The end of the quarter

 

Here we are at the end of yet another quarter. Amid finishing projects and final papers I felt at a loss of what to blog about. Then, the thought of being so busy with life and school work seemed to be an idea in its self. I an eagerly completing my final work in the last week of the quarter. How are all of you Antioch students doing with the week sprint to the finish?

Life seems to repeat itself, because this time last year I took a week vacation to Jamaica and then wrote a reflective blog about the trip and my experiences. Here I am a year later, and I am going back to Jamaica at the end of this quarter. This time I am writing about it before I go.

My concerns are primarily centered around school. Finishing all my coursework is at the top of the list. I have one paper left to finish, an art project for a psych class, and more team editing for my Capstone Project. Secondly, I have to plan my course load for next quarter….which will be my last quarter before graduating. Third, I have to make sure all my paperwork for completion and graduation are in order. Lastly, I have to pack and gather all my tickets, itinerary and everything I need for the trip.

All my efforts will be worthwhile. I am looking forward to two weeks of warm sun and clear water before beginning my last quarter here at Antioch. What are your plans for the student break?

A Change of Pace

As I draw near to the end of my second to last quarter here at Antioch I’ve taken this moment to reflect on my choices in classes this quarter. I am a MAOM program student, which means that I have taken primarily MGMT classes since I have begun. This quarter I chose a different path, since I have completed all the required classes for my program. I have enjoyed the classes and the students I took them with, but I felt it was time for a change. One of the truest things I’ve learned as a student here is that true growth and change is sparked by discomfort. I chose classes outside of my program in order to have some new experiences with different students. So this quarter I took a 1 unit MGMT class and 6 units of Psychology classes as electives, in addition to finishing the Capstone Project in my program…..but I’ll write about that another time.

The result was that it was truly refreshing to have classes with students outside of my program. After having the same classmates for almost two years, it’s nice hear some new view points and their personal experiences. On the other hand, the downside was that I was a fish out water in those classes. While they were taken as electives, those classes seemed to be preparing their students for clinical and therapeutic roles and positions. So, while I craved something different….it was not quite what I expected. At the end of the day, I am happy with my choices because every experience is valuable. So, I recommend that anyone that is ready to take electives in their program should keep an open mind. Perhaps, you too may need a change of pace.

A Hurricane to save the day

While many of us students are busy with classes and papers, I hope that you have not overlooked an important intersection of events recently. The two events I an speaking of are the election campaigns and hurricane Sandy. While these two events do not seem related, I assure you they are. In the news and online, many are comparing our current president’s response to Hurricane Sandy to George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina. This comparison of response is extremely important as we near election day. The current consensus is that President Obama has preformed extremely better than George Bush. While Bush is not up for election, he still represents the republicans in this comparison. President Obama has preformed so well that even the Governor Christie of New Jersey (a republican and one of his toughest critics) has applauded his response to hurricane Sandy. With such a close Presidential election on the horizon, this natural disaster has shed a new light on it for those that may be on the fence post between democratic and republican votes.

All Aboard! Onboarding and the Future of Organizational Socialization

 

    Worried about productivity? Fear company turnover?  You might want to consider onboarding, a form of organizational socialization that introduces new employees to the culture of a workplace. Through activities like meetings, get-togethers and lectures, onboarding provides new employees with a stable foundation to build their careers on. This has a tendency to increase productivity and fuel positive relationships between employees and their companies.

    Onboarding is enthused by many different factors, but divided into three primary ones: new employee characteristics, new employee behaviors and organizational efforts. This helps companies string together individual strengths that are compatible with organizational mores. Many companies use different socialization tactics that either nurture or challenge the employee, a good example of this would be the 1986 Jones’ Model, which builds on another model that identifies six sections that organizations can take to introduce socialization to a company. The Jones’ Model narrows those six dimensions into two categories that focus on institutional socialization and individual socialization. The institutional method focuses more on onboarding from within whereas the socialization model leaves the new employee to navigate on their own.

    While the results of onboarding are mostly positive, there have been doubts. One concern is that of “hand-holding” that could possibly distract an employee from their responsibilities. Onboarding is not for every company, as many adhere to more rigid ways of building productivity in new employees. But for the most part, onboarding has proven successful, and as with the rest of life, with the right amount of support, anyone can go above and beyond.

Reflection on Immunity to Change

Desire and motivation aren’t enough to see change through.  Therefore, it is best to first understand what you seek to change and then determine your desire to fully commit to implementing it.  I understand that change does not happen overnight, it requires serious dedication.  Yet and still, in my experience, I know it is easy to fall off track and lose sight of the goal.  At times I am consciously aware of what I need to do yet I lack motivation to continue to implement the change I started to pursue.  My actions become inconsistent and/or I psyche myself out.  Eventfully, though, I realize I do not have to begin my transformation in a drastic manner, I can revamp my approach and start with baby steps—Kaizen.

This particularly correlates with how I feel about the mannerisms I am trying to change.  For the most part, I consider myself to be a well-rounded individual who understands we all encompass unique differences.  However, in knowing myself, I accept that I am not and will never be perfect.  Thus, I am continually working towards becoming a better person.  I admit that I need to be a better listener, have better control of my emotions, and even become a better delegator.  Conversely, my “one big thing” is control issues.

I was already aware of my areas of weakness, nevertheless, Kegan and Lahey helped put the significance of my weaknesses into a perspective I had never considered.  I was content simply knowing that there were a few things I needed to work on.  I did not want to think about every aspect of my faults—it makes me feel uneasy.  It truly is a slap in the face once you realize you are unconsciously blocking your own path to success.  With that being said, I appreciate the self discoveries that spawned from reading “Immunity to Change.”  Not only am I aware of my faults and consequences they may cause, now I am also aware that I have the ability to create a game plan by using an immunity map to overcome every obstacle blocking my path to success.

Did you know?

Are you aware that the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Board of Education plans to vote on a decision that would eliminate funding for adult education programs in the district? According to The Huffington Post article posted on February 13th, 2012, “The Los Angeles Unified School District board is set to vote Tuesday – 2/14/12 – to cut the $200 million currently earmarked for adult education in order to reduce the district’s $557 million deficit.”

Fortunately, the decision was postponed due to a court-ordered delay. 

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So, what does the end of adult education programs mean? For teenagers who are met with unfortunate circumstances, such as teen pregnancies, gangs, and drugs, and are not able to finish high school, they rely on adult education programs to obtain their GED and to get them on the right track again. For the district to cut adult education programs altogether to help alleviate the district’s $557 million deficit at the expense of continuing education for the less fortunate is what I deem unfair.

I am constantly hearing people complain that there are so many unqualified applicants for open job positions in this time of high unemployment. The unemployed people that I know cannot attain jobs mainly because they do not have the necessary skills to compete with the people who have degrees from higher education. If adult education programs are eliminated, where will their students go now? Is it really just to simply say “tough shit?” I think not!

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not — The Business of Valentine’s Day

Nothing like a little Valentine’s Day lovin’

Last night, I made a quick run to my local Pavillions supermarket. It was about 10 p.m. when I pulled into the unusually full parking lot. As soon as I walked into the store, I was bombarded with gigantic balloons proclaiming “I LOVE YOU!!”, tons of bouquets of red roses, an insane amount of heart shaped boxed chocolate, and a plethora of pink and red glitter cards that made my eyes hurt. There must have been about fifteen devoted boyfriends and/or husbands gathered around all the possible gifts, frantically trying to make a decision.

After picking up my much-needed strawberry flavored Dreyer’s popsicles (they are positively divine),  while driving home listening to love songs on the radio (all the radio stations were playing the exact same thing), I couldn’t help but ponder the idea of Valentine’s Day — A “holiday” that many Americans, including myself, consider to be ridiculous, and yet, we can’t seem to not celebrate it and society continues to buy into the madness of it all. 

Later that night, my curiosity peaked, so I did some research on the internet and found some interesting Valentine’s Day business statistics. It’s no wonder that February 14 is almost as important as Christmas to most retailers (and people in general, in my opinion).

Ÿ  On average, men spend $163 on gifts. Women only spend an average of $85

Ÿ  63% of couples polled around the U.S. plan on celebrating V-Day this year.

Ÿ  The most romantic age group are the 18 to 24 year olds. They tend to spend the most money (Who said young people never have any money!!??).

Ÿ  Flowers, candy, jewelry, and a lovely evening out (in this order) are the most popular gifts given by men.

Ÿ  February 14 is the most lucrative day of the year for 1-800 Flowers. Their sales volume spikes to nearly ten times more than that of a typical day.

Ÿ  According to Hallmark, Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-giving “holiday”. Christmas is the first.

Ÿ  On average, 28,000 U.S. couples become engaged on Valentine’s day. This means roughly 28,000 diamonds are sold just before February 14.

Yup, pretty incredible if you ask me. And we’re supposed to be in a down economy?? Hmmm…to celebrate or not to celebrate?

 

Corporations – They’re only flesh and blood for heaven’s sakes!

If you’ve been keeping pace with Occupy lately you may know about the campaign going on right now for a 28th Amendment making corporations, well, corporations and not people. Sounds obvious, right? Not according to our current laws. As things are now, Exxon could sit down and have a latte with you.

The Occupy movement, in an attempt to involve and educate people, have set up a website at http://movetoamend.org/amendment where you can help choose the name of the proposed Amendment as well as read about it’s meaning.

It’s kind of funny that corporations are now able to pass themselves as people. Does the 2010 Supreme Court decision become their official birth date? The notion conjures all sorts of sci-fi images of buildings with anthropological features: Este Lauder with high cheekbones, Edison with spectacles, News Corp sitting in a jail cell. And when they fail do they get tombstones? When they are bought out is it into slavery?

What do you think about protest?

Cal –Berkeley students stormed their library recently. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/19878447

Finding Your Key Players and Other “Billionaire Pleasures”

by Reinel Campa, MAOM Student + Video Producer

In the video below, an amazing East Coast indie she-musician goddess, Joan Wasser, talks about her creative process. Joan as Police Woman (as she calls herself) is an inspiration, a muse, a mentor. Her cool style and relaxed demeanor are interesting and familiar. In the video she describes how she directs her musical project to a certain point and then lets the ‘experts’ she trusts be themselves with it. She doesn’t even let her musicians hear her work beforehand. She’s not controlling them, she is trusting them.

I see the way I work represented in her style. As a video producer, I always accepted that I wasn’t strong in all areas and tried to work with others to my advantage. I still want that — to be able to do just one thing strongly and work collaboratively with others. I like when no one feels controlled; we all trust one another.

This reminds me of one actual experience: the making of “Billionaire Pleasures.” We thought this 24-hour film contest at work was intended to help certain individuals get along, but it turned into a revelation. We actually worked well together when we wanted to! (AND MADE AWESOME VIDEOS!)

Our team won that day. Credit is due to the hilarious and daring script by Scott Chema, but ultimately, I think our team won because we trusted each other and collaborated.

  • With that team, I took risks: I did a ‘sexy’ scene with Scott, even though I was hesitant. Actually, everyone took a risk by sharing roles. For each scene, one person would act, one person would shoot, and one person direct, and then we would switch. It could’ve gone terribly wrong, but… it didn’t. Not at all.
  • I trusted my gut: After our first meeting, we had a lot to do, so I assigned tasks to everyone. An hour later, we had props, locations, cast assignments, and a typed-out script, scene by scene. From then on, anything anyone suggested was a good enough option for me!
  • And I was myself: I was suddenly empowered by my team to think about the stuff I was good at and cared about because they were there to pick up the slack. I was being creative.

I think finding these ‘key players’ in your life is an essential goal. We look for these people in our personal lives, our work lives… the better you are at it, I think the more success, happiness, and well being you will have.

In the last couple of years I have been working on creating that dynamic with my family because, well, family stays family. Now that it’s time to find a career, identifying my key players for work is a must. Because if I can recreate the feeling that “Billionaire Pleasures” gave me, I will feel that I have made it “there.”


Guest Blogger Reinel Campa is a student in the M.A. in Organizational Management program at Antioch University Los Angeles. For the last five years she has produced video content for live music performances, behind the scenes coverage, red carpet premieres, and original show concepts. You can read more of Reinel’s work on her blog, Night and Rei.

The Power of Super Connectors: Use “Bridging” to Build Networks

by Pat Palleschi, Ph.D.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told to network to find a job — but, as my colleague Rob Cain has often told me, there is a way to network that doesn’t use “number of people I link to” as a metric.

There are certain people who bridge ties to new people that you don’t usually have within your sphere. The people who bridge ties are “super connectors” — they power up your networking and bring you better results with less drudgery.

So, as you network (face-to-face or using social networking sites), be aware of the key people who can “bridge” you to groups you usually don’t access. They can bridge you from a network of teachers to a network of scientists, for instance. That bridge may help you consult a group of scientists or train them on management. It can enable you to re-invent what you have been doing into a new language.

Turns out, social media is much like the networking of five years ago, because it follows the rule of “it is who you know” that gets you to where you want to be. As Rob Cross, an associate professor of management in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, says:

“Age-old wisdom suggests it is not what but whom you know that matters. Over decades this truism has been supported by a great deal of research on networks. Work since the 1970s shows that people who maintain certain kinds of networks do better: They are promoted more rapidly than their peers, make more money, are more likely to find a job if they lose their own, and are more likely to be considered high performers.”

The power of “super connectors” is immense. The problem with networking with the people you already know is that (in all likelihood) you share the same mindset. How can you grow without gaining new information, new perspectives and new points of view?


Pat Palleschi is the President of The Executive Agency. She has devoted the past 25 years to creating HR strategies that help organizations and individuals succeed. As VP of Human Resources Development at Disneyland, she helmed the Disney University, where she and her team made it their mission to attract, develop and retain Disney Cast members who were “pumped to perform.” Before Disney, Pat served as Senior VP of Training for Bank of America. She earned her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts and chaired the Speech Communication Department at Loyola Marymount