Communication as an Action Plan

I was unfortunately only able to attend the closing ceremony/panel of the sustainability symposium, where the main topic of the conversation was: How do we keep the enthusiasm created in this symposium and carry it to the future?

I have participated and leaded several conferences when I was in high school and I understand how excited people are about action plans making an exhaustive list of what to do next within the last sessions, but almost all the times not even half of the things on that list is accomplished by the next years conference. Why is that? Because the enthusiasm of the people decay very quickly, and therefore they don’t start their action plans until right before the next conference, which is too late to accomplish any goal that was initially put on the list.

The main solution that was suggested by students and professors was: BETTER COMMUNICATION. From their point of view of the people participating in the panel, if the different schools that participated in the symposium somehow find a way of communication, kept in touch and informed each other about all the projects they are doing, then the enthusiasm wouldn’t be lost. A lot of people suggested different ideas about how to communicate, and one person was taking exhaustive notes again in order to implement this communication action plan.

Sustaining communication is also a big effort and needs enough enthusiasm for people to follow through with it. Creating communication is easy, we live in a very social world with tools such as social media, ability to conduct video conferences etc., but since as the enthusiasm decays, communication also decays, so the main question here is: how to we sustain the communication?

The Stereotype of the Businessman

The Field/Action Research session I attended was about the value of big data and how to ask the right questions in order to obtain data that is valuable, however during the session the way the one of the professors described and referred to the “businessman” particularly attracted my attention, so I wanted to write about that.

He mentioned that he was a part of the Board of Directors in PAF (Parker Autism Foundation) and as he was describing the structure of the Board of Directors he made sure to make a clear difference between two different groups. One group consisted of the moms,dads and teachers and the other group consisted of “businessman”. He elaborated on the term “businessman” by saying that they came into the Board of Directors meeting that was at 7:30 am, and pulled out all different financial statements in order to find a better way to evaluate what programs work to help the kids. He basically simplified a body of people that probably consisted of diverse people with diverse backgrounds into one greedy businessman.

This reminded me of Stout’s description of the stereotypical shareholder in everyone’s heads, who cares about nothing other than maximizing his/her financial benefits. She explains how shareholders are human too, they have jobs, they have families and they do the same thing as everyone else. So doesn’t this description of the businessman simply create more negative opinions towards the world of business? Isn’t it a way of enabling more stereotypes to enter in our lives? What do we have to do, in order to disable the proliferation of such opinions and to stay away from the idea that businessman are greedy pigs who care about nothing other than money?