I have argued before that management scholarship doesn’t change very quickly. I have made the point that research articles that are decades old still offer a great deal of value. That was all well and good until I tried to find pre-reading in preparation for a strategic planning workshop that I would be facilitating. I came across a great article, one that was really relevant in shaping the thinking of my proposed audience, until I read it in more detail. And had to dismiss it as being too old. Understanding why that was true took some thinking.
I have a singular aversion to buzzwords. It is powerful, it is visceral and most of the time it exists on a hair trigger. There are certain words and terms that I avoid using except when absolutely necessary. Their use by others produces in me suspicion and mistrust. I have more-or-less acknowledged this reality for a long time, but I only recently took a moment to stop and ask myself why I react this way. It was an interesting reflection.
Once again, we approach the close of the year. 2021 has been a difficult and awkward year for many, myself included. Despite that, it has arguably been one of my best writing years yet. A lot of what I have written is personal. Much of it is heart-felt, if not heart-wrenching. Many of the messages and conclusions I arrive at are important for myself to pay attention to, let alone anyone else joining me on this journey. What follows is an exploration of your favourite writing of the year, as well as mine. In most things there is alignment, but there are a few outliers along the way as well.
Our notes and systems are how we make sense of the world, of ourselves and of our work. For the most part, my note-taking and information retrieval has lurched from project to project. My method of writing has focused on what I need to produce now. I have a method—or at least a notion of an approach—that works for me, despite largely being internal, abstract and fuzzy. Once I know what I am doing, I can usually get it done, and done well. Until then, precious little of value is likely to be produced. I’m coming to terms with the fact that regardless of my track record to date, this might not be the most efficient way of getting things done.
2020 wasn’t just an extraordinary year of events, politics and pandemics. It was an interesting year for writing, as well. Things started off slowly here. The reset that we all sought as a result of the pandemic, though, was its own reset for my writing. Join me as I explore the articles you enjoyed and valued most, as well as those that most inspired and engaged me.
2018 has been a mad and crazy year. Throughout, I’ve been able to get some writing done. Not as much as I intended or hoped for, but a surprising amount nonetheless. As the year comes to an end, I take the time to explore the writing that you most enjoyed, and offer some insights into where the articles came from and what they meant to me.