Steady as She Goes …

Published January 23, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

PAC logo gold ribbon

As the Interim Managing Director of CSN’s Performing Arts Center (PAC), creating and/or maintaining cohesive units with staff members is the key to achieving organizational goals. In other words, if a conflict or eventually a battle develops, as a leader, I must devise and implement effective strategic planning to work out short-term and eventually long-term solutions. In my book, The Mission of Corporate Strategic Behavior, my research work revealed that leaders who have self efficacy issues, can respond to conflict through layers of defense mechanisms which in turn, can trigger heightened levels of emotions. Strategies created from this mindset, I have found from my own experiences, yield results with the least effective outcomes (Berry, 2014). Therefore, establishing trust and harmonious working conditions with fellow staff members, is a key component to achieving organizational goals.

questioning

In his book, Knowledge for Action, Chris Argyris (1993) purports that mistakes can happen because of a mismatch between both the transmission and receipt of information. In addition, errors occur when a discrepancy exists between intentions and results (Argyris, 1993). Therefore, to achieve positive outcomes in this new position, I am looking to work diligently with other team members in order to create and nurture a culture that supports and values all staff members equally.

One of the first things I focused on was making sure that each staff member had the support and the tools required to maintain efficiency in their own areas of expertise. For example, rather than coming in with the mindset of a leader looking to set up a new regime with an intent to modernize or change old systems, I refrained from implementing these kinds of strategies until I can assess how current operational functions are being achieved with the procedures and policies that exist at the present time. In other words, rather than coming in and creating an upheaval by making changes, at this time, keeping the status quo to maintain efficiency, is a key priority.

Logo_ToBoldlyGo (1)

As the new kid on the block, I don’t want to step on any toes especially working with seasoned vets that have been in their current position for many years. The last thing I want at this time is to alienate the crew that is there to support me in this new endeavor or make their duties more difficult, add more stress, or add to their already busy schedules. Until an individual is placed permanently in the PAC Director position, I and the other staff members, are working diligently to maintain functioning operations. We are doing our best to raise awareness of the PAC and shine a light on the amazing people that run this facility and perform at this extraordinary Performing Arts Center which many say is one of “Las Vegas’ best kept secrets!”

So as the temporary leader of the PAC, together with the amazing crew known as the CSN PAC RATS (Performing Arts Center Really Amazing Technical Staff) we are united and committed to work in partnership to keep this organization running smoothly. Therefore, with a positive attitude, the staff members and I stand at the ready as we adjust our sails to maintain a steady course and continue on a trajectory for the “second star to the right … straight on ’til morning!

images

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, it’s a PAC RATS life for us!

up close

That’s it for this week me mateys, yo ho, yo ho! Until next time … keep a positive attitude and stay organized!

********

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. – Mahatma Gandhi

********

mission coming soon ad

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

References:

Argyris, C. (1993). Knowledge for action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Berry, M. A. (2014). The mission of corporate strategic behavior. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

A Time of Transition

Published January 21, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

CSN PAC with icons

Now that I am managing two significant leadership positions at CSN’s Performing Arts Center, I am so grateful for the training I received in the graduate program on organizational management to help with the development of strategies and systems to manage my time optimally. What I learned from the research I conducted during my studies, is that strategic management plays an important role in determining outcomes and devising tactics to achieve goals. In addition to my responsibilities as Publications Writer, I am also now tending to the day-to-day activities of maintaining operational functions as the Managing Director at the Performing Arts Center (PAC). This means scheduling staff and event productions; drawing and negotiating contracts for new vendors; ordering necessary products to maintain operations, making arrangements for repairs, and engaging in a variety of tasks to maintain a fully operational performing arts enterprise,in addition to finding time to create press releases, reach out to media and various departmental heads to discuss, produce, and schedule a variety of promotional and advertising campaigns to support upcoming events. Needless to say, time management and devising effective strategies are essential components to achieve positive outcomes in all aspects of the PAC’s business operations.

The Mission Cover Art

During my research work in grad school, some of which I compiled into accelerated learning e-books that are now available for sale at amazon.com and audible.com, I discovered that the learning process is a significant element in organizational management. To achieve successful outcomes, top performers in leadership positions will implement strategic planning to minimize obstacles by detecting, analyzing, and correcting errors to deal with them more readily, consistently, and effectively. In my e-book, the Mission of Corporate Strategic Behavior (soon available in audiobook format), I examine how capturing knowledge and using it effectively can be a highly successful strategy in achieving organizational goals (Berry, 2014). In other words I discovered that the most effective company leaders understand that actionable knowledge is an important component in running an organization efficiently. So now I that I find myself assigned in an important leadership position, I am looking at all of my research and training in organizational management to help me achieve successful outcomes at the PAC.

1463675_615753431793618_1647861134_n

Currently, I am in the forming and norming stages and am focused on collecting useful artifacts and important data to help me devise the most effective strategies to keep the PAC operating efficiently. As the Interim Managing Director, I am looking to maintain or set up different systems, so that staff members and I can continue to operate at full capacity, as well as help maintain a competitive edge in our marketplace by understanding it clearly, in addition to anticipating new trends and changes that may occur. Organizational management strategist Mary Coulter (2010) points out that when an organization has a weak presence in their industry, it makes it difficult to achieve positive outcomes (Coulter, 2010). Therefore, implementing strategies like situation analysis is imperative at this time to keep the PAC running smoothly.

Well that’s a wrap for this post. On Friday we will take a closer look at various issues that can lead to the breakdown of cohesive units and the role effective leadership plays in a time of transition, like the one I find myself in the middle of presently. Until then keep a positive attitude and stay organized! It’s full steam ahead!

********

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. – Lao Tzu

********

mission coming soon ad

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

Martin Luther King Day

Published January 19, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

martin-luther-king-jr

Happy Martin Luther King Day Everyone! Enjoy this holiday as we unite to honor Dr. King! We’ll be back on Wednesday with a new post! Until then … keep organized!

********

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

********

mission coming soon ad

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

Strategies for Social Learning

Published January 16, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

eso

Today’s post takes a closer look at effective strategies that have been used to encourage the social learning process. The first way to approach this issue is to acknowledge that learning does not occur in a vacuum. In other words, what each person takes away from any given learning experience, is shaped by many components, including that individual’s expectations, their attitude, prior knowledge and experiences, their learning style, aptitude, as well as their emotional state of being. Similarly, a variety of elements influence the extent which individuals in response will absorb, transfer, and apply that newly acquired knowledge. These include opportunities they had; positive or negative encouragement and reinforcement from their closest spheres of influence; and the level of achievements they experienced from early successes or failures.

Top performers use this information in the development of their clearly defined social learning strategies to help them achieve desired outcomes. Below are listed some of the tactics top leaders implement in their learning programs to support the social learning process:

  1. They make the learning experience a more strategic function, since the relationship to the mission of the group is clear.
  2. They increase the motivation to learn by providing individuals the answer to the what’s in it for me question.
  3. They increase the likelihood of investment by making the group’s value explicit.
  4. They call attention to the shared responsibility of learning where on-the-job results can only be obtained with support and reinforcement.

LearningSupport

In addition, the success of learning and development programs require that the learning process takes place from both the input and transference of the information in order to shape outcomes. The design of effective learning initiatives, in the meantime, must be developed with extensive comprehension of the entire learning process – not just what happens in the classroom, e-learning sessions, or simulated environments. In short, what occurs before and after the formal period of instruction is as important, if not more significant, than what happens during the training itself. Therefore, the development of effective social learning systems and programs needs to include in the design stages, all of these components to encompass and enhance the complete learning experience.

motivation

Motivation also plays a significant role in the social learning arena. Typically in a group setting, there are only a handful of individuals that take the initiative to engage in active participation to help achieve their goals, while the other portion of the group tend to engage in social loafing. Furthermore, prior experience, expected value personal relevance, emotional state, and learning style, also affect the learning process, so strategies to raise levels of enthusiasm should be used to provide opportunities that will help support the group. Tactics can include forms of group reinforcement, rewards for early successes, and special events for outstanding recognition. These are all examples of elements that help transform individuals who lack motivation towards shifting their behavior to get positive results.

#1 Leaders

The challenge is to deliver training in ways that bridge the learning process into action. This requires the following components:

  1. Collaboration: continuing peer-to-peer learning and sharing after the formal instruction is encouraged and facilitated.
  2. Coaching: learners are provided easy and efficient ways to engage their managers, subject matter experts, instructors, or other advisers during the transfer of the application process.
  3. Supervisor Support: managers are encouraged to provide coaching and are provided with relevant background materials and easy-to-use coaching guides to maximize their probability of success.
  4. Senior Management Support: senior management acknowledges the significance of managerial support by recognizing and rewarding  lower level managers who do a superior job in achieving their goals.

Monitor Handshake

In conclusion, the key to successful outcomes in social learning situations is providing leadership that encourages the development of an environment where: (a) openness can take form; (b) a climate exists that tolerates errors; and (c) an environment consists of individuals that display mutual respect. Perceptive, mindful leaders, who develop a deep appreciation and connection to personnel, recognize that most individuals are not even aware of their true capacity or what they are actually capable of achieving. When we become more conscious and self-aware, we can begin to recognize that we are all more than just human beings existing in an ever changing universe.

Well that wraps things up for this week. Until next time … stay organized and never stop learning!

********

“Training often gives people solutions to problems already solved. Collaboration addresses challenges no one has overcome before.”
― Marcia Conner, The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media

********

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

Shifts in Social Learning

Published January 14, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

learning environment

A fundamental shift occurred in how people work as a result of social learning. This is due to the development of new strategies with respect to how we have always worked, and innovative tools designed to accelerate and broaden individual, as well as organizational reach. Social learning is exactly what it sounds like – learning with and from others. This occurs naturally at conferences and in group settings, as well as between old friends at a café, just as easily as it does in a classroom setting. We can experience social learning for instance, merely by walking down the hall to direct a question at a colleague or when we post the same question to someone that will respond.

Explaining mortgage conditions

Social learning also provides people in every level of the organization, a way to reclaim their natural capacity to learn nonstop. It can help a physician navigate more safely; a sales person become more persuasive; and air traffic controllers keep up to date. At its most basic level, new social learning can occur when people become more informed, gaining a wider perspective, and able to make better decisions by engaging more closely with others. In short, social learning happens with and through other people, as a matter of participating in a group or community setting, not just by acquiring knowledge.

social media logos oil

Another way that social learning happens is by using social media tools and through extended access and conversations with various connections like workplaces, communities, and online for example. It also happens when we keep a conversation going on a social media outlets rich with comments, as well as through coaching and mentoring. It can even occur during a workout at the gym.

Supervisor-Training-tip-Be-firm-then-flexible

The fact is that most of what we learn, network and elsewhere, comes from engaging in groups where people co-create, collaborate, and share knowledge, fully participating in actively listening, driving and guiding the learning process through whatever topics to help with improvement. This kind of training often provides individuals solutions to challenges that have already been resolved and the collaboration process offers another way to address obstacles that no one has overcome before. In their book, The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning, Wick, et al. (2010), outline the following six principles as guides, to help develop the “breakthrough” learning process:

  1. Define outcomes
  2. Design the complete experience
  3. Deliver for application
  4. Drive learning transfer
  5. Deploy performance support
  6. Document results

These principles reveal a strategic importance to learning with organization, that can and should support the social learning process, and in turn, social learning provides another method of engaging education that can lead to improved performances with successful outcomes.

That’s it for now. Until next time … keep organized and never stop learning!

********

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato

********

business life ad Oc 2014

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s author page

References:

Wick, C., Pollock, R., & Jefferson, A. (2010). The six disciplines of breakthrough learning. San Franciso, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

For more information on social learning visit: http://marciaconner.com

Learning in a Social Environment

Published January 12, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

Winter Break Happy New Year Friday

Happy New Year Everyone! Thanks for sticking around! I hope you found some value from the posts I selected while I took a little time off over the winter break. In the meantime, the new year is getting off to a thrilling start! As the new Publications Writer for the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN), much of my time has been spent learning, absorbing and comprehending new information, processes, and systems, which I, then in turn, organize the data to maintain and/or develop new ways to achieve our goals with positive outcomes. Then, a little after a month of my stepping in to this position, (and just as I am getting a good feel of the new job, formulating strategies on how I want to evolve with it), the Director of the PAC (the supervisor that hired me) announced he was retiring! It was soon after that I discovered that until a new individual is placed in that position permanently, I would be stepping in to act as the PAC’s Interim Managing Director! Wow! Talk about accelerated learning! This is where a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management comes in handy, for sure! Therefore, to begin the new year and stay on course in a positive direction, as I continue to process all these rapid changes in my professional life, the focus of this week’s blogs will be centered on the learning experience in a social environment.

Ashford Diploma

Learning Theories

During my studies as a graduate student at Ashford University, the MBA professor in my Learning Organizations and Effectiveness Course, explained that social learning is an extension of operant conditioning (meaning that behavior is a function of consequences). This puts an emphasis on the environment in which learning takes place. In other words, the social learning process emphasizes that people can learn through observation and direct experience. He also purports that theorist Albert Bandura used this model to explain behavior like juvenile delinquency. Bandura’s theory, he stresses, postulates that young children learn aggressive responses by observing others. This social learning theory contends that the learning process occurs largely through modeling. In short, the model directly influences the learner. Therefore, it is the task of the model to transfer the necessary skill or knowledge onto the learning process.

CSN PAC HORN

Joining an academic community like CSN that continues to expand and evolve as a result of society’s social and technological changes at an accelerated rate, is very exciting. However, if not prepared, a new paradigm shift like this, can introduce pressure and challenges into the situation, based on each individual’s ability to apply discipline and control in the direction of their lives. In his book, Self-efficacy in Changing Societies, theorist Albert Bandura (1997) purports self-efficacy also plays an influential part in sculpting the parameters of human functionality and the intellectual development that helps shapes an individual’s beliefs, occupational development patterns, and even the quality of their health and well-being. In his own experiences with overcoming trial and error, Bandura discovered that there is an inherent ability for people to overcome hardship and stress by responding strategically to chance events in order to help build successful lives (Bandura, 1997).

self esteem

Individuals can guide their destiny with an optimistic view of efficacy. Bandura’s theories suggest this can help an individual deal with failure, frustration and conflicts that easily derail people who lack a strong sense of self-worth and value. His theories further contend that values, attitudes, and styles of behavior are shaped through the power of modeling and observing others (Boswell, 2007). This pattern can be observed in the corporate workplace from individuals that work closely together. I remember as an employee at Capitol Records for example, when I first joined the national corporate arena, the administrative staff of the upper management executives reflected a demeanor that mirrored their departmental leader. Executives who were reserved and intimidating, hired staff members that modeled a similar disposition. In the meantime, department heads that were friendly, more open, personable and outgoing, had staff members that modeled a more playful and welcoming persona. In short, the lower level staff members mirrored the behavior to reflect the energy patterns of the supervisors they worked for.

excited

Bandura’s (1991) research also contends there are many stages of moral reasoning. He cites that different types emerge from continuous stage sequences that can alter uniform thinking models (Bandura, 1991).  For instance, punishment based obedience can destroy self-worth and self-efficacy rendering an individual to a belief system whose values are based on negative reinforcement. This conditioning is transferred into the workplace as an individual with a timid personality that is disinclined to voice their opinions for fear of being reprimanded and ridiculed. One strategy to help overcome these tendencies is for the individual to identify and become cognizant of the triggers that activate feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. This can help the individual take action that can change their views and motivate them to incorporate positive outcomes. In conclusion, even though social learning is an extension of operant conditioning, individuals cognizant of the effects of negative input, can change patterns through analysis and by responding strategically.

********

Psychology cannot tell people how they ought to live their lives. It can however, provide them with the means for effecting personal and social change. 
― Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory

********

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s author page

 References:

Bandura, A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action. Handbook of moral behavior and development, 1, pp. 45-103. Hillsdale, NJ, USA: Standford University. Retrieved March 24, 2013, from http://exordio.qfb.umich.mx/archivos%20pdf%20de%20trabajo%20umsnh/aphilosofia/2007/NEUROPSICOLOGIA/BanSCTMoral.pdf

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy in changing societies. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press.

Boswell, R. (2007, December 6). Belief that people learn by watching earns psychologist top award in field. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: ProQuest. Retrieved March 25, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/241121957/fulltext/13D047E8E8B2A4592FA/1?accountid=32521

WINTER EDITION – Agents of Change (Part 2)

Published January 7, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

images

Awareness

Change agents work to shift public perceptions and are passionate about engaging public awareness. For example, with respect to the single parent situation we discussed in Monday’s post, one strategy change agents can implement is to secure resources that can be allocated to educate the public on the absentee parent issue to help stir passion and deep emotions in others about this crisis that has reached epidemic levels. To help achieve their goals, agents of change may seek further understanding and empathy by bringing to light important information from the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to help address the sobering fact that only one quarter of the single mothers population ever receive child support monies. That means that out of nearly sixteen million single mothers, only two million receive assistance (ACF, 2012). In other words, change agents will engage in pre-planning and strategy techniques to help rally sympathy to gather allegiance from an unaware public.

Agents of change also use to their advantage, the many political voices that have indicated a strong desire to track down absent fathers that have gone without fulfilling child-support obligations to their biological or adoptive children (OIG, n.d.). Change agents also actively seek ways to garner more support by revealing to the public the effects of an absentee parent on children, while emphasizing the economic ramifications of taking no action. This key component is used to rally individuals in joining to support the movement’s efforts. For instance, change agents will pursue persons of political influence in this atmosphere, to help renew interest in the realization that the social welfare programs are picking up the tab for abandoned children, contributing significantly to the increasing federal budget deficit. These kinds of strategies can create ideal conditions for attracting influential membership.

advocacy-alert-image1

Advocacy

Agents of change also work to revolutionize old systems. Their platform addresses sensitivities and comprehend that most deadbeat dads do not perceive themselves as fathers, let alone deadbeats, acknowledging that this is one possible reason they do not embrace fatherhood. They are also aware that there are others that feel no obligation to fulfill parental duties and in a state of emotional incompetence attempt to justify their irresponsible behavior by proposing foolish notions of being deceived into parenthood as a form of entrapment. Although this may be true in some cases, it is not cause or justification for the abandonment of parental duties or accountability to their offspring.

Another tactic that agents of change incorporate, is to conduct extensive research on current legislation to ascertain what established methods and systems are both effective and ineffective. For example, when an absentee father is delinquent or ceases to pay court ordered child support monies, the mother is forced to seek emergency methods and alternative solutions to cover expenses. Most mothers are dependent on child support funds and factor that amount into to their monthly budgets. When support is delinquent, or worse, ceases altogether, a mother goes into fight or flight survival mode. It is under these stressful and desperate conditions, the single parent must seek alternative means to compensate for the loss and therefore resort to government aid in the form of nutrition and/or medical assistance. In some extreme cases, they also must seek urgent aid to make their utility payments, request emergency cash, or even temporary housing.

In other words, when an irresponsible parent neglects payments or alternatively, submits support intermittently, payment is construed by the government’s human resource division as additional income in an off payment month which can also have a huge impact on how their benefits are allocated. These adjustments, in the meantime, are not made to help the parent receiving support during the months monies were withheld. In short, because the system is flawed, the parent depending on support suffers more, while the absentee parent faces no repercussions, nor are they subjected to penalties or fines. Stay tuned … on Friday, we will conclude our post on this topic. Until then … keep organized!

********

Things do not change; we change. – Henry David Thoreau

********

3 organizational management business skills publications nov 2014

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s author page

References

Administration for Children and Families. (2012, October 1). Office of child support enforcement preliminary report. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/fy2011-preliminary-report

Kaufman, G. (2012, December 21). This week in poverty: US single mothers – the worst off. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from The Nation.com: http://www.thenation.com/blog/171886/week-poverty-us-single-mothers-worst#

Legal Momentum. (2012). Single motherhood in the United States. Retrieved January 25, 2012, from: http://www.legalmomentum.org/our-work/women-and-poverty/resources–publications/single-mothers-snapshot.pdf

Office of the Inspector General. (n.d.). Child support enforcement.  Retrieved January 25, 2013, from: https://oig.hhs.gov/frau

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 679 other followers