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  1. Hi Bonnie,
    Your podcast has been a treasure chest, even for this teacher of 40+ years (or maybe I should save “especially for.” This week’s episode with David Snowden came along just as I am finishing up grades and loose ends for the spring semester.
    In my group/team communication class, I have replaced the traditional group project with a service project in which students must select a nonprofit organization that works for the common good, and then organize an event to support the organization. Because it is student driven, the schedule in the syllabus is loosely structured, as classroom time is largely dictated by the needs of the groups as they are working on the project. I introduce course content as needs arise in the process. It is open-ended and requires change of direction more than once during the semester.

    The model discussed by Snowden and his group gives me the perfect framework for making sense of the semester process in this class. Every time I teach this class, we hit a point during the semester when I think it’s about to go off a cliff, but in the end it works out. For a number of reasons, especially the student “buy-in”, it is a rewarding experience for the students and me.
    Although I introduce some of the best practices in the beginning, the Cynefin framework explains why they have limited effectiveness, especially once the groups get engaged in the process. Although some of the students see the class as chaotic at times, I think the complexity context perfectly fits. The behaviors and skills required for the leader in the complexity model fit what has worked with the class. I do a lot of monitoring of the group process, asking questions, and listening to concerns. Fortunately, I have a high tolerance of ambiguity!

    Thanks again for your podcast and show notes!

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