Visionaries and Early Adaptors LO22534

Vana Prewitt (
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 12:53:29 -0400

Replying to LO22519 --

Harriet's story made me want to respond:

> 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.

> it is
> hard to find them an organizational "home" so they can be represented via
> division chairs, as are the other programs.

She describes something I have seen as businesses try to find
cross-functional and cross-divisional synergies through matrix management
and teams. The only solution I have ever seen work is a painful evolution
of having to get out of one's own perspective and into the perspective of
someone different. This only occurs when individuals are held accountable
for a collective decision-making process that MUST find win-win solutions.

I apologize for missing Greg's original question, since learning styles is
one of my specialties for adult education and organization development.
As I said in an earlier post today, I find learning styles extremely
helpful to consider when crafting information, education, and
organizational interventions.

Source: Kolb D, Rubin I, & Osland J (1995),Organizational Behaviour, an
experiential approach(6th ed), Prentice-Hall

I also find it helpful to consider the areas of multiple intelligences,
espcially emotional intelligence (Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence,
1995, New York: Bantam). Howard Gardner identifies seven intelligences or
styles of learning. They include: verbal/lingusistic,
logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, musical,
interpersonal, and intrapersonal. He has recently added an eighth
intelligence called "naturalist."

Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
(10th Anniversary Edition). NY: Basic Books, 1993.

Basic to the question of "how can I get my message heard and understood"
is the premise that what you deliver must have a ready recepticle. If the
individual is not primed to receive the message, it will bounce off their
mind the way a tennis ball bounces off the wall. Your aim is to prepare
the surface of their mind with a layer of Velcro, and then throw the
tennis ball at it. Do so, and you will see the message stick.

The trick to building the layer of Velcro is to start from the perspective
of your audience and speak to them where they are in their perspective.
Build up the layer of receptivity one bit at a time. As Greg says, some
people come already prepared with the Velcro, just waiting for the
message. Others come with no receptive structure at all, and you will
need to build it.

Hope this makes sense.

kind regards,

Vana Prewitt
Praxis Learning Systems
Chapel Hill, NC


Vana Prewitt <>

[Host's Note: In association with, these links... I particularly recommend Gardner's Frames of Mind.

Organizational Behavior : An Experiential Approach by David A. Kolb, Irwin M. Rubin (Contributor), Joyce S. Osland $62.85, Paperback

Frames of Mind : The Theory of Multiple Intelligences/Tenth Anniversary Edition by Howard Gardner


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