There is a ‘problematic situation’ running around in my head. It’s been there for a few weeks eating away at me – and getting me in a muddle. It is only in the last few days, that I realised that I have a ‘tool’ for that – systemic inquiry – a structured exploration of a situation considered problematical.
So what’s the issue?
When I received my mark for my TU812 project, I noticed that in the profile of marks my ‘weakest area’ – or the area that was less strong than everything else – was the marks allocated to ‘making recommendations’. It got me thinking and I realised that this is feedback that I have had throughout my OU studies – MBA, development management, and in systems. Not just in projects but also in tutor marked assignments. All of them end with some sort of ‘so what?’ or ‘what next?’ or ‘what are you going to do?’ or ‘what do you want the reader(s) to do?’ and mark profiles or tutor comments have invariably reflected this as an area of weakness. I think in the early days I put it down to running out of steam by the end of the assignment – and just shrugged it off. But the TU812 project mark has made me think differently – made me realise a pattern over time. I’d started to mull this over and think of it as an area for personal development. I even emailed my ‘CoP’ group of systemsy students and sought their comments. And then the other day, my manager was reviewing a briefing paper I had written and in his comments he said ‘the description and analysis is fine but then I am not sure what you think should happen next. It all gets a bit damp at the end’. I don’t think he really expected my reaction to be so emphatic – ‘oh no’ I exclaimed and dropped my head on the table. I came up giggling and explained my recent insight. We’ve agreed to focus on this personal development area together. Continue reading