The two years that I spent on Sheffield Business School's MSc in Managing Change played an important part in shaping my thinking about how change happens in organizations. Most importantly, it strengthened my convictions about the crucial role that the dynamics of informal coalitions play in the whole process.
The course used Learning Sets as the primary tool to support the self-managed learning process. These monthly meetings were punctuated by a number of week-long residentials during which the whole community came together to benefit from a series of expert inputs and joint working sessions.
As a contribution to an end-of-programme revue, I penned the attached 'poem' based on "If" by- and with apologies to - Rudyard Kipling. It's not likely to make an anthology of the nation's best loved poetry but at least it captures some of the sense (and occasional nonsense!) of my self-managed learning experience.
Download If.pdf Note: The PDF file is a single page of A4, size 67kB.
A few notes on the poem (for the literati):
- The "Eric" immortalized in the opening lines was the course director responsible for administration - and budgets!
- The masters degree took place over two years, theoretically resulting in the award of a post-graduate certificate at the end of year one.
- The "absent-minded guru" shall remain nameless. Suffice it to say that he is an eminent professor who arrived two hours late for his session, having forgotten that he had committed to spend his Sunday in Kenilworth.
- The clapping referred to in verse two formed part of an evening session organized by one of the participants, as part of the wider community's social activities. It featured in a clutch of 'New Age' therapies, and remains a mystery to this day!