Daily Bookmarks 07/11/2008

4 thoughts on “Daily Bookmarks 07/11/2008

  1. I have no doubt that the ethical gray area is just as large, if not larger, in successful corporations. In some respects, I think it’s easier to maintain personal and corporate integrity in a smaller business. The pressure isn’t as high as in a publicly traded company, or it’s at least a different pressure.

    I don’t think there’s easy answers here. For myself, I’ve chosen to walk away from a job where the ethical dilemmas were past the point I was comfortable addressing. I think we each have to make those choices as individuals. I found a job where I don’t face those ethical questions. One of my former coworkers chose to become a freelancer and is very picky about the jobs he chooses. He makes less money than he would if he took every possible contract, but it’s the right choice for him.

    Not every job, business, and organization is just about money. You may not ever find one that is perfect for you, but it doesn’t sound like you’ve found your right fit yet. I know it’s a bit cliche, but I actually did find What color is your parachute to be helpful in figuring out what really was important to me in a work environment. Maybe you need to re-examine your own values and see if you can find a work environment that better represents those values. I assure you, I don’t face the kind of questions you describe in my job; you don’t have to resign yourself to doing work that goes against your personal values.

    When I was at a previous job where I was miserable, someone asked me what working there was doing to my soul. I didn’t have an answer. That was when I knew I had to walk away.

    What is your current job doing to your soul?

  2. I am a corporate curriculum developer. In general, companies want customers to perceive their product as better than the competitors and to purchase more product — including support services. Many times, I have omitted important warnings that might have greatly improved a few customers experience with the product, but may have hurt overall product perception.

    In addition, I have been forced to omit considerable information due to curriculum distribution issues — instructors simply don’t have the background to address issues that would benefit the students.

    Lest you think that I’ve only worked for 3rd rate companies — my employers/clients have included almost exclusively Fortune 500 companies and my curriculum have been distributed in many countries.

    So where should the desires/needs of the attendee fall? And where should the desires/needs of the instructor fall? They are definitely not the same.

    Perhaps more important, where should the needs of society fall? This is even more important in the public sector — considering societal needs such as nonviolence, citizenship, decision making, and emotional maturity. My impression is that, just as in the corporate side, many important areas are left unaddressed due to what I perceive as a distorted value system.

    I am no expert, by my impression is that the public sector value system is distorted by a mindset similar to the one I experience on the corporate side. Somehow, future income has become the “value” of education.

  3. This set of quotes definitely has a more corporate tone; I’d assume that the intended audience for most of these was corporate. I don’t think all of these apply to academic environments, or at least won’t speak to people in those environments. I can see that Tom Kelly’s quote would speak to people who work in corporate e-learning, and I don’t see anything in appropriate with that.

    I don’t see the implication that the corporate perspective is superior to others though. That quote very clearly is talking about employee training, not schools; trying to generalize it to schools is a stretch. I don’t think it’s wrong to speak to a specific audience, which is what it sounds like you’re saying.

    The quotes that jumped out to me from this list aren’t the corporate specific ones though. “Moving from the one-room schoolhouse to the one-world schoolhouse is now a reality,” for example, even though it’s attributed to Cisco, isn’t a particularly corporate quote. The Charles Hardy quote is more general too: “The best learning happens in real life with real problems and real people and not in classrooms.”

  4. Thanks. Enjoyed reading the quotes.

    I can’t help but notice how many of the quotes have an implicit value system associated with Educational goals.

    My feeling is that, far too often, that value system is very “corporate”. (for example, see Tom Kelly’s quote about how we need to adopt a CEO’s perspective.)

    This would imply that a corporate perspective is somehow more sane than other perspectives — I’m just not convinced of any such truth.

    I’m more of a believer in balance. Balance the needs of the Corporation, the needs of the Attendee, the needs of the Educator, and the needs of society.

    Of course, this isn’t a popular perspective. But at least it allows room for me to be wrong without sacrificing everyone’s interests. Kind of a Faustian compromise.


Leave a Reply