Entries in "MGMT251"

September 08, 2006

Another semester of students begin a blogging experiment

Yesterday, Jeremy Smith gave a fabulous presentation on blogging using the Blog@Case system to interested students in MGMT 250 and 251 this fall. He discussed why it is useful for professionals to maintain a blog, explaining the merits of controlling one's online brand. He also walked through how to start up a blog on the Blog@Case system, how to categorize or tag a blog entry, and how to manage comment spam. Many thanks to Jeremy for a well-organized, crisp, and informative presentation!

If any of my readers are interested in following the MGMT 250 students' blog entries, here's a link that will aggregate all entries that are tagged "MGMT250" (note the lack of space in that tag): topic=MGMT250

Here is the equivalent link for students in MGMT 251: topic=MGMT251. This fall, students in 251 will be starting topical blogs, in pairs or trios... the assignment has been modified slightly, so that there will be more than one student contributing on the same approved topic. I hope that the added number of entries on the same topic will help students find ways to draw traffic to their blogs. I will post later in the semester introducing the topic of each of those focused blogs, once they have an initial effort at relevant entries under their belts.

If you are curious about why I encourage my students to learn how to blog, you might be interested in reading this entry of mine from about one year ago.

April 10, 2006

how do you track your progress toward your goals?

No time for part 2 of the Anne Lamott blog today -- sorry. Things are humming in my life, but I'm hoping to find time tomorrow to write up my thoughts, before the vividness of the experience fades!

In the meantime, let me briefly mention that I have been experimenting lately (as you can see from the righthand column of my blog) with an online service called 43 things. On Thursday I will introduce it to my students in class, as a way of helping them to make sense of why the plans they set up for themselves last December may not have worked as intended -- and of helping them to stay focused on their goals, keep track of their progress, and give themselves credit for their accomplishments.

I really like the 43things system, even though it's less structured than a Getting Things Done approach or a Covey Seven Habits approach. For students who are online all the time, often from different computers, I think that using this kind of organizing might work even better than keeping a paper planner.

I'd be curious to learn how my readers track progress toward their goals.

  • Do you use a paper planner?
  • Do you keep your calendar on your computer?
  • Is it online so that you can access it from several different computers?
  • Or do you sync your computer with a Palm or other handheld, or with a cellphone or something?
  • How do you schedule things into your planner in a way that allows you to give priority to important but not always urgent tasks?
  • When you feel yourself getting into a cycle of fighting fires, how do you choose to respond so that you retain a sense of efficacy?

March 14, 2006

who watches your money while you sleep?

This is the eighth of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment in MGMT 251 this spring. The eighth student I am highlighting is Daniel Tikk, whose blog focuses on Management Strategies in Commercial Banking. He has made several entries so far, and his latest addresses the atmosphere in his small-town bank. Do you like having a personal relationship with the tellers at your bank, or are you more an ATM user? Read his entry and leave him a comment, please!

P. S. The previous entry in my series highlighting students' blogs is here, and has links to all the earlier entries as well. Any support you can give to these novice bloggers is most welcome!

March 07, 2006

what do I need to know if I work at Bell South?

This is the sixth of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment in MGMT 251 this spring. The sixth student I am highlighting is Matteusz Sladeuski, whose blog focuses on Mergers, Acquisitions, and Restructurings. He has made six entries so far, and his latest addresses the downsides of mergers. Please click through to read his commentary on why they can fail. Would you add any possibilities to his list? Read his entry and leave him a comment, please! I'm also looking forward to reading his commentary on the proposed acquisition of Bell South by AT&T and the opposition to the merger by Consumers Union and others.

P. S. The fifth entry in my series highlighting students' blogs is here, and lists the earlier entries as well.

P. P. S. Heads up for tomorrow: March 8 is Blog Against Sexism day. Look for a post from me about pregnancy discrimination and why it harms society...

February 27, 2006

Different Paths to an Effective Company?

This is the fourth of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment in MGMT 251 this spring. The fourth student I am highlighting is Kevin Sudnik, whose blog focuses on Managerial Styles. He has made three entries so far, and has uncovered some different frameworks for understanding managerial styles. Please click through to read what he discovered on the Hay-McBer website. Do you fit into one of the styles they have identified? Which styles would you expect to be most effective? Read his entry and leave him a comment, please!

P. S. The first entry in my series highlighting students' blogs, which mentions Danny Pho's Exciting Companies in Northeast Ohio, is here.

The second entry in my series, which mentions David Hastings' Innovations in Motivation, is here.

The third entry in my series, which mentions Chris Reed's Management Issues in the Restaurant Industry, is here.

February 23, 2006

who runs the best restaurants in Cleveland?

This is the third of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment this spring -- to choose a topic around which to blog in February, March, and April, with the aim of learning something, teaching something, and generating dialogue online. All these students were required to blog about the topics we discussed last fall in MGMT 250 (if they wanted to earn an A) and to comment on one another's blog entries, but this semester, their assignment is optional, and tougher. They need to include weblinks in most of their entries, and do some promotion of their blogs through participation in other online forums or through comments on other blogs. They will also be doing some in-person networking to promote their blogs. Part of my assessment of their work will be related to their ability to generate readers of and comments on their entries.

The third student I am highlighting is Chris Reed, whose blog will focus on Management Issues in the Restaurant Industry. He has made three entries so far, and has uncovered some interesting statistics about the industry. Please click through to read the list he uncovered of the top 8 restaurants in Cleveland. Do you agree with the rankings? What do you think contributes to their success? Are there other restaurants you would nominate as well-run businesses? Chris wants to know about them. Read his entry and leave him a comment, please!

P. S. The first entry in my series highlighting students' blogs, which mentions Danny Pho's Exciting Companies in Northeast Ohio, is here.

The second entry in my series, which mentions David Hastings' Innovations in Motivation, is here.

natural consequences of missing class

There was an interesting article in the New York Times recently about college students -- it focuses on the sense of entitlement that the current generation of undergraduates seems steeped in. My first reaction was that the article overstates the prevalence of these kinds of student attitudes. After all, by far the majority of my students are courteous, dedicated, and driven to exceed expectations.

Then I began reflecting on what happened last week, when I delegated class to my TAs to run a presentation skills workshop while I was fulfilling a professional service responsibility in Chicago. The rate of unexplained absences went up dramatically, even though I had explained to students in advance that they would be given only on this date an opportunity to express their preferences regarding their team assignments for the course's final project. What makes students think that it's OK to show disrespect to the TA in this way? Did they not realize that not having information about their preferences would make my work to construct teams, working in consultation with the team leaders selected from among their peers, more difficult? Certainly, the TA is less likely to offer those students informal feedback on a draft paper before it is due. And clearly, if I don't know which team leaders they want to work with, their wishes are unlikely to be taken into account in the team construction process (which we finished last night).

I have a fairly lax attendance policy -- as long as students notify me in advance about an absence, they are excused. And yet still, some students do not email or call. It's just not that hard to memorize the university's general number -- 368-2000 -- and find a phone to call from if you discover yourself stuck off campus and unable to return before a scheduled class. The students who cannot make that small effort are definitely damaging their reputation in my eyes, and dramatically reducing the likelihood that I would agree to write them a recommendation letter later on.

So, I'm glad that the article pointed out some of the natural consequences of inappropriately cavalier behavior for students who make the mistake of treating professors as mere service providers. Yes, students are customers, and we owe them a level of fairness and consistency... but students are also apprentices, learning the world of professional responsibility, and they owe us as their mentors a certain minimum level of respect.