Saturday, 8 August 2009

Blogging for Management Academics and Practitioners

I participated in an excellent professional development workshop at the Academy of Management's Annual Conference yesterday on 'Blogging for Management Scholars' run by CV Harquail of Authentic Organizations and colleagues. This day long workshop focused on the reasons to blog, how to read blogs, how to participate and, for beginners and experienced users alike, how construct a blog using Wordpress, probably the best platform for this social medium. Though it was aimed at academics, I would say that it applied equally well to reflective management practitioners and consultants who are interested in blogging.
A blog has been created - InsightstoAction- which contains all of the information to get started and a really useful list of academic blogs created by management and organizational scholars, some of whom I met yesterday for the first time. There were some particularly useful sessions, tips and illuminating discussions on not only 'how to' blog but, just as important, why to blog and how to engage with your intended audience. I learned that my blog posts were among the longest, which is rarely a recipe for any form of communications, let alone one that is noted for brevity. In part these long blogs are written for my benefit, so there was a lesson for me in being a little more focused on who I'm writing for. So no more 2500 word posts.
One session that helped me think more reflectively about my own blog was a free writing exercise intended to help author construct the 'About Me' page, one of the most important features on all blogs since it helps convince readers that you are worth listening to and engaging with. This exercise was based on writing to a series of prompts and ran along the following lines:

  1. If your blog were a room, what kind of room would it be? A lecture room, seminar room, kitchen, etc' - describe the room, the furniture, the layout, decor etc.
  2. In that room, what do you want to talk about or discuss and why do you want to talk about it?
  3. What role do you see yourself mainly playing in that room? Director/ expert, conceiver of new ideas, translator of ideas, coach, collaborator? Which words describe your role? And which are most appropriate for what you are trying to do with your blog?
So many thanks to CV Harquail, Jordi Comas and colleagues for an excellent session and I can thoroughly recommend InsightsToActions to anyone interested in management blogs and blogging


Sandy said...

Graeme, thank you for your participation in the workshop. It was a pleasure to meet you.

I also enjoyed Lilli Powell's guided visualization exercise for us. My room ended up with a view of the Pacific, probably from Asilomar, near Monterey and the Naval Postgraduate School. Many colleagues came to the retreat, and we walked in the sand and talked on the porches as we watched the waves and the sunset.

I'd love to hear how you (re/en)visioned your blogging room... if you'd like to share.

Graeme's HR Blog said...

Nothing so grand Sandy. Mine is a room in my house, but it is beautifully situated overlooking rolling hills and a two mile wide river in Scotland.

Sandy Piderit said...

Graeme, it sounds like your home has a great view. Perhaps that's where you actually compose your blog posts... I wish that was true of what I envisioned for my blog! I can't see anything more than the tree where my daughter swings on her swing.

Relaxing, but in a different way.

I'm enjoying reading your more recent posts about sessions at Academy.

Graeme's HR Blog said...

Many thanks Sandy. Had a bit of time in airports, hotels etc to do the blogs. Not normally as productive as this. There is a short video of where I live on my blog under what web 2.0 does for me if you are interested. A long way from Chicago.

Anonymous said...

have changed my "About" page as per your page. tried to link to the individual post but can't!

i'm thinking

1. seminar room but comfy armchairs, coffee table and unending supply of coffee.

2. we want to talk about clinical leadership in its broadest terms because it is important to ALL of us in the room. we want to share ideas and see what a good way forward for us all might be.

3. there will be sharing of ideas but i'm supposed to lead off/facilitate the session. the idea is that i start the discussion off with some facts and thoughts and move that towards a discussion.

once we have reached a natural pause, we'll probably move on to the pub and just chat about life and stuff.

wanna come?