Entries for November 2005

tidbits for students

Lisa Haneberg, who blogs about the craft of management, is currently offering an e-book for free on New Year's Resolutions for Leaders which may be helpful to students as they are SMARTening their learning goals and filling in their action plans for achieving them. She offers good tips for how to avoid turning the goalsetting process into an exercise in stargazing, and some practical suggestions for the kinds of actions that can keep you moving toward a goal.

Terrence Seamon, a workplace learning and performance consultant, offers his vision of a better alternative to tying annual performance appraisals to a too-small pot of merit pay: spot cash awards, a raffle for award winners, and annual development planning that is less focused on the past and more focused on continuous improvement and skill development. He offers an important reminder that performance appraisal should always end with a conversation about how to convert the numbers to meaning and to constructive action in the future.

Oh, and if you're wondering why we asked you to blog this semester, and my post from back in August doesn't convince you that the assignment is worthwhile, then perhaps the fact that blogging is the topic of an article in Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge newsletter will convince you that learning to compose blog entries and connect with other bloggers is becoming an increasingly valuable skill in the workplace!

A British news story dismissed by the White House

Blair may have talked Bush out of bombing Al Jazeera's offices in Qatar.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I'm grateful for the internet and for journalists, who I trust will get to the bottom of this even if the White House refuses to cooperate.

Oh, and in case you missed this other story about the runup to the war in Iraq... from the National Journal: Bush was told 10 days after 911 that Iraq had no links to the incident and the evidence linking Saddam to Al Quaeda was scant.

Don't look away: Support the Southeast Asian quake victims now

Yesterday, the Plain Dealer republished Salman Rushdie's op-ed from The Times of London on November 12, 2005, warning that the response to the Kashmiri earthquake has been dramatically inadequate. He says:

"If the flow of aid does not increase at once, then it is probable that more people will die in the earthquake’s wintry aftermath than perished in the quake itself. It is entirely possible that the final death toll will be greater than the tsunami’s. We may be looking at the greatest natural calamity in human history. But in this case we have the power to avert it. We can send the money to fly the helicopters and tend to the sick and build the winter shelters. If we do this, people will live. People who have already lost everything may yet be prevented from losing their own lives."

"If we can accomplish this, it will be a great good thing. If we fail — because we are tired of disasters, or because Kashmir is far away and remote and quarrelsome and doesn’t feel like our business — well, then shame on us."

Aid is still needed, even after the recent donor conference. As was written in the Washington Post on Friday, November 18, "Last month's earthquake ... left perhaps 3 million people homeless. But so far only about 340,000 tents have been distributed. Doctors are trying to immunize 1.2 million children put at risk by bad shelter, diet and sanitation. But the immunization drive has only half the $8 million that it needs."

"The contrast with the Indian Ocean tsunami is distressing. After the tsunami, the United States sent nearly $1 billion in government aid, 16,000 soldiers, 57 helicopters, 42 other aircraft and 25 ships. After the Kashmir quake, the United States has offered Pakistan $156 million in aid, including military equipment; deployed 950 soldiers; and sent 24 helicopters."

"The tsunami triggered a tsunami of generosity because it hit during the holiday season and because Western tourists were affected. ... the risk of an after-disaster in Kashmir is real."

We have sent a donation to Oxfam today. Other charities accepting donations specifically for the Kashmir earthquake include UNICEF , Mercy Corps, and Relief International. All these charities have a three- or four-star rating from Charity Navigator. Please do what you can!

If you can't donate, please write to your political representatives in Washington, DC, to urge that they release aid immediately, rather than attaching strings.

Halder trial to visit campus on Monday

Ted Diadun made some good points in his article this morning commenting on the timing of the story last week which previewed the Halder murder trial. The original article ran last Monday, on the day that jury selection began, and it would be a shame if otherwise impartial potential jurors were eliminated from potential selection just because they had read that article. Fortunately, jury selection is now complete, so I can blog about the events in a limited way.

The judge and jury are scheduled to visit the Peter B. Lewis building tomorrow, to familiarize themselves with the locations of the 7-hour siege allegedly carried out by Halder on May 7, 2003. I was not in the building, but was still affected by the event; here's an old blog I wrote at the first anniversary, after returning from a remembrance ceremony. Professor Collopy has also shared an email archive of the event and its aftermath.

The building will not be accessible tomorrow, presumably so that the jury will not be exposed to any unsolicited statements from individuals during their visit. Also, it is possible that the accused, Halder, will participate in the visit as well, and the dean and the President did not want to expose any survivors from the incident to the possibility of an encounter with him.

I have scheduled office hours tomorrow afternoon, so I will be on campus, but relocated to Wolstein Hall. If you need to find me, please call my voicemail...

One of my advisors once said...

... "you can be either a reader or a writer." The implication was, of course, that it's better to write every day, and read sometimes, if we students were planning on successful academic careers. If you have noticed my silence over the last two weeks, I apologize -- but I am right now in editing mode, and I have no time to blog! I'm working to make the final adjustments to the edited book, '''A Handbook of Transformative Cooperation: New Designs and Dynamics''', which I will be sending in to Stanford University Press with David Cooperrider and Ron Fry as co-editors. My aim is to get this work done in the next two weeks, and then come back to blogging.

In the meantime, I hope that you will enjoy reading the thoughts of our undergraduate management majors in MGMT 250 -- they are writing about all kinds of interesting things, from ethics to summer jobs, incentive plans to intrinsic motivation -- and perhaps you might comment on an entry or two. All the students' entries are gathered here.