About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Olympics, organizations, and the first day of class

I had my first day back at school today. What struck me as I walked about the campus was the diversity I saw. This is the first time I have really noticed the different people that make up the campus. Perhaps it comes from watching the Olympics.

I started thinking of the parallels between the Olympics and the first day of school. We start the semester with such hopes, but by the end, many are overwhelmed, elated, disappointed, and everyone is ready for the semester to end.\

Open Communication vs. Keeping a Lid on Communication

Speaking of the Olympics, there were many comments on the "openness" within China. Many complained that China did not allow the openness that many expected. However, this got me to thinking of the openness that western companies have. While our society advocates openness and discussion on paper, the fact is that many organizations (as was claimed by critics of China) make it very difficult for desenting voices to be heard.

How many times have you heard: "we have an open door policy" yet those who open the doors are asked to pass through outside (forced out of the company)? How many times has the messenger been killed? How often are desenters asked to show support for an idea so there is a "show of strength", disagreement being a sign of weakness?

We should be working on creating a more open workplace where a diversity of opinions can coexist. For this to happen, organizations need to open the reigns of control, start treating their workers with respect, create an environment in which workers feel a reciprocal sense of loyalty (they are loyal to the organization which is loyal to their employees), and have true interaction vertically as well as horizontally.

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