My name is Carolyn White. I am a staff member and a student at Wright State University. I am currently pursing a degree in Organizational Leadership. I am not the traditional student. In fact nothing about me is traditional. I am always looking for ways to do things better. I often find myself looking for ways to change things so I don’t get bored.
I guess I've always liked change. When I was young and living at home, my parents would go out for work and come home to find all the furniture rearranged. Why, would someone do that? I just liked to change things up. For instance, I like to change where I sit in my local church. We have a large congregation and you don’t get the opportunity to meet everyone if you only sit in the same spot every time. When I go to church I make it a point to sit somewhere different. I get to meet new people and see the service from a different angle. Let’s just say we have interesting people at my church...
I am currently taking Dr. Wildermuth’s OL-302 course. This course is about adaptive leadership. We are learning that things are not always cut and dry. Sometimes there are no rules. Sometimes you have to change the furniture or sit somewhere different to make some progress.
I think the most important thing I have retained from the class so far is the recommendation to “Go to the Balcony." This is a metaphor Ronald Heifetz uses to explain that one should "take oneself off the dance floor" to get a different view of what is going on at the party. In my words it means taking myself mentally away from the situation. One should take a moment to be quiet during the conversation and look at what is really going on. Afterwards one may step back into the conversation and help bring others back into focus again.
In class we are also learning the difference between adaptive challenges and technical challenges. Adaptive challenges represent what is going on in the system that is throwing things off from the norm. Technical challenges involve something that can be fixed with some tweaking or re-direction.
In order to "bring it all together" we are working on a group project. Each group needs to have an adaptive challenge to present to the class. One team member gave us the basics of case. However, the group is facing an adaptive challenge of its own! As suggested by Dr. Wildermuth, three of the group members want to change the facts of the story to fit the presentation better. This requires a change in our thought processes from truth to fiction. The bad news is there is a gap in the system. The good news, we are working through it and making progress.
I think the class should be re named “Adaptive Learning” because I (Carolyn) have had to adapt my way of learning things from the way most instructors teach to Dr. Wildermuth’s way of teaching. I have decided her way is better. You learn way more then you could ever learn in a traditional setting. As I stated previously I am not the traditional student so why should my learning be traditional? I am really enjoying the class and look forward to adapting my ways!