Visionaries and Early Adaptors LO22519
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 00:52:43 EDT

Replying to LO22505 --

Let me share a similar situation. Maybe I will get some answers/help,
too. At my college, there are an increasing number of interdisciplinary
programs, such as computer animation (computer applications & art),
leadership (park management, counseling, & communications), women's
studies (social science, fine arts, language arts), ethnic studies, etc.
Currently, the college has 7 divisions, organized along very traditional
lines: fine arts, social science, language arts, business, etc. As an
instructional dean and one who was educated in a comparative,
interdisciplinary fashion, I welcome these new endeavors. HOWEVER, it is
hard to find them an organizational "home" so they can be represented via
division chairs, as are the other programs. One way of thinking about it
is to picture the vertical "stovepipe and silo arrangement" of our
traditional organizational structure (departments/divisions) and imagine
trying to organize along more horizontal lines, By default, I have become
dean of these programs that not only have fallen in the cracks, but in
fact, exist only because they found the cracks in the first place. It is
not the most workable of structures to have me oversee these programs
because I am not a division chair and do not represent these programs in
all the venues a division chair would. Thus, they are not fully
represented as they should be. My "vision" was to suggest an
interdisciplinary studies division (I know -- same in the box thinking for
an out-of-the-box concept, for us anyway). It seemed like the first step
toward giving these programs support and recognition. One division chair
"got it." The others most definitely did not get it, or rather they got
it and didn't like it because basically it meant dividing up the resource
pie by one more slice. That idea died a fairly quick death.

Still, the problem has not been solved and it is again on my to-do list
this year. I look at the 7 or 8 people I have to convince to consider
possibilities (if not my first idea, then something else) and I know that
they are steadfast in their advocacy for their own disciplines. At least
they have that in common. After that, each one is unique and has his/her
particular concerns that always tend to shape his/her thinking about any
given topic. And they all problem-solve very differently.

So, to Greg's question: "How might I need to present the same idea
differently to each unique individual (people of a different
behavioral/psychometric/learning styles)?"

I don't need an answer specific to my situation. I think if someone has
some insight into Greg's question, mine will get answered, too. Thanks
for any thoughts you might have.

P.S. Left to my own devices, it took me 4 months to do the Myers-Briggs
(I hated making choices.) Came out an E or I, NTP. And the counseling
dept. was betting it would be ENTJ. I've taken several leadership style
assessments, too, and finally decided that the really important thing is
to hire staff that are very, very good at the things I'm not.


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