OCI: Week 4

"I'm going skiiing for ten days so... don't try to contact me unless it's about the snow"
-Darl Kolb
This weeks class took an interesting turn, with no readings and no specific class theme. Instead we all had to prepare to talk about our essay topic for the first assessment worth 30%: Explore and critically assess how and to what extent culture (local, national, global) and communication (technical and social) enable and constrain growth and innovation in New Zealand SMEs (2000 words). After working my way through a recent case book by Ian hunter I decided to pursue Navman as my SME of focus. The book contained a case by Darl and another management lecturer at Auckland Uni, Barbara Plester, that covered off the central themes of connectivity and culture that are required in the essay. The firm also offers a great opportunity to look at how a US company purchasing an NZ firm both constrains and enables growth and innovation. A story that rings true to my professional experience... but that's another story. Just when I thought we were about to get into some theory or learning, our seven hour class abruptly comes to an end. Darl gave us a quick sign of, dons his jacket and disappears off skiing in Wanaka. Apparently our email contact is also restricted to snow condition related questions which means we're on our own for a while in terms of the personal connectivity survey. It's amazing how it feels when suddenly you have 5 hours given to you that you weren't ready for. There is this sudden feeling of relief that you actually have spare time, quickly followed by the realisation of dread as you think about how much you really have to do and how sad busy your life must be for you to get excited by an extra 5 hours. We decided to spend some time in our groups and get a wicked brain storm going, I tried to go all GTD on them with a bit of natural planning: starting with outcomes, developing next actions etc.
Following this and given all the free time we had been endowed with; Duane, Ollie Alex and I decided too minimise the burden with some philosophical banter mixed with some high quality beer... Best. Class. Ever.