Archive for January, 2014

6 Strategies for Writing Via

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment

I am such a sucker for lifehacker posts. Sometimes the advice is good, sometimes it is great, other times it is “meh.”

In Six Strategies that Improved my Writing good advice is given. I would add one.

The add: use some kind of writing template. So much easier to organize thoughts. Writing is about communicating.

The list, like so much online is more or less useful and rather subjective, but somewhat irresistible. Damn you lifehacker.

Categories: Uncategorized

Master Yoda MBA: Customer Service

January 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Master Yoda MBA says:

“Give the customer service you wish to receive.”

Categories: Business "Yodaisms", Zen

MS Project: A Formative Reflection on Writing

January 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Currently, I am working on my MS project so I can finish degree (finally). The project consists of a course paper and a grant. The focus is a student non-profit consulting project. It is as it sounds, Training and Development students work with Marquette Co. non-profits to implement performance improvement technology. The goal for the students is to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in a real organizational setting with real resource limitations. The goal for the non-profit will be to use the performance intervention for capacity building and to better fulfill their mission.

In any event, I have enjoyed the writing. Surprisingly, I have not always enjoyed writing. “Formatively” reflecting on the project:

  • Writing is easier (much easier) when you know what you are trying to communicate. Preparing to write and communicate your ideas, etc is important. Prep work might almost equal the time it takes to write.
  • Leave good notation from where you left off. Nothing worse than wasting 5 or 10 minutes trying to get back to where you were.
  • Pick it up, touch it, read it, interact with the writing in someway everyday. Even if only for a few minutes.
  • Screw perfection, write to communicate a point.
  • Writing everyday helps. Even if it is just a quick blog post, commenting or LinkedIn group.
  • Be in the moment. When writing don’t think about work, bills, checking Facebook, etc.
  • Writing and communicating are skills, if we don’t use them, they begin to diminish.
  • Think about your ideas, points, etc, when you are away from the keyboard to find clarity.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread…

I am excited about completing the project, so I can focus on other things….writing.

January 16, 2014 Leave a comment

I am working on my MS project, which requires me in part to do a literature review.  Such a task requires the organization (relatively speaking) of many sources and the dreaded bibliography.

So far I have been using BibMe and it works good. I recommend it.  For my project and smaller ones like it, I think BibMe works great. If this were a larger project and required more organizing, I might look for something more powerful. Also, not sold, on the cutting and pasting away to transfer it over to my bibliography.

BibMe = recommend.

Categories: Uncategorized

Writing Template

January 15, 2014 Leave a comment

In order to help me produce more posts and I have designed a several templates, which allow for a different style posts.  Example below:



Introduction: Introduce article, provide, author name, link, political persuasion, bias, etc.

Summary: Provide a brief 1 to 2 paragraph synopsis of the article

So What? Or the Takeaway: What is it that you want your readers to take from the article. Why is it important? Why does the article matter?

I have constructed the template as table (tables are a great way to structure documents and forms).

 On the the left hand side,  I have what I call my “map.” I use the map to help me structure my thoughts and the article.  On the right side of the table is where I write my post using the left column as my guide. Then I simply paste over to WordPress and quickly format, preview, and post.
So far,  I have found it a helpful and efficient way to write.  My next step will be to integrate a more links and media to my writing. Ironically for this post, I did not use the template!

5 LinkedIn Bad Habits

January 13, 2014 Leave a comment

5 LinkedIn Bad Habits

I agree with 1 through 4. Soliciting recommendations seems kind of desperate and screams “hey write something nice about me.” I do try to write recommendations for those that I have worked with or taken classes with. 

Categories: Uncategorized

Eight Fold Path to Policy Enlightenment

I recently rediscovered A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis by Eugene Bardach.  The book was found among the many other books that had become displaced by Charlotte (4 year old that moves like an F5 tornado).

Thumbing through the book, I was reminded of the practical and structured way Bardach gives us to look at policy. The Eight-fold Path to policy enlightenment:

  1. Define the problem

  2. Assemble the evidence

  3. Construct the alternatives

  4. Select the criteria

  5. Project outcomes

  6. Confront the trade-offs

  7. Decide

  8. Tell the story

The Eight-fold Path can be applied to a variety of policy. In the appendix Bardach offers suggestions on application such as taxes, regulation, subsidies and grants, service provision, agency budget, private rights, structuring activity, and financing and contracting.

Personally speaking, I am currently working in affordable housing and low-income housing. We receive state and federal funding (multi-layered).

In my case,  Bardach’s framework is useful for:

  • Considering policy implementation changes for efficiencies-automation

  • Removal of application barriers from implementation and client perspectives

  • Effectiveness of enhanced housing-providing access to social services or other needed programs.

  • Constructing an argument for a service coordinator or family self-sufficiency program in all income based rental housing

The takeaway:

  • The Path offers a simple to follow system for policy analysis

  • Flexible can be combined used with a variety of qualitative or quantitative methods

  • Appeal to practitioners in a variety of areas (public, private, and non-profit)

I find Bardach’s Eight-fold Path understanding policy and policy implementation useful and practical. I am thinking it might require a more careful reading.