Saturday, June 7, 2008

Resolve conflicts - a painful yet important leadership task

A recent letter that I decide to include in my blog

Dear all,

I am sorry that AAA is disappointed in me because there are difficulties with some members of the team. I believe we don’t have a problem in the team per se, we just have to communicate in the way that encourage everyone to share the same vision. When I ran a company, anyone who is not on board in time will be left on the side of the road, but this is a university. If we simply shed any faculty who has different opinion, not only we will soon have no one left in the team, even worse, student learning will suffer in an intangible yet significant way.

ITCD operates collectively. Over the year, we build a strong culture and practice, base on mutual trust, that are both effective and inclusive. I will work very hard to preserve it.

For the TTT project, I would encourage

- Set a clear ground rule of communication. Keep it open and constructive.

- The process and meetings should be open to anyone interested.

- Any faculty that does not share the vision does not have to be in the “team” but should not be excluded from meetings or training opportunities.

- TTT will focus on course redesign in order to make CCC more efficient for the university and more effective for students. However, teaching load, assignments, entitlement and academic freedom will not be affected as a result of the project.

I will consult both of you, M and K on my role in the project, since I am not the PI, I am enthusiastic in providing support and input, however, I don’t think I can make personnel decision.

With your talents and efforts, I have no doubt the project will deliver considerable outcomes, but if the project can further strengthen the collaborative culture and effective practice on campus, it will be a resounding success we all expect.

Eric

Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...