Monday, January 26, 2009

Organizational Diagnosis RE: 1/19

Hello again,

I am writing to you this evening with regards to organizational diagnosis.

I will continue to ponder the ideals surrounding organizational culture and also the premise for this course. There are no readings for this week in the course and no class, however, I will reflect on the previous readings and try to look at what this is all about. I continue to think about organizational culture and how it plays a role in the establishment of processes and procedures of a org. Further the significance of it in the development of team and a common vision and goal of evolving to reach success whatever that maybe. Whether it is my past employment history of the public government agency, a small family run business, restaurants, or small businesses or huge government entities, I think looking back that the culture played a HUGE foundational base to the agencies direction. Whether it was low staff morale, a highly driven militaristic conglomerate, or a lacksidasical office, each one took its toll on me and also now looking back, I can see why ones fared well and others didn’t.

At the same time, I think respecting the individual and how they perceive the agency and their culture is another thing to consider. Some individuals may enjoy and thrive in a org culture that promotes autonomy, or teamwork or structure and a militaristic style compared to a fun-loving, supportive social style. Power…whether, authoritative, referent or expert is something to be considered as well. As I am pondering my reading and also this course, I believe the establishment of power styles is a thing to contend with as well.

Have a good evening. W~

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Task oriented vs. Process Oriented??? RE: 1/12

Hello to everyone again,

In reviewing the lecture for the class on 1/12, I am looking at two areas for this evening...task vs. process oriented people and also organizational culture...different, yes, but inner related in some fashion and not so much as well.

When I look at Organizational culture, I tend to read over the class readings and think about each one and put a organizaiton with which I have worked or are familir with to it. A name to a face of sorts, I guess you could call it. When I look at the importance of org. culture, I think of what Schein wrote..." "The bottom line for leaders is that if they do not become conscious of the cultures in which they are embedded, those cultures will manage them." When I think of this quote along with past and current experiences, I agree in a sense that no matter what changes the organizations I have been involved with want change, the culture plays a direcitonal part in its success, adaptaion, rejection and/or failure. Org. culture is more than just a set of social standards in an office setting, it is beliefs, values, multi-level buy-in or not and a common goal. Without leaders taking heed to this they are set up for failure in their goal whatever it may be.

Take for instance when I worked in a public service agency where we did not produce widgets or a product, but we "attempted" to ensure the safety of a common set of individual within our society. When a new director came on board after the preceeding one retired after 35+ years in the agency, the new director had her own set agenda, changes, polices and goals regardless to what the the org. culture to which she came into. As a result, turnover drastically increased, safety of our serviced population was compromised and the agency floundered to the point of outside intervention. Now looking back, if she had considered the status quo of years past, considered what had worked and what didn't, what was the climate (socially and professionally) and also attempted to mesh/amend her visions with what was going on with the org. climate, instead of walking in like a bull in a china shop, the agency may be in a different position today than it was 10 years ago. Identification, incorporation and potentially some preservation of the organizational culture is imperative.

Now when I look at task vs. process oriented people in an agency, they each are just as important as the other. I consider mylsef to be a hybrid of sorts, but as Patrick forced us to choose, I would say I am a process oriented person first in a professional setting. After hours and on some social/philanthropic situations, I tend to be more task as I have more tie into the goal/task at hand.

We as leaders need both task and process oriented people in our agencies. I am confident that an effective and through process is just as important and reaching a goal. Accountability (a scary word to many in the ed field) takes into consideration the process and not just the task. I am struggling to put this to explaniation, but it takes two to make the goal attainable. Whether it is groups who progress through process to end up at the goal/task or it is individuals in an agency playing thier part, the steps to change, implementation and reform take both. You can't put a car on the lot if it wasn't for the assembly line, right?

As we are talking in both Mondays and Wednesdays about Tacit and explicit knowledge, I will get back to you on that one.

Have a good evening,


The beginning of the Winter quarter and ED 401 RE: 1/5/09

Hello all,
I am here again to give it another go at blogging for our class.
I am intrigued by this course as I will actually get to review, design, construct and analyse an organization of my choice. Off hand I am looking at my current site for convenience, but would like to look elsewhere due to conflict on various levels from information collection, bias and personal relationships in the organization. Therefore, I am considering a close or co-district site either a large comprehensive school site or a fellow continuation site. Both have their pros and cons to which I am debating (access or lack thereof, size and ability of an OD to bring about potential change for my desired goal and time on my part to complete the project. IDK to say the least at this point in my blogging.
Although it has not been a secured choice for my OD plan, I considered at my school site when we talked about Tuckman's "Forming, Storming, Norming Performing and Adjourning. I compare it to that of when I first started and we began with the induction of a campus-wide CAHSEE elective prep course. Now looking back, I see how each of these steps...forming, storming...etc. took their course to where today, 3 years later we are at the performing, if not adjourning, step(s). To put a structured form to this situation along with others is interesting, if not including, by means of what we are experiencing is not situational, site specific or irregular aides me to see that as a leader these steps can be anticipated, if not prepared for when putting into place a new program or remodeling of a current policy/program in effort of reaching a higher level within our goal or establishing a new goal.
As I will be sitting in an all day in-service where we are going to breakdown our upcoming WASC report and our need to make sure it is all in line, I will keep in mind the steps that take place in a group setting, where it is observation, participation and decision making, I will keep tabs on who plays which part, who asks, who wants change, how change/modification is accepted/rejected and also whether we as a school are task oriented, self-motivating or only working for maintenance and/or just doing the task as it is required of us??? We shall see.