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B830 – Making a Difference

January 24, 2011

I’m entering the final phase of an adventure in going back to learning. Having finished my BSc in 1997 and getting into work straight out of Uni, I hadn’t picked up books beyond the odd technical manual and some pulp fiction.

In Autumn 2008 I started an MBA course with The Open University which is coming to a conclusion this year hopefully.

As part of this conclusion I have to put together an Evidence Based initiative which demonstrates the application of my learning to the practice of management. In a nutshell that is it but of significance is that theory has to be critically assessed, applied and then discounted based on its pros and cons. Hopefully this will lead to an enhancement to the existing theory or even better a new theory!

So after proposing 3 EBIs, I’ve settled on one for a local religious NFP (Not for Profit organisation). I sit on the board for this organisation and when proposing we look at business strategy and ultimately communications and Technology strategy the board moved quickly to organise an initial meeting with a wider audience in early February. Now to prep for it…

On the merits of doing this at the OU, i think the biggest advantage is that being over an extended period of time, we are forced to cogitate and reflect on our learning a lot more. In fact a lot of the assignments are geared towards applying theory to our own organisations. I think this is a key difference to doing an MBA or any other Masters level course on a full-time basis. I think we all do it, but rarely do we actually think about ‘thinking’. Chris Argyris has done a lot of work on this and if you want a primer on reflective learning, find it here.

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