A Few New Resources for Educators

June 18th, 2014

I recently attended the Org. Behavior Teaching Conference (OBTC) in Nashville, TN and  it was a wonderful experience. I ran a session on cutting edge resources. Essentially it was a opportunity for a group of colleagues to brainstorm and share ideas. Needless to say, it was an exciting 60 minutes. In my next few posts, I will be sharing some resources that caught my eye.

Unique Films that OBProfessors Use In The Classroom


I hope you enjoy exploring these resources. I have already reserved the films through my local library and hope to use the Everest Simulation in the coming year. Likewise, I was excited to see that MIT offers a wealth of free resources. More soon…

There has to be a better way…

June 11th, 2014

For as long as I can remember I have had curious mind and it has served me well (on most occasions). Rather than settling for “what is” – my mind is drawn to “what could be.”

In the classroom, I often work one fundamental thought – “There has to be a better way.” There has to be a better way to help the students learn the content more quickly. There has to be a better way to connect the content to their lives. There has to be a better way for me to communicate XYZ content. There has to be a way for us to use the classroom as a practice field.

This fundamental question has lead me to some valuable resources and approaches – for instance – problem-based learning as an instructional strategy. Of course “there has to be a better way” keeps me in a place of exploration and challenges me do develop and design my own thinking around how we better develop leaders and managers.

Lately, my mind is working a parallel puzzle – corporate/organizational leadership development. Perhaps more than ever, organizations need men and women who can lead teams to effectively navigate ill-defined/ill-structured problems and I am not sure our traditional training model will meet this need – These skills cannot be taught in a classroom or via e-leanring. We need a new paradigm, new instructional strategies, and new thinking. There has to be a better way to: align the development with the work and flow of the organization; minimize perceived burden on participants; position leadership/management development as a necessary value-add; better measure our results and impact at multiple levels; engage learners in a more active manner; harness technology; and so on.

It’s actually very exciting to think about.


Edge Experiences

June 3rd, 2014

One of my favorite websites is TwisterSifter.com. Spend a little time there and you will understand. It’s visually stimulating and the creativity is simply amazing. A while back I came across this series of photos and they made me think about leadership development and the necessity for “edge experiences.” Of course, these photos highlight an edge experience on a few different levels.

I have written about edge experiences on this blog in the past and I loosely define these as “opportunities to work on the margins of your current ability level.” This can be uncomfortable, scary and there is often a high risk of failure. You know you are working at your edge when you get the uncomfortable feeling in your stomach – nerves, butterflies, etc. Examples may include a big presentation, highly visible project, or mastering a difficult skill. Interestingly, the expertise literature suggests that “experts” have spent years working at their edge. In other words, they consistently work on what the cannot do in their quest to become better.

To see this concept in action, I would recommend watching the film Somm. My wife and I watched it the other night and truly enjoyed this story of four men on a quest to pass the Master Sommelier Exam. These four men are working at their edge and the viewer gets to follow along.


The Cost of Poor Leadership

May 27th, 2014

“Given that front-line leaders manage a majority of the workforce, companies have a compelling business case for providing them with the tools they need to be successful.” – This quick article highlights a McKinsey Report “How Companies Manage the Front Line Today” that shares some staggering numbers. Take a look and reflect on your own organization…


May 26th, 2014

If you are searching for stories or heroism and bravery, you don’t need to look much further than The Congressional Medal of Honor website. It’s filled with stories of men and women who have risked everything for others. Take some time today to read at least one story and reflect on how their leadership made a difference in the lives of others. The most recent recipient, Kyle White, was born in 1987 and served in Afghanistan.


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