Friday, July 11, 2008

Yesterday was the last day of our Harvard course and as I reported I was feeling a little slow as a result of a large Margarita bucket. We had to sit in our small groups and had a three hour presentation from Bob Fogel on leading big cultural change.

He used a case from the US Navy from 200 years ago to explore why cultural change is difficult. We then did a case study exercise on the NYPD.

This exercise had huge potenytial as it broughht together all of the learnings from the course and could provide all of us with a workable plan on our return to our schools. As well, he was an entertaining and knowledgeable presenter.

However, once again we did not have enough time and having it on the last morning meant we were all tired and thinking of taxis, flights etc. This session needed a full day with all of us given an opportunity to develop a change management plan based on his model of congruence with the support of our facilitators and our colleagues.

Pamela then led us through the closing ceremony. We were given time to express our thoughts and for these to be received quietly by evertyone else. I thought I was at a funeral!!!! People spoke solemnly, reverently and almost depressingly giving pearls of wisdom about our learnings and the challenges in front of us.

I had to restrain myself from leaping to my feet, cracking a joke, telling everyone to lighten u8p and enjoy themselves!! I was too scared of Pamela, because the day before she publically admonished two of the presenters who had 'violated the value of respect' by using the word 'faggot' in describing what a child said to another. Apparently she received a complaint. A lot of these people are a bit uptight!

You can imagine how some of my comments may have gone down!

We received a nice photo, certificate and faacebook from Melissa, our facilitator. I gave her a copy of our YES Company Maori Recipe Book. Terry also gave a gift to his facilitator. Wasn't common practice we noticed.

We had lunch with Aussie John who had similar thoughts on the farewell. I also farewelled Dave from Cashmere College who is heading home from a Woolf Fisher and waved goodbye to Elizabeth from Rangitoto College.

Terry and I hunted out a Post Office to find out about sending stuff home, headed back to the DoubleTree, packed our postal boxes, did laundry and headed inti Harvard for a lasst feed.

We went to the Margarita bar (not for a Margarita!) where we had great fajitas for tea and a couple of cold beers before our final walk along the Charles River to the hotel.

This morning we taxied up the road and posted a box of course documents and T shirts home, checked out and taxied to South Station for our trip to New York.

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