From all of us at CEGE Connection, we send out warm wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day.
We hope you celebrate it by doing all the things you love.
From all of us at CEGE Connection, we send out warm wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day.
We hope you celebrate it by doing all the things you love.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne, we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne”.
Robert Burns, (January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796)
Robbie Burns message “Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?” remains ever relevant in a world where friendships have taken on a global perspective. His words, traveling across the centuries, are a call to action. On this Robbie Burns Day 2019, let us celebrate and remember the importance of friendship and camaraderie.
We have entered 2019, a fresh new year of opportunities and challenges that will engage our time, resources and imaginations. Whatever project, work or activity we undertake, there is a hope, an expectation of success. But how do we define “success” and experience an authentic sense of accomplishment that enlivens and vitalizes our spirits.
In the weeks leading up to the end of 2018, CEGE Connection reached out to Dr. Rick Nason for his thoughts on the pursuit of success in 2019. We are pleased to present the first post in a series by Dr. Rick Nason that will discuss the theme of success within our dynamic, ever-changing global world. We invite you to join the conversation.
Dr. Rick Nason:
Success is having the strive to get better. If you still have the strive to get better, then you are a success. In business (and in life), perfection is not real. Perfection is nothing more than a concept. No one is perfect, and no one achieves perfection. No organization is perfect, and no organization achieves perfection. However, that does not mean that perfection is not worthy of our efforts. (In the same way, success is nothing more than a concept that no one, or no organization ever really achieves, but a concept that is very much worth striving for regardless.)
It is important to note that striving to get better does not always mean that you will be getting better continually. Striving to get better means that you will need to take risks – some of which may not pay off. Striving to get better involves detours, and doubts and set-backs. Striving to get better is not a linear (much less an exponential) upward path. Striving to get better comes with no guarantees – either explicit or implicit.
Success is enjoying the strive (even though it is not always enjoyable). Success is embracing the strive (although often the strive is ugly and unlikable). Success is getting high on the endorphins that striving provides (although striving just as often produces headaches and heartaches and the most dreaded esteem aches). Success is realizing the value of the strive to become your best self is success personified in you, your thoughts, and your actions.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
January 1, 2019 marks the beginning of a New Year that holds the realization of fresh challenges and opportunities, celebrations and milestones. Whether or not you entertain making New Year’s resolutions, there is a reflective moment that accompanies the transition from one year to another. It is a milestone that allows us to examine the passage of time and look forward to what comes next. Whatever that may be, our efforts and energies are focused on adding to the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience. In so doing, we are active participants in creating positive outcomes, now and for future generations.
As we bid farewell to the Year 2018, the words of T.S. Eliot remind us that with endings there are beginnings that await our voice, our contribution. Welcome to 2019 and the many conversations that are waiting for us in the coming months.
We invite you to join the discussion.
Editor & Blog Coordinator
Season’s Greetings! Wishing you the joy of family, the warmth of friends and the gifts of laughter, peace, and love.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
“I devoted my final capstone project towards facilitating communication across the various, remotely-located, offices in which I dealt with on a regular basis. It is gratifying to know that many of the findings contained in my capstone presentation continue to greatly benefit the organization.”
Sarah Horrocks, MIM Class of 2011
In a recent virtual interview, Sarah joined CEGE Connection in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the MIM program.
I was one of the first recipients of the MIM degree from Dalhousie. Being part of the inaugural cohort of students meant being grouped together for every course, which led to many lasting friendships that continue to this day. The MIM program opened a new way of thinking about how to organize documents and materials for the preservation and continuity of business knowledge and information assets.
While I was studying for the degree, I was also working in two different office environments. I found that every aspect of what I was learning was immediately applicable to my work in both of those positions. I developed a deeper understanding of some of the legal underpinnings of information management and privacy legislation and was able to correct several policies that had fallen into non-compliance. I created a document retention/disposition policy and instituted file naming conventions for ease of document retrieval that exist to this day. I devoted my final capstone project towards facilitating communication across the various, remotely-located, offices in which I dealt with on a regular basis. It is gratifying to know that many of the findings contained in my capstone presentation continue to greatly benefit the organization.
Thanks to the flexible MIM blended online model, I was able to complete my degree, despite facing many time constraints. It was not unusual for me to be doing homework during my kids’ football games, paddling practices, even during my son’s bagpipe lessons (THAT was a challenge!). The faculty were extremely helpful in devising options for working around the occasional life events that caused interruptions in studies, such as skyping in to intensives or offering independent studies. Having the course material available online meant you were able to access it at your convenience from any location. The moderated online discussions ensured you were able to exchange your ideas with colleagues and faculty to better understand the material. The “in person” intensive sessions were a two-day whirlwind of knowledge exchange, presentations, papers and most importantly, networking. We worked incredibly hard. Even so, being together as a group made the experience extremely rewarding.
I would (and often do) encourage others to explore this program because there is so much to learn that is interesting and immediately applicable to any organization. In fact, my husband, a career army man, received his MIM degree in 2017. The variety of specialized electives available allow the degree to be tailored to fit a variety of interests. I am continually excited to uncover where my MIM knowledge can next be applied. This fall, after 13 years with the same organization, I am dusting off my CV and embarking on a job search, with my MIM designation at the top of my list of qualifications. I am ever eager to put my hard-earned degree to good use!
“Within two years of graduating, I successfully advanced my career and became the director of the government-wide program rolling out the standard document and records management solution known as GCdocs. It is my dream job, and I honestly don’t think I would have achieved this goal without the Master of Information Management (MIM) degree.”
Jennifer Woods MIM Class of 2011, Director, GCDOCS EPMO
The Centre for Executive and Graduate Education is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Master of Information Management (MIM) program. The first of its kind in Canada, MIM builds on an individual’s existing knowledge and experience to develop the skills and best practices in critical information, risk and change management that respond to our ever-changing dynamic work environment.
The MIM is a part-time program delivered primarily online, complemented by onsite intensives. Award-winning teachers, who possess a broad experience in e-learning, research and consulting, create an environment that fosters meaningful learning. The long-term success and strength of the MIM program is found in the collaborative approach that is formed within the cohorts over the duration of the MIM journey.
CEGE Connection reached out to the first cohort of the MIM program for their thoughts on how the MIM program influenced their lives.
Dr. Sandra Toze introduced me to Jennifer Woods at the 2018 ARMA Conference held in Vancouver this past spring. Over lunch, Jennifer highlighted how technology is transforming the way information is managed for the betterment of society. Today, she looks back on how the MIM degree provided a pathway to greater career opportunities.
I was very fortunate to be part of the first cohort of the Dalhousie Master of Information Management (MIM) program, and I loved it!
At the time, I was a manager in the federal government, and I believed my career would benefit from furthering my education. The mid-career professionals’ approach to the curriculum was brilliant. It not only helped me apply my learning to solve practical issues at the office, and made the learning more meaningful and interesting, but it also provided a great reason for my employer to invest in my tuition.
Within two years of graduating, I successfully advanced my career and became the director of the government-wide program rolling out the standard document and records management solution known as GCdocs. It is my dream job, and I honestly don’t think I would have achieved this goal without the Master of Information Management (MIM).
One of the best things about the program is going to Halifax for the onsite intensives, doing things like boat tours, eating at the Split Crow and touring the Keith’s Brewery. It is such a great city, now one of my favorite places to visit. And I’m so thankful for the great relationships I gained with my cohorts, many of whom stay in touch ten years later.
Congratulations on the 10th Anniversary!
“We must develop and encourage that sense of belonging because it is a part of who we are in organizations. Belonging is essential for our identity as humans and, especially, as humans in organizations. Organizational managers and executives must create that sense of belonging in a good way, a positive way.”
Dr. James (Jim) R. Barker
As part of Dalhousie’s 200th Celebration, Dal has been running a series of public events called Belong Forums. These Forums bring us together to build a community that is facilitated and developed by intellectual thought and academic learning. What can we learn from our intellectual pursuits that help bring us together to create that sense of belonging? The Belong Forums are fundamental to Dalhousie’s 200th Celebration because these dialogues ask us to consider, as we enter Dalhousie’s third century: “What would it take to create a world where we all feel like we truly belong?” (quoted from Dal’s Belong Forum Website.) That quote, and these forums move us to ponder the importance of belonging and the implications belonging holds for our organizations and for us as managers.
Let’s start by restating the question in organizational terms: What it would take to create an organization where we all feel like we truly belong?
My thoughts on belonging reflect back to my last post, in particular why a sense of belonging is vital for our organizational well-being. In my last post, I discussed the three reasons why human beings form organizations:
That brings us back to belong.
Integrating our identity into an organization responds to our need to belong, to participate. One of the key points about complexity theory that I have studied and currently use in my classes, is that complexity theory operates on the assumption that human beings do want to participate. Now usually we say we want to participate because we want to contribute to the value that is created within the organization. But we also want to participate because we want to belong. And that sense of belonging, that sense of being a part of the organization is very important to us. We like to be an active member within organizational activities, social activities, associating with the organization’s brand by the wearing a t-shirt or displaying other bling given to us by the organization. Why is that important? Why do we tend to wear them? Because we have that sense of identity with the organization.
Okay, where does management fit into all this?
We have only a few attributes of management that we know with a clear certainty, that have held up as useful knowledge year after year. One of those resilient knowledge bits is that subordinates in our organizations only ask two things of their immediate manager:
1) They ask that manager be technically competent.
2) They ask that that manager treat them with dignity and respect.
There is a tremendous amount of research that coheres and co-relates around those two points. If a manager is technically competent and treats us with dignity and respect, we are generally satisfied with the circumstances of our employment.
Think about that for a moment – dignity and respect – what does that cultivate? What does it build? It builds that sense of belonging. It helps us to integrate our identity with the organization in a positive way. Why does it stand out so important? Why has it been so important, year after year, that idea of dignity and respect? Why do we feel this so intensively when it is missing in organizations? When we are not treated with dignity and respect? Because it threatens that key sense of belonging that we need to have in the organization.
A couple of other interesting things come out our reflections on belonging.
First off – there is a fascinating connection with this idea of belonging to some of the original work that was done in what is now called corporate social responsibility, particularly in sustainability, which predates corporate social responsibility. Looking back to the mid 2000s when the sustainability movement in organizations was beginning to emerge, a key element that we talked about then at the corporate level was the need to deal with stakeholders from the standpoint of empathy and solidarity. Empathy – trying to understand the organization so we could treat all stakeholders with dignity and respect. And solidarity – the sense that we were all in it together. That we belonged together in the organization. We are going to covenant together to create value within the organization in the spirit of mutual dignity and respect. There is that sense of belonging.
Daily news these days also gives us an interesting tie-back to the general understanding about the importance of participation. We now readily see articles on how our basic community organizations and governmental institutions recognize that participation is falling, and that people are becoming disillusioned. Why? When our participation declines, we lose sight of how to be civil, how to treat each other with dignity and respect. We forget how to belong. We must develop and encourage that sense of belonging because it is a part of who we are in organizations. Belonging is essential for our identity as humans and, especially, as humans in organizations. Organizational managers and executives must create that sense of belonging in a good way, a positive way.
So, what would it take to create an organization where we truly feel like we belong? I’ll wrap up by going to the words of David Kelly, past CEO of a company called IDEO – one the most celebrated product development companies, known for its innovation and forward-thinking aptitude. When you maneuver a computer “mouse” you are using something developed by David Kelly.
David Kelly said these words when he formed IDEO:
“I want to create a company where my friends work.”
Think about that! “I want to create a company where my friends work.”
When we are friends, although we might not agree all the time, we treat each other with dignity and respect. In an organization of “friends,” we have the confidence to participate at the highest level of engagement. We belong. This sense of belonging enables us to envision an organization in which we all work together to instill purpose, champion innovation and create positive value.
Dr. James R. (Jim) Barker is a globally recognized expert in complex organizational behavior, ethics, and strategy who holds specific expertise in leadership, safety, change management, and stakeholder engagement.
“Information is what we are all about. We are passionate about data management, information literacy, accessibility, preservation, connecting communities and many more current information topics. This blog is a reflection of that passion: Stories from our community of innovative information managers who are turning their knowledge into action, within Dalhousie and beyond.” INFORM
The Year 2018 celebrated #DAL200, the beginning of Dalhousie’s third century, a profound testament to the resilience of scholarship that has been passed down from generation to generation. The year 2019 heralds another Dalhousie milestone. The School of Information Management will commemorate its 50th anniversary. Our sister blog, INFORM, will be featuring the event in the coming months. We highly recommend a visit to this exciting virtual space.
CEGE Connection reached out to Kim Humes, INFORM’s Editor and Blog Coordinator, to share her thoughts on creating a virtual space that discusses cutting-edge research within the complex world of information management.
INFORM is a wonderful way to keep up-to-date about information management. Our blog articles are mostly about people in the School of Information (SIM) and what they are up to. We love to highlight the accomplishments of our students, faculty and alumni whenever possible. Feedback from our readership indicates that these articles attract the greatest interest. For example, a recent post highlighted a public lecture given by Anatoliy Gruzd & Philip Maia.
INFORM advertises upcoming events, such as the SIMAA Welcome Reception, and recaps past ones (both our events, and external events that may be of interest those in our community). We also advertise IM-related jobs or volunteer opportunities and share updates about our faculty research projects and awards. We may be a small school, but our faculty and alumni are remarkable. SIM’s stellar research and accomplishments are prolific, relative to our size, and are well-known within academic and business circles. INFORM blog is rarely at a loss for content!
My 5-year anniversary as Editor and Blog Coordinator for INFORM is only a few months away. I have enjoyed being involved in this exciting project that continues to respond to an ever-changing technological environment. Over the years, INFORM has transitioned from a biannual newsletter to a dynamic virtual space. Back issues of the newsletter are available on the School of Information Management website. Our blog was separate and entitled “SIMCast”. In August 2016, we renamed the blog “INFORM” and discontinued the newsletter in an effort to streamline our communications. The blog provides a more active way of sharing news in real-time, and provides readers with a more accessible, central place for news coming out of SIM.
SIM50 promises to be an outstanding celebration. We have many plans for SIM50! Most are still in flux, but the anniversary will run officially from September 2019 to August 2020 (as in the 2019-2020 academic year, which aligns with our usual timelines). We hope to hold a signature event here on campus in October 2019, to coincide with Dalhousie Homecoming, but there will be lots of other fun things happening throughout the year. In the meantime, we recommend people keep an eye on the SIM50 pages of the Blog and Website and the #SIM50 hashtag on Facebook/Twitter.
Stay tuned for more information, which will be sent via e-mail to those on our mailing list. If you would like to know more about SIM50 or add your name as a volunteer, we encourage you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your help in creating a memorable celebration.
If you are interested to find out more about the (MIM) degree, visit the website:
Call or email the Centre for Executive & Graduate Education (CEGE) to schedule a 30-45-minute phone/Skype appointment with either a recruiter or admissions advisor. If you are in the Halifax area, call or email to schedule an in-person appointment.
Phone: 902-494-6391 or 1-800-205-7510
As the Class of 2018 graduation approached, I had the opportunity to reflect on the MBA (FS) program, a three-year journey which offered rigorous challenges while achieving personal success. Throughout my MBA(FS) years, I met professors and classmates who left a lasting impression in my life and provided an endless amount of camaraderie as we travelled our journey together.
What sparked my interest to pursue the MBA (FS) degree was somewhat unconventional. As many colleagues, mentors, leaders, and friends have taken their path through the program, it was a family legacy that truly guided me to DAL. Seventeen years ago, my mother, Ann Etter, graduated from the MBA (FS) program. As a high school student at the time, we could be found doing our homework collectively at the dining room table. Her discipline in managing work, school, a home, and an emotional teenager seemed effortless. Looking back, I recognize the many challenges she faced in completing her MBA(FS). During those formative years, my identity was created, including my belief in life-long learning. I have a huge respect and appreciation for my mother’s mentorship. It is a privilege to be able to complete this program and walk in the footprints of such an accomplished woman.
Applying for a graduate program was intimidating, particularly since I had been out of school and in the workforce for over a decade. Studies were stimulating and difficult but worth every second. The MBA(FS) gave me the skill-sets to recognize opportunities and participate within a complex, evolving environment.
Since moving to Ontario, my journey is slightly different. I have started my own family. My wife’s enthusiastic encouragement was truly remarkable, especially given the amount of time and financial resources that were devoted to achieving my goal. I look forward to moving forward, as a family, to the next steps in life.
I am proud to have Dalhousie University as my alma mater. My heritage is the East Coast of Canada; there are many in my family who are graduates of Dalhousie. As for the future, I am excited to see what it brings. With no immediate plans, health and well-being are important.
As I collected my degree, the Chancellor of Dalhousie, The Honourable A. Anne McLellan asked a profound question: if health and well-being would be for me, or for the world? I responded with an unequivocal – BOTH. I believe that question will be a guiding thought as I move forward.
I will continue to dream big, read more, and always attempt to be a better derivative of myself. While the future is wide open, I can always look back, with gratitude, at the path I have travelled to help define my future.
John-David Etter, Class of 2018
CEGE Connection is delighted to advise that John-David Etter has graciously agreed to be a repeat contributor on CEGE Connection.