  We seem to have great trouble agreeing on anything.  Consequently, we do not act to quickly understand what is happening and competently develop and execute compelling courses of action.  Let’s explore the sources of the impasse. […]

The Academia-Industry Interface

Academia scales down problems to make them rigorously tractable for the methods being researched. Industry scales up the methods, often sacrificing rigor, to assure results are applicable to real problems. While these may seem like mutually exclusive strategies, that need not be the case. What are needed are intermediaries who understand both sides of the […]

Betting on Change

We expect that the pandemic will lead to a new normal that will be significantly different than the old normal.  Perhaps there will be opportunities for innovations in the marketplace.  What changes deserve our bets? We can assume that people will always want pasta, potatoes or rice, as well as beans, broccoli or mushrooms. But […]

Social Distancing

We are trying our best to physically distance ourselves from risks of the coronavirus.  Along with washing hands and not touching your face, this practice seems to make much sense.  Everyone I know seems to be doing these things.  However, the phrase “social distancing” got me thinking. Most of us have been social distancing for […]

Power

Several previous posts have focused on the realities I have encountered in Washington, DC in the three years that I have been here.  Indeed, I feel like a stranger in a strange land.  This arena is supposedly focused on providing the greatest value for the citizens of this country.  More specifically, the goal is supposedly […]

Taking Charge — Episode 8

The reception and dinner for Board of Trustees was held at the River’s Edge an upscale venue on the Hudson River on the eastern side of the Beresford property. “Welcome to everyone – trustees and guests,” Marie opens, after having clinked a spoon of a water glass to gain attention. “Welcome to Beresford Village.  Most […]

Taking Charge — Episode 7

Brad, Mary, and George meet in Marie’s conference room.  Marie will join them later.  Pete O’Connor has been recruited to help.  Pete is Director of Educational Technology at Beresford. “Pete, we have been doing some benchmarking of course offerings around the country,” George opens. “What have you found?” Pete asks. “There is sufficient high quality […]

Taking Charge — Episode 6

Phil Chen, the Beresford Provost, walked into Marie’s office.  They greeted each other and shook hands, and then sat across from each other at Marie’s conference table. “Phil, I want to outline a new hiring strategy and get your opinion.” “Sounds great.” “Let me provide a bit of background first.” “Ok.” Marie discussed her analysis […]

Taking Charge — Episode 5

Marie and George were drawn to exploring the real nature of value in higher education. “Are we investing in the things that create the most value for students and society?” Marie questioned. “It is not just a question of where we deploy each year’s discretionary resources.  It is also an issue of where we deploy […]

Taking Charge — Episode 4

“Ok, what is the upside of the subsidy? I think I know, but I want your assessment, George,” Marie opens. “Faculty members publish journal articles, that get cited, and over time increase their h-index,” George responds. “An h-index of N means that you have N or more articles cited at least N times.  Right?” “Yes.  […]

Taking Charge — Episode 3

George has been exploring how money is spent and the outcomes produced.  His latest quest has been trying to understand the benefits of subsidizing faculty members so they can pursue research.  When Marie and George operated at the department level, it never occurred to him to question this.  However, Beresford is trying to make it […]

Taking Charge — Episode 2

While George continued his sleuthing, Marie focused on building relationships across campus with faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as each member of the Board of Trustees.  It was a lot of work, leaving her exhausted every evening as she retreated to the President’s House. She tried to stay connected professionally with her colleagues […]

Taking Charge — Episode 1

Marie Cornwall had a distinguished career as an engineering faculty member and department chair at one of the top universities in the US.  Her specialty was decision making under risk.  She had published widely on this topic and was frequently sought for consulting engagements, as well as prestigious advisory boards.  From the perspectives of her […]

Three Strikes and You Are Out

The poor performance of the US healthcare system can primarily be attributed to three things.  First, the “fee for service” payment model incentivizes providers to provide as many services as possible to maximize reimbursements from insurers, either private or public.  Second, the lack of integration of archival and operational information systems undermines the delivery of […]