Better than the blogs your mother used to make.

Four Lines in a Stanza



My Management Theory in Practice course (follow-up to ES) required me to write a Learning Log just as before. This time, bearing in mind the shear katana-filled joy with which I received the 45% for both previous assignments for this course, I didn't make it nearly as happy and Seuss-y as the previous one. While it might bring the global average quality of poetry down by a few points, the amount of straining it took to squeeze this one out puts me in mind of a week of double-cheese triple-stacks, and there's no way I'm letting myself have pushed through all that for nothing. Read it. Or don't.

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What have I learnt? It’s a tough one to tell
Who’s to say if I learnt what I learnt all that well?
Can I put in an essay, can I truly relate
What it’s taken you, David, three long months to narrate?

I shall try, but what good it will do me, who knows
For can one truly judge practical training from prose?
But I know what I know and I’ll set it to scan
And express it as much and as best as I can

An “organisation” is hard to define
It is one thing, but many, and all at one time
But three major labels allow us to see
Just what it is and just what it can be

There are companies built much akin to Machine
Running fluid and functional, constant and clean
But where steel is so durable, metal won’t bend
And a mechanized firm quickens only its end

There are Cultures of working, of set values and mind
Where success is a merging of like with their kind
But all cultures are different, and not all coincide
For a business works only if its cultures abide

Of each metaphor raised, at the forefront is Flux
Proving over each other, showing deep at its crux
That nothing is always, the structures will stir
And to grow you must change when the changes occur

Now we know how to view them, these company forms
But to manage is different, with a new set of norms
How to define them, and what is your term?
Are you Internal? External? Flexible? Firm?

Do you focus on Humans, on their conflict and chore?
Do you lend them a hand when their strength is no more?
Or couldn’t you care what they think that they felt
Just as long as the graft grows into a Result?

Are you Open and free, less “control”, more “create”
Building networks and contacts, pushing “new”, “innovate”?
Or is the box where you think? Can you not live without
Any Processes, systems and strictures about?

So where do you find yourself? Which is correct?
Not just one – every quadrant must interconnect
For, as companies shift with each facet of view
To be Masterful one must shift Management too

Now, to lead is to first be assured of your plan
Draw it up, map it out, trim it down to a man
For, as Patton commanded his troops on the line,
You’re the strongest in war when you’re strong in Design

Yet planning is nought when it’s down to but one
When the general knows all and the captains know none
Be Christ, an exemplar – cause all knowledge to flow
And each Student to emulate Teacher and grow

Now, orders and lessons are simple enough
But infusing a Vision is trickier stuff:
Mandela saw where we were; where we could be
And that Tension we felt helped us work ourselves free

Once again, we can’t choose to pursue but one role
For each is yet only a part of the whole
To Lead as the great we must marry the three
Merging fragments of each with the fragments of me

To lead is to listen, and listen as planned
For to be understood, we must first understand
What then, oh leader, when conflicts arise?
We listen, repeat, relate, internalize

Find a way to ensure every party succeeds
No one must lose, fuelling rage no one needs
Compromise even feels bitter within
The only success is a total Win/Win

What’s writ is my humble attempt to convey
– In as much as four lines in a stanza okay –
All the multiple facets to Manage, to Lead
To excel in the dance you must dance to succeed

So what do we learn when our marks do appear?
How effective we are? What we’ve learnt through the year?
I venture: these words – they can little relate
For to lead or be led, only actions have weight

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