Wednesday, July 10, 2013

EDUCAUSE Learning Technology Leadership Institute

I recently participated in the EDUCAUSE Learning Technology Leadership Institute. EDUCAUSE is an organization for folks in IT in higher education, so of the 60 or so participants I was one of three librarians.

While the examples used to illustrate points were related to learning and information technologies, the Institute as a whole focused on leadership. It ran pretty much non-stop from Monday noon to Friday noon. During the day we attended lecture/workshops that ran between 30 minutes to 2 hours. In the evening we worked on a small group project (8-9 people). The group chose/developed a made up institution and scenario where your group was responsible for pitching the implementation of a new learning technology to university administration. I'd be happy to discuss the format further if you have questions just let me know.

Overall, I felt this was a great learning opportunity that provide both immediate takeaways and lessons that will require lots of reflection and practice in the coming months/years. Some immediate takeaways on effective presentations were:
  • It will be boring unless you take active steps to avoid causing boredom
  • You must do something emotionally relevant every 10 minutes or you will lose them
  • PowerPoint is not evil, it has cognitive style that you have to resist
  • Stop the bullets, lists are not interesting, we don’t pay attention to boring stuff
  • Present your ideas in visual ways (more compelling and will stay with them)
  • Slides and presentation should be complimentary, slides should be useless without you
  • Educate your voice: conversational, amount of relaxation, contributing to the effectiveness
It stipulates that everyone can and should take part in leadership. Instead of the traditional model where everyone falls behind one larger than life leader, leaderful practice teaches a new path to effective leadership where a successful leader builds a team of concurrent, collective, collaborative and compassionate leaders all working together towards a common goal. These tenets are known as the Four Cs:
  • First, the idea of concurrency stipulates that there can be more than one leader and that by willingly sharing power multiple leaders inspire teams to work together thus increasing organizational effectiveness.
  • Second, leaderful practice is also collective. Since an organization can have multiple leaders, no one person is solely responsible for mobilizing others and decision making. The work is shared and ultimately more is accomplished.
  • Third, collaborative leaders encourage open dialog where everyone feels they can contribute and is equally sensitive to the opinions of others. Strength in numbers occurs when everyone sees their role contributing to the co-creation of an organization.
  • Lastly, leaderful practice requires compassion. Compassionate leaders value every member of the team because of, not in spite of, their diverse backgrounds and levels of experience. All opinions are solicited and those that differ from the current thought process are encouraged
It was an intense and valuable week. Again, let me know if you would like to hear more. ~Carrie

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