23 September 2011

Academic Stuff that Simply Make Me Smile

I received a request today from the student-run, course materials photocopy service at UC San Diego:
We would like permission to duplicate the following reading material for [a first-year course in culture and technology] with Professor G.in the Fall Quarter 2011.
TITLE:  What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?

We would like to print 100 copies and hope that if there is a permission fee for this use, it will be the lowest price possible since we pass along the cost to the students.

Here's how I responded to the request:
Thank you for writing. Most of my material (especially this article) is published under a Creative Commons license that allows for, among other things, educational use without seeking explicit permission.

However, since you've asked, let me assure you that you have my permission to reproduce the article for Prof. G's course without charge, and with only one condition: I would like you to pass along my appreciation to Prof. G for sharing my ideas and approach with his/her students, and to offer my best wishes for the success of the course experience for all involved.
Their response to that? "You drove a hard bargain!"

I LOVE doing stuff like this. Goes along with one of my learning mantras: "Together, we're all smarter!"

From Cargo-cult Management to Transformative Organizational Learning

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of participating on a panel for the newly inaugurated, Ontario Learning Network, sponsored by Service Canada University for training and development for Canada's federal civil service. As an adult educator, I was invited to share some of my thinking on organizational learning; in particular, I chose to offer my thoughts on transformative organizational learning:

Transformative Organizational Learning addresses the capital-B, “Big Questions” that concern themselves with what might be possible if we could imagine a future with few, if any, constraints; and how can we begin to take small steps today advancing towards that brilliantly imagined future. ... In a transformative organizational environment, contemporary leadership is not about leading in the conventional sense of assuming control and mustering others in working collectively towards a predetermined objective, that is, in the conventional way most modern managers understand “leadership.” ... Rather, contemporary leadership is about enabling a conducive environment where you can bring people together and engage them to create a shared experience from which an alternative future becomes possible... 

The article drawn from my short presentation is here. Download, read, share, enjoy, and most of all, think!