General update and further thoughts

General update:
I have a total of 28 weeks of class left before I (theoretically) graduate. How I do thesis research and coursework at the same time is a bit of a puzzle. I’m unrealistically proud of my 4.0 average, but prioritization may come into play during my last two classes and necessitate a B. Which is really counter to my uber-perfectionist-secretly-afraid-I’m-really-a-slacker personality. Hopefully I can pull it all off and also not drive David completely insane. Come December, I will have three, count them, three degrees to my name. Woo! Anyone know where I can get a business ethics related PhD? I keed, I keed. I think.

Further thoughts on the nature of leadership, ethics, and organizational culture:
Most organizations really don’t know what they’re doing. The things that the founders/leaders are comfortable with or uncomfortable with become conventions, and then they become unsurfaced cultural artifacts – rules of conduct that we generally pick up intuitively and then promptly forget. The problem is most people don’t give a lot of thought to the fact that when they form an organization they’re creating a mini-society in their own image. And all of our personalities are limited and flawed. So unless our founders and leaders are introspective enough to recognize this fact, some really strange, counterintuitive, and bizarre behaviors can become codified.

I recently finished what I hope proves to be my FINAL paper on my Former Place of Employment, and the most interesting thing I learned was how a really self-referential, self-reinforcing culture can blind people to physical, obvious truths. It’s not just about how the culture effects the way you see things, it’s about whether or not the cultural constraints allow you to see it at all. And in the case of my former place of work, the espoused (projected) internal culture was so strong, and so embedded, that as long as you can speak the jargon, wear the tee-shirt, and shake the super secret handshake, you can get away with pretty much anything. As you might imagine, this leaves room for some teensy little ethical problems. It means that crafty and unscrupulous people figure out how to work the system, and work it they do. Meanwhile the execs continue to comment on the openness and beauty that is their organization, even when evidence to the contrary has been formally presented to them by people they pay to do just that.

What is it in our makeup that allows us to put our faith in human systems that are by their nature flawed? Seriously. We’re human, we’re flawed. But we’re always holding out for that nirvana-like place where we no longer have to think critically, question, or suspend judgment either way. I’m highly inquisitive by nature, but I do it, too. What gives?

Anyway, those are my Deep Thoughts of the Day. Enjoy.


David and I have been re-doing several rooms in the house for the last few months. We hired my friend Robin to consult on colors and do a design plan for the living room, and we finally finished it yesterday. I took a few pictures – I’m a crap photographer, hopefully Robin will take some good ones and put them up on her website. In the meantime, here’s some eye candy for you.

In other news, I have a really crappy cough. The only thing that seems to be working for it is a homeopathic remedy I found online. Apple cider vinegar simmered with cayenne pepper and honey, diluted with a litte water. Tastes foul, but can render me cough free for an hour or two. I probably smell like a salad.

My new job is great. Tons to learn, I am not going to lack challenges in this position. School starts on Weds, and thus begins the ball-buster year that is 2007. Wish me luck.