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McGee's Musings



"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker



Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 02:19:16 +0000

 



Bridging the techie divide

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 02:19:16 +0000

I struggle with how to respond to smart people who preface their questions with “I’m not a techie…” In my smartass days—which I hope are largely behind me—I would have said something snide or rolled my eyes or possibly both. Since I’ve been married to one of these people for the last 34 years, suppressing … Continue reading Bridging the techie divide

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Building two bridges between technology and practice

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:32:48 +0000

I got hooked on the theater in high school. The gateway was a stint as props manager for a local community theater production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” At the same time, I was a science and math geek in class. I was immersed in the Two Cultures debate long before I even knew … Continue reading Building two bridges between technology and practice

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High velocity conversations and communications breakdowns

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:32:23 +0000

I was a smartass for the longest time. I’m an eldest child who was a rule follower and well suited to classrooms. Classrooms were arenas where victory went to the quick. The tortoise and the hare was not a fable about slow and steady wins the race; it was a cautionary tale to keep moving. … Continue reading High velocity conversations and communications breakdowns

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Culture is marked and shared in the middle

Sat, 10 Feb 2018 14:53:16 +0000

The photo is from Christmas 2011. Our younger son, Derek, had recently completed training as a U.S. Marine and naturally acquired his first tattoo. As a surprise, my wife and I also got tattoos and the big reveal came that Christmas morning. (His older brother vowed that he wouldn’t join us unless and until the … Continue reading Culture is marked and shared in the middle

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Leading from the middle by getting out of the way

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 17:23:21 +0000

I’ve been involved with my church’s annual Christmas Pageant for twenty two years. Early on, I helped our youth minister wrangle the hordes of young kids. We lost her to cancer twenty years ago and I was asked to step up and take on the whole show the following year. I now own the production … Continue reading Leading from the middle by getting out of the way

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Slowing down to navigate fuzzy boundaries

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 07:00:40 +0000

I’ve been thinking about the space between strategy and tactics for a long time. It seemed at one time to be a very sharp and well-defined boundary. Some folks worked on strategy, others executed a collection of tactics to make the strategy happen. Sharp boundaries make for simple academic disciplines, neat organizational boundaries, and simplistic … Continue reading Slowing down to navigate fuzzy boundaries

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Preparing to be bold in the moment

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 21:11:03 +0000

Avoiding risks can be a sneaky head game. I started McGee’s Musings as part of a class I had designed at the Kellogg School. The class routine created a rhythm for the blog that gradually led to maybe 1500 subscribers and a smidgen of internet visibility. But then I let it languish. I was in … Continue reading Preparing to be bold in the moment

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Reflections on reflection

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 22:07:09 +0000

When I was in high school, the most revelatory book I read was whatever I had just finished. Its insights were my insights and I shared them with whoever was in my vicinity. This annoyed my father for certain and likely most of my classmates, friends, and family. As I acquired a bit more life … Continue reading Reflections on reflection

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From systems building to systems thinking

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 05:15:42 +0000

I once believed in systems. I believe in systems now. It’s what happened in between that I want to look at. I started my career building information systems; after summer jobs as a programmers, I knew that I wanted to be a consultant. I didn’t understand what that meant, ignored wise advice about what I … Continue reading From systems building to systems thinking

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Exploring the messy middle

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 04:36:52 +0000

Why is the middle ground between strategy and tactics so difficult to travel? Over the next month I will be writing about and around that question. Trying to understand my successes and mistakes in this middle ground is the through line for much of my life. While I’ve chipped away at it, I haven’t done … Continue reading Exploring the messy middle

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