Monday, October 22, 2007

Groupthink Awareness in the Credit Union

I was glad to see, coming through one of my RSS feeds, a brief in Credit Union Magazine about avoiding groupthink. It's the 20-second tour of the problem, but it looks like it's giving some good information for prevention. It's actually a note telling about a report in Board Member, but I don't have access to Board Member to read the whole report.

Another good thing about the brief is that it mentions diversity as one of the ways to prevent groupthink. Groupthink is not only something you worry about when you've got your team but something you worry about when you're setting up your team.

Good work, Credit Union Magazine.

And have a good day.

Avoiding Groupthink is a Good Thing. Credit Union Magazine. 2007 Oct; 73(10):16.

No Autographs, Please

As of yesterday, I have reached a milestone on this blog.

Yes, according to Google Analytics, I have ten (10) official viewers of this blog.

I'd like to thank the little people. And the larger people, also. It's been a pleasure.

I promise, even with my new found celebrity, I won't change. Even if, someday, I reach as many as 12 people, I won't let my ego get the best of me.

Now, somebody fetch my slippers.

And have a good day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dunkin' Donuts Dangeresque

As a doughnut connoisseur, I feel it is my obligation to report the bad news about doughnuts as well as the good news. Well, here it is. Dunkin' Donuts [sic] has recalled 1 million glow sticks. The reason for this is the toys present a choking and/or strangulation hazard.

Other than fire flies, I've never considered glowing things to be safe or natural. Maybe it's because I grew up in the nuclear age. So, what struck me about the recall was when I found out the recall was because of something other than the glowing nature of the product. But, this is what happens when you import your doughnut products (and spelling) from China.

Next time you're in a doughnut shop, and the salesperson asks you if you'd like glowing or non-glowing, go for the non-glowing doughnuts.

And have a good day.

Colbert's run for President

Steven Colbert announced he is going to run for United States President ... of South Carolina. (Okay, that's a stretch. He's going to campaign only in South Carolina.)

He cannot be successful as President. Here's why. If you've seen his show, you know that he puts little blurbs on the side of the screen to emphasize and explain his talking points. If you've read his book, you know he adds blurbs in side margins and footnotes in the foot margin. How is he going to do that with his Saturday radio addresses? He can't; ergo, he can't succeed as President.

Which brings us to point 2. The conspiracy surrounding his book. He claims he didn't write it, but, instead, spoke into a tape recorder and someone else transcribed it into book form. But how did he get the side notes and footnotes? How do you dictate that? It's the moon landing of literature. He'll never get past that untruthiness of a skeleton in his closet to become President.

However, if I'm wrong and he becomes President, he will be unique. No, not the fact that he'd be a rare, as he stated, "white, male, middle-aged, Jesus-trumpeting alternative." No. While he'd be the 44th United States President, he'd be the very first United States Presiden (silent t). So he's got that going for him.

And have a good day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

If you eat only one meal today ...

I found out about a new item at Hardee's restaurants: the country breakfast burrito. It has half the suggested daily caloric intake and all of the fat. If you can't have your usual tub of lard for breakfast, head on over to Hardee's.

Here's what I like about this news item. I suddenly don't feel so guilty about my weakness for doughnuts.

So you have your burrito and I'll have my doughnut and we'll all be happy.

See you at the gym.

And have a good day.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Best Time for Collective Efficacy

My feed for groupthink brought me an interesting article on collective efficacy (CE)--"When confidence comes too soon: collective efficacy, conflict and group performance over time" by Jack A. Goncalo and Evan G. Polman. (Published in the Academy of Management Proceedings; 8/1/2007).

Goncalo and Polman define collective efficacy as "a group's shared belief that they can execute a task successfully." Collective efficacy is important, if it comes at the right time. (Hint: not at the beginning of the project.) If CE arrives too early, project success rates go down. If a group pays its dues and then achieves CE, the projects tend to be more successful.

At least, that's how I interpreted the article.

So, learn about your team's strengths and weaknesses, then build on that learning to know your project will succeed. And your project will be more likely to succeed. And read the article for yourself to get more than just a summary of the summary.

And have a good day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Moderate Modulation

Remember high school band? We had to learn a bunch of music terms and their definitions. Let's see if I can make Mr. Anderson proud:

Acoustics: the science of sound
Staccato: light and separated
Marcato: heavy and separated
embouchure: position of the mouth on the mouthpiece
syncopation: rhythm with the accent on the weak beat
modulation: to change key

Speaking of modulation, this blog is changing keys. I'm done with the library 2.0 bit and am now able to use this blog to speak my mind no matter what the 2.overlords think about it. In other words, if you have this blog in your RSS feed because of a 2.0 assignment, now might be a good time to unsubscribe. I call this fair warning.

Okay, if you have the stomach, read on.

Because of 2.0, I had subscribed to a search feed. The search in question: (groupthink or "group think"). One of the articles which came up was quite enlightening. It's Andrew McIntyre's review of the book What's Left? by Nick Cohen. McIntyre is from a think tank called the Institute of Public Affairs, which claims to be independent. By their thinking, I'm a moderate. I don't think any conservative would claim me as one of their own. So we can rule that out. However, this book review states the following characteristics about liberals:

  • uncompromising hatred of America
  • self-loathing
  • attracted to Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse-tung
  • sympathize with Kim Jung Il, Saddam Hussein
  • chronically dishonest
Chronically dishonest? That's an ironic criticism. And there's nothing like being lectured on American patriotism by an Australian political think tank. But that's beside the point. I love America. I'm not self-loathing. I'm not attracted to that one group and I don't sympathize with the other. Honest. Therefore, I am not liberal (by McIntyre's criteria). If I am not liberal and I am not conservative, what does that make me? Moderate, by my estimation. This is good because everyone these days seems to claim to be moderate, but no one has had the evidence to back it up. Until now. So, allow me to proclaim myself to be the very first bona fide moderate. [applause]

I still haven't figured out how group-think found its way into the article's sub-title. McIntyre never explains it, defines it, or mentions it. I'm glad it's there, though. For, because of it, I was able to find myself without having to backpack across Europe, as so many do. That's always nice.

So, if you ever need a moderate's opinion and/or viewpoint just ask. I'll be glad to share with you ... in limited portions.

And have a good day.

Works cited:

McIntyre, A. WHAT'S Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen [book review]. Institute of Public Affairs Review. 2007 Jul; 59(2):53.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Procrasti Nation


Since I started this blog about 11 weeks ago, I've been trying to find focus or an area for expertise in which to take this 2.0 utility and make a name for myself. Now, with our 2.0 learning experience nearing an end (at least, with directed learning), it's time to bring this blog to a focus-finding finale as well.

I've looked at doughnuts, creatiminating words, doughnuts, stealing my wife's blog idea, beefs, groupthink, sports announcer bloopers, WeSearch, doughnuts, Things What Go to Eleven, television demands, and Kumbaya. I've even looked at Ronnie Belliard, a baseball player. Oh, and doughnuts.

Clearly, after 11 weeks of delaying a decision, the choice is obvious. It can only be one thing. My area of expertise should be procrastination! It's not really a matter of becoming an expert. It appears as if I already am an expert in procrastination. I mean, for criminy's sakes, 11 weeks? So, join me as I explore the wonders and advances of procrastination. If you get around to it.


Oh, I was just looking into that. I'll let you know when I have something


Check with me next week. I may have some information at that time.

Thank you for letting me share with you my purpose-finding mission. It's been as enjoyable as doughnuts on this side. I hope it's been likewise on yours.

And have a good day!