One free introductory course to project management, a paid course in advanced agile project management, and a paid course in marketing training courses in your organization.
After a successful training at the 2019 Drupal GovCon, I had several emails asking if I could send the training slides and materials to the people who missed the session. It was then that it hit me. And I am surprised why I didn’t think of this before.
Especially after teaching online for four different universities and training other instructors in online teaching for over 15 years. I suppose what led to my hesitation was not finding the appropriate teaching platform.
However, I have recently found a good online teaching platform and am ready to release three courses based on my books, articles, and presentations. Look for the course launches in late August/early September.
Small Project Management – My gentle introduction to project management. This free course is great for those who want to get into project management but don’t know where to start. This course is based on a free guide that I authored in 2012. Since then, I have given this course to government offices and nonprofits.
Lean Scope Project Management – I created this project management method by combining design thinking with agile project management. This is an extreme project management to create novel products or services quickly and with heavy customer input.
I first designed this method in 2014 and continually update it as I continue to learn from managing projects. Participants will this course useful in helping execute on their world-changing ideas.
New Ways to Market Training – This training is based on my experiences in marketing training courses in organizations. It was surprising to me that there is very little guidance on how to market training courses to internal audiences. What is unique about my training course it deals with using the latest social media and workplace digital collaboration tools for marketing.
More details as we come closer to the course launch dates.
Recently, I have seen a lot of traffic on government email lists about customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX). There is a big push by the Office of Management and Budget concerning the citizen’s experience when dealing with government agencies. The Amazon shopping experience is the model for building government websites and providing citizen services.
When I started working in the federal government it was during the Reinventing Government movement lead by Vice-President Gore. The idea was create government services where “the plumbing was invisible” and services flowed automatically to citizens like they were shopping at a convenience store. Donald Kettl, a noted public administration, called this model, vending machine government.
The reinventing government was during the early days of the commercial Internet. Government websites were heavily influenced by how commercial websites were being built. Between 1993 and 2000, organizations were running millions of experiments to determine what made a site clickable and sticky (“keeping eyeballs on the site”). UX and CX grew up in this time.
For the last 19 years, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter learned how to make users click, buy, and interact on their respective platforms. Governments have taken note and, at the same time governments are trying to regulate abusive CX and UX, government webmasters are using CX and UX to encourage citizen participation.
My concern is that government websites and interactions with the public is much more different and profound. Amazon and the rest of the commercial Internet exist only to sell me things. I am only a customer to the commercial Internet companies.
Democratic governments and their citizens have a deeper relationship. Citizens rely on governments to establish and promote democracy. In turn, governments rely on citizens to maintain democracy. This is why I am calling for DemX – Democratic Experience.
DemX is an evolving field and its basic tenets have yet to be established. In future postings, I will outline a theory of DemX that incorporates the best elements of CX and UX with ways of promoting the democratic relationship between governments and their citizens.
The OODA Loop concept has been adopted in strategic business management and even political campaigning. The OODA Loop looks simple, but it has an underlying sophistication that makes it powerful.
In the first part, Observe, a person (or entity) takes stock of the immediate environment and stimulus. After observing the environment and stimulus, the person then orients their self so they can decide (third step) and take action (fourth step). An OODA Loop can be completed in seconds or take months, depending on the situation.
In my forthcoming book, I use the OODA Loop to help the job seeker understand the rapidly-evolving career environment and determine how to orient their self to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Effectively performing the first two steps will help the job seeker make good decisions and take powerful actions to thrive in the new world of work.
When I met my friend for lunch, I could
tell she was upset. She had started a new job over a year ago, and everything
was going well. Many happy emails about her great work projects and the way her
boss kept praising her work. Recently, the emails stopped. Then, a short email
asking if I could meet for lunch.
I told her my job was going well and
about the exciting projects I was working. She sighed and said that she had
worked on some great projects but, was suddenly taken off all the projects. She
was now relegated to tedious administrative tasks while her boss continually
criticized her about her performance. Her boss used to love my friend’s work
but, for the last six months, my friend couldn’t seem to do anything right.
I think I knew what was going on, but, I
wanted to check further. So, I asked my friend if:
1. She suddenly had limited access to
2. Her boss stopped praising her in
front of co-workers.
3. Her boss doesn’t respect her opinion anymore.
4. Any communications to higher-ups
needed to go through her boss.
5. She was told by her boss not to speak
at public events or people in other departments.
6. Her boss no longer talks about
7. Other managers seem to shun her.
My friend was amazed at how I knew all this
was happening. I couldn’t claim credit because I had read about these signs
from a 2017
Forbes article by Liz Ryan. Ms. Ryan wrote about how some bosses can become
“spooked by a too-competent or too-confident subordinate for almost any reason
— and once that happens, they will try to make your life miserable!”
Ms. Ryan explains that it takes little for
a boss to become jealous of a successful subordinate. Just one successful
presentation to senior management or success with a highly visible project is
enough to scare your immediate supervisor.
“What do I do?” asked my friend.
Unfortunately, Ms. Ryan advises a
stealth job search. Once your boss sees you as a threat, it will be impossible
to convince him or her you are not. Staying will only damage your morale and
your reputation for excellence.
While you are job searching, make sure
that you are doing your best at even the most menial tasks assigned to you. Also,
try to find objective evaluations of your work, such as customer reviews and
sympathetic co-workers that you trust. Another way of keeping your morale up is
to be active in professional associations and volunteer work. What you are trying to do
is minimize any impact your boss’s opinion will have on you and any
“So, what do I say when they asked me
why I left my previous job?”
Tell the truth; you wanted opportunities
to develop yourself. Emphasize the accomplishments from your previous job and how
these accomplishments encouraged to you grow your skills and abilities. Talk
about how you used your work with the professional organization and volunteer
groups to prepare you for your next move.
Above all: do not criticize your
former boss. True that your former boss mistreated you by being jealous,
but that is his or her problem and not yours. If you want to think about this
way, your old boss was paying you a compliment by being jealous. A strange
compliment but, think positive.
As I told my friend, it is not fair that being good at your job can lead to jealousy by
your boss. However, this may be a lucky break for you because you will most
likely find a better job. And a better boss who appreciates you and your
A PROPOSAL TO HELP EDUCATION IN RURAL POPULATION AREAS BY SOLVING THE ADJUNCT FACULTY CRISIS
Several of the Democratic Presidential candidates are
advocating some variation of free college. Either paying for the first year of
college or tuition-free attendance at the local community college, the idea is
to make college affordable for low-income families. Sounds like an effective
solution to helping rural populations gain the skills to compete in the coming
Fourth Industrial Age economy.
Free college is not the best answer. Opposing free college
may sound strange from someone with a Ph.D., three master’s degrees, and who
has taught college courses for nearly twenty years. But, it is my experiences
as both a college student and professor that led me to think of another
The Problems with the Free College Solution:
1. A traditional college education will take too much time –
A fulltime student will need at least two years to obtain an associate degree
and four years for a bachelor’s degree. There are part-time options, but that
will only extend the length of time needed for
the degree. Students – especially adult students – will need to sacrifice years
of prime earning opportunities until they are skilled for the workplace.
2. Students must leave their communities to attend college –
Community colleges are probably more available to low-income students than
state universities and colleges. For many rural areas, there are “education
deserts” in which students will need to commute to their classes.
There are online options, but this depends on the availability
of broadband. In many rural areas, the broadband Internet may not be available.
The lack of broadband Internet also exacerbates the education deserts problem.
3. Universities are not designed to train people for
workplace skills they need now – Community colleges and trade schools are the
best equipped to teach students technical skills. Universities and colleges
specialize in liberal arts education. A liberal arts education is valuable for
teaching critical thinking skills and preparing students for leading people and
organizations. However, a liberal arts education takes longer to acquire than most
Your typical college professor is rewarded by his or her research productivity. Tenured professors are rewarded for the number of research articles published, and research grants acquired. Teaching is not as valued and even discouraged if teaching interferes with the professor’s research output.
“To be a perennial adjunct professor is to hear the constant
tone of higher education’s death knell. The story is well known—the long hours,
the heavy workload, the insufficient pay—as academia relies on adjunct
professors, non-tenured faculty members, who are often paid pennies on the
dollar to do the same work required of their tenured colleagues.”
It was after reading this article and reflecting on my own
experiences as an adjunct faculty member I came up with the following proposal.
I am still working out the details, so what follows are broad sketches of my
The Community Learning Coaches (CLC) Proposal
1. Determine which rural communities need help in reskilling
the population for new jobs. The new skills can be how to run an additive manufacturing
business, a vertical farm, a renewable energy plant, or similar Industry
2. Create a training center with state-of-the-art
classrooms, satellite Internet broadband, and an Internet café. These centers
will be in targeted rural communities for easy access by the population.
3. From among the adjunct faculty population, hire “community
learning coaches” to live in the towns and run the training centers. The CLCs
will determine the educational needs of the local people, create courses,
deliver training, and coach students into self-learning experiences. The CLCs
will be given room and board along with a decent wage as they work to help the
local population increase their opportunities in the new economy.
4. The CLCs will be trained in the latest training techniques
to help the local students rapidly improve their knowledge, skills, and
abilities. The CLCs will be supported by a national network of educational
experts linked through online communities.
My proposal solves several problems at once — first, CLCs
help to prepare rural communities to thrive in the new Industry 4.0 economy.
Second, CLCs help to alleviate the issues that adjuncts face in the current university teaching situations. Third,
universities and colleges can continue to concentrate on their primary mission
of research. Diverting the money that would have paid expensive college tuitions
to build community training centers staffed by CLCs seems to be a better use of
federal tax funds.