Happy New Year! It’s 2012 and once again, I have resolved to start blogging on a more regular basis again. I guess, I will start with what my motivation in my job is.
Consider this to be my “Jerry McGuire” memo (which is as close to a sports reference as I can get!) =)
One of the main driving factors as I conduct my daily job responsibilities is the fact that my five year old daughter will be attending college in 13 years.
Harrison College has an extremely generous benefit of allowing the children of its employees to attend Harrison College/TCA tuition free after the employee has served the college for one year. I want my daughter to choose to attend Harrison College/TCA NOT because of the tuition waiver availability, but because Harrison College/TCA shows and demonstrates that it will provide her with the cutting edge, innovative, interactive college educational experience that will assist her in achieving her career goals. I ask myself each day…am I doing things that will improve upon the overall experience and educational process not only for Abigail, but for all the other worldwide students that Harrison College serves and seeks to serve.
I continue to see Harrison College/TCA moving in that direction DAILY with all the different initiatives that are being pursued AND successfully implemented.
I think about this constantly as we ask others externally to embrace Harrison College’s programs and various endeavors either directly or through our various traditional and social marketing channels. We have an incredible amount of talented alumni employees as well as staff and faculty who have entrusted the education of their children to us. I have heard it said that “Harrison College/TCA has over 900 staff and faculty members” My question to anyone and everyone in the Harrison College/The Chefs Academy family is this………regardless of the current age of their children/stepchildren/no children etc.:
“Would you send and/or recommend that YOUR child attend Harrison College/The Chefs Academy if we offered a program that matched their career interests and needs?”
If not…WHY NOT…AND…what are YOU doing to work towards changing whatever is making you feel the way that you do? Personally this breaks it down to the simplest level for ME to understand and strive for. It’s something I can promote and ask myself at the very basic level. NOT that everyone has to send their children to Harrison College/TCA, only if it would be the best fit for their individual career goals, but at least for me looking at it through that lenses really makes a lot of sense and helps drive me. Who knows. It may make sense to others as well.
My first supervisor IBC/Harrison College…Rod Allee.. told me that if I had an idea about how to change something or improve a process, to make sure I wrote the idea down on “my list” and mention it and discuss it at every opportunity within the individual and group meetings that I had with others. He told me to be persistent and understand that it might not happen the next week, the next month, or even the next year, but that sooner or later…”someone”…will say….”Hey…why don’t we do this….” and then the idea, process and/or project is realized and implemented.
The focus point being was to rejoice in the fact that the idea, process, and/or project got implemented and brought positive change as opposed to who gets “the credit” for coming up with the idea. I am going on my tenth year of working for Harrison College and I have had quite a few things checked off my list within the last six years . I still have a pretty big list! =) I look forward to seeing more items from the list get checked off as I collaborate with others.
Thanks for listening to the random marbles rolling around in my head! =)
I don’t watch or really follow sports. ANY type of sports. I did not watch the Super Bowl (not even for the commercials) I did however sit glued to the TV set at around 10:25 p.m. on Sunday awaiting the special “after Super Bowl” episode of Glee. =) I am happy to attend any sort of live sports game and activity that has a social aspect to it, but don’t expect me to really be into or follow the game. My friends and work associates KNOW that I am not a sports guy and that often times sports analogies need to be explained to me.
As I have indicated in earlier posts, I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t have cable. I am currently doing a free trial of Netflix Streaming Only so that Abigail, Carrie and I can watch movies on “the Pad” and the Wii. Movies and selected TV shows are the only things that I watch. I read alot! I am reading more now that I did previously due to the Kindle, Nook, and other digital book apps on my IPAD. I am well versed on a plethra of issues and topics as they relate to higher education. I also have a decent knowledge base in regards to K-12 education. I spend at least two hours each day reading the news as it relates to my industry as well as regarding current events, politics, personal finance, and the economy. I have found that my knowledge of these items have made me more productive in my job, more productive in my relationships with my close family and friends, and more productive in life.
I am unable to talk to you or anyone else about Jay Cutler, Tommy Rees, Harrison Barnes, or any other talked about sports player or team regardless if the sport is baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, golf, squash, etc. I don’t know nor do I keep track of any of their statistics or championships. I just never developed an interest nor did I ever see where spending excessive amounts talking and obsessing about sports ever moved me closer to my personal goals or brought me closer to solving any of the world’s countless problems. I have read some VERY inspiring sports related leadership and business books. The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy and The Gold Standard: Building a World Class Team by Mike Krzyzewski and Jamie K. Spatola to name a couple off the top of my head.
I am only talking about me and my own personal preferences. If you enjoy all things sports, watching, doing, tracking and talking, then YAY for you! I am happy for you. I am glad you have found something that you can get into and gets you excited and motivated.
I would like to make the following requests…PLEASE:
#1. When arriving and attending a business/work related meeting. Please don’t spend more than 5 minutes recapping last night’s sporting event and/or player in the news. If you want to do a deep dive, then have a conversation about the topic at hand with those interested AFTER the meeting’s business and plan of action has been taken care of allowing those with no interest to move about their work day and allow you to discuss.
#2. Don’t bring sports to the conversation unless it truly relates to solving the problem or advancing the project being discussed. Don’t throw in unrelated “sports talk” garble as it may throw the discussion and brainstorming off track.
#3. Don’t discriminate or APPEAR TO DISCRIMINATE against others who show disdain for in depth sports discussions.
#4. Don’t APPEAR to value input from those who are “sports talkers” over those who are actually thinking about the business related issue or problem that you are trying to solve.
Thank you in advance for listening and considering my request!
As I continue to write about Innovation within Higher Education, I also plan to write about different innovative web sites and businesses I happen to come across through my online research and online networking.
Insider Perks is perhaps one of the most innovative and useful travel sites I have come across in a long time. The company is based near Cleveland, Ohio. The “See where you want to go before you go!” is my own created tag line for the site and why I think it is more innovative than most. It is a one stop travel and shopping site with lots of resources that allow you to book your travel and shop for travel related goodies. The thing that sets Insider Perks apart is that they provides REALLY high quality narrative videos of both domestic and international destinations. You can really get a sense of what a travel destination has to offer without leaving your office and/or living room. More importantly, before you spend your hard earned travel dollars based on text or photo based reviews you can immerse yourself in high quality video. This is the site that I will use for vacation planning..someday…when I am able to take a vacation again! =)
The first Harrison College Innovation Council meeting was conducted on the afternoon of Thursday October 21, 2010. Main goal of Innovation Council is to become a “harvester” of ideas from around the total Harrison College community of stakeholders.
One of the first things that I will remember for next time is to book the conference room meeting space at least 15 minutes in advance of the meeting start time so there is plenty of time to set up the AV and teleconference equipment. We have a wonderful new space work and meeting space at 500 N. Meridian, but private meeting space can still be a bit hard to come by if you don’t plan appropriately.
Future Meetings have been scheduled with a 15 minute advance window. Lesson Learned. =)
The Innovation Council and the specific subject mater expert innovation committees are comprised of a very diverse, cross functional section of individuals across Harrison College that will all be able to contribute greatly to the Innovation Council’s purpose and mission. The conversation and insight of those involved was very thought-provoking.
The 1st Take Away “To Do” item that is due next Friday is a Project Proposal for creation of an “Idea Tracker” that is mirrored after the Harrison College’s IS team’s Project Request System. The 2nd Take Away “To Do” item was to develop a much clearer SOP for the process that takes place from idea to concept to project proposal to project to implementation to review. This SOP will include the different potential “decision steps” and actions that will occur if and when an idea, concept, project proposal, and/or full-fledged project gets implemented or denied by the council. Both of these tasks will be vetted in more detail through collaboration with the Innovation Council membership.
We want to make sure that there is proper acknowledgement for the submission of the idea and concept as well as consistent note taking that could illustrate why or why not a particular idea may not have been chosen to be further developed. The great thing about this whole process is that all ideas are captured and categorized and can be referred to later and updated if necessary.
There will likely be numerous enhancements and tweaks to the structure in the future, but beginning the process is exciting!
I am happy to report that the Harrison College Online Team Building event held on Friday October 15, 2010 at Morty’s Comedy Joint in Indianapolis was well received and the participants appeared to have enjoyed themselves and left knowing some members of the team a bit better than they did before. Morty’s was an OUTSTANDING venue for this event, and my good friend Chris Bowers of Bowers Success Development was available to deliver a great team building exercise. I am now focusing on preparing for the 1st meeting of the Innovation Council on Thursday October 21, 2010.
One of the activities at our event at Morty’s involved the showing of a couple of innovative videos and then asking the members of the online team to submit on note cards and thoughts and ideas they might have in regards to improving Harrison College’s internal mantra of “changing lives one student at a time!” Several of the individuals signed their names to the cards and others did not. There were several great ideas submitted that I will certainly be added to the “idea que”. I plan on acknowledging those who took the time to submit ideas and will follow-up with them. Lots of great ideas from a moderately small group of people. One of the main goals of the Innovation Council is to “nurture” ideas. An idea becomes a concept. A concept becomes a project proposal. A project proposal becomes a project and a completed project is reviewed to see if it met the goals.
Harrison College has approximately 950 staff and faculty around the United States. What if we could harness the thoughts and ideas of the total Harrison College workforce? Harrison College has a current student population of 6000+ students. What if we could harness the thoughts and ideas of the Harrison College student body? Harrison College has 75,000+ graduates. What if we could harness the thoughts and ideas of the Harrison College alumni base? We need to construct an interaction idea submission form that would allow all of our stakeholders to submit their thoughts and ideas. The submission form would be online and feed into a searchable, filterable database that could be a feeder for more developed concepts.
What if we could offer incentives to submit ideas? Submitting an idea would make you eligible for a random drawing for a certain level of award. Taking that idea to concept form would make you eligible for a random drawing for a certain level of award (a bit bigger than the one received for submitting an idea) Taking that concept to project proposal form would make you eligible for a random drawing for a certain level of award (a bit bigger that the one received for submitting a concept). What if completed projects could be submitted and judged for a moderately large award on an annual basis? Would this sort of incentivizing increase participation in idea generation?
There is only one way to find out. Try it! =) I will let you know how it develops.