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Showing posts from August, 2018

Transcending Dichotomy and Championing Diversity

Dichotomies are employed a lot in my writing and planning efforts as a frame of reference or lens to analyze what I see going on around me. This is particularly true, of course, in the presence of forces or structures that contradict or otherwise differ greatly from one another. Even so, our understandings must go above and beyond dichotomies. So much more to observe and focus our energies also exist.

So, the middle ground between the poles in a dichotomy is where we often have the most complete understanding. As such, our preference should be diversity of opinion. To achieve that, we need to venture outside of the echo chambers that live on each side of any dichotomy. With that said, diversity shouldn’t stop there if we really want to transcend all the dichotomies in our lives.

Relatedly, one of my main priorities (if not my primary priority) is inclusivity. It's hard to really be inclusive if you're always focused on "us vs. them" instead of "both/and." I…

Balancing Collaboration & Autonomy with Effective Management Practices

Here's another dichotomy to ponder: collaborative & project-driven structures that encourage innovation versus authoritative & hierarchical structures that ensure we're reliably offering the services we've agreed to provide in the manner and time-frame we've agreed to do so with the populations we support.

If you've ever heard of the Enneagram test, my personality type is #9 (Peacemaker/Mediator), which makes a lot of sense if you know me. One of those reasons is because I'm always trying to avoid conflict & mediate when possible instead. The political theory of my former life as an academic also centered on the thought of Michel Foucault, particularly with regards to his teachings on Power-knowledge. So, it's not a big surprise that I'm not especially opposed to diffusing power-structures and power-dynamics through conflict resolution and decentralization.

With that being said, I'm starting to realize that the collaborative and non-hier…

Hammers & Silos

Let me start off by painting a pair of vignettes paradoxically in juxtaposition: In one, I’m standing behind an interior wall with a sledgehammer raised above my head ready to cause the barrier that’s been around for as long as anyone can remember to come crashing down all around us; in the other, I’m kneeling behind another interior wall, building it up slowly brick by brick. In both, I’m gleeful. This is my life right now.

I’m in this weird position because I’ve been taking steps inward in my personal life while spearheading a project that I call “digital desiloing” at work. Our Service Desk is comprised of two main teams who together do the work of many unified teams at other service desks. The silos inhabited by these teams have been around so long that I’m not sure anyone remembers why they got built up in the first place.

What I know for sure is that everyone who I collaborate with to manage the work accomplished by those teams is ready to desilo. As the recently transplanted ou…

Understanding Our Organizations & Ourselves through Dichotomies

I haven’t blogged much here lately, but a lot’s been changing in my life, both professionally & personally. Over the past few months, I’ve been adjusting to my new role featuring a return to service desk leadership and starting to channel my strategic planning energies toward that capacity. 
In short, I’ve been gradually losing altitude in terms of the ‘Bird’s Eye View’ while gaining an opportunity to utilize more of my full potential. Of course, I’m delighted in my new role, but it’s taking time & effort to shift my perspective as needed. In the meantime, I’ve been learning a lot about the culture of the team I supervise & the ways in which my talents & perspectives may fit.
As I’m settling into this new role, I’m thinking a lot about dichotomies that I keep noticing in the workplace. I normally focus more on ambiguity & middle ground than I do on dichotomy, but the juxtaposition is proving to be a helpful lens to characterize what I’m seeing unfold around me.
The…