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MARKETING AND STORYTELLING ESSAYS

COPYRIGHT 1996 - 2008
4/6/08

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Division of Labor Creates Wealth for Who?


Another Life to Live

Many universities are now challenged to change their fundamental philosophy. What this means is that one linear philosophy was dominant and now another linear philosophy is challenging for that dominance. Each when they gain power takes steps to assure that they continue without challenge. This change in universities is as radical as when Christianity entered Ireland and challenged Celtic cosmology with a single truth. In the first meaning as absolute and must be understood by all in the exactly the same way. Secularism replaced by Christianity. There is no other point of view allowed. The second is monolinear and absolute or the balancing of power within a small number of competition philosophies. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Meaning is still linear but each competing group acts from a set of competing linear philosophies. The third form that is now rare is nonlinear or endless combining and recombining of available resources. This is the bardic tradition where society is driven by the poetic form. Each reads, hears, and sees the same things but the meaning is individualized. People are brought together by valuing the similar from there own meaning. We all like something but for different reasons. That is a beautiful sunset. All three groups are made up of people with varying degrees of commitment.

Universities that are dominated by the secular had no tolerance for Christianity will simply switch positions. When Christianity dominates they will take the same steps to destroy the secular. All remnants of the other must be destroyed. Universities have clamed to be monolinear or a combination of different points of view but I see no evidence to support this belief. The first and second forms of University organization are both absolutely intolerant of the nonlinear.

Can I Retire or Die Fast Enough

My university like many others has undergone a change of president and provost this fall. We are all confident and encouraged that this change will continue our linear rise to national prominence. The new president as part of his strategic planning process has hired a well recognized academic consulting firm to assess our current position and make recommendation for the future. He stated that he liked to move quickly and wanted the study to begin as soon as possible. We saw this as an indicator that are linear future looked bright and leadership was eager to get started with changes that would take us to new promised heights. The firm arrived and interviewed the vast majority of university constituencies with the mandate to compile data and return with their cutting edge insights.

Hope Spring Eternal

While skeptical I was happy to be asked to attend one of the consulting sessions. My colleagues were extremely optimistic and forth coming when asked their views on what they believed could be done in the future. I left the meeting with continued doubts about what they could and would do because of the status of the assessment team. We have done several linear strategic plans at our university and I knew that they take a great deal of time, hard work, and effort from many people. Why would retired linear college presidents want to work that hard? Our President’s memo identified the leader of the group as an internationally recognized publisher in the area of leadership. Having my own nonlinear leadership Theory W I had not heard of him. I thought if I looked his work up we may be able to share a common interest when he arrived on campus.

I found his work in leadership to be a very specialized area with a clearly defined linear position of the ideal relationships among the faculty, the president and the board. The position held that a different linear model was the true path to success. As an academic I also teach, write, and profess marketing many of my ideas that I also believe to beneficial. In academic marketing we have two categories of professors those that develop and teach their own linear models and those that teach the linear models created by textbooks. I support the creation of independent work in marketing but I am careful to specifically identify to students those ideas that are mine and those of others. It is for the students to come to their own nonlinear conclusions.

My Strength is of the Strength of Ten

From a nonlinear position I was aware that this new linear position was a challenge to the one we were use to. I also knew that there would be no tolerance for those that held to their past positions. The nonlinear would be the easiest and first and easiest to be destroyed. (Me) From a linear world view every problem leads to the same exact solution. The actual circumstances are irrelevant. If I could find their work I could identify that no matter what the circumstances the solution would always be the same. All I had to be able to do was check to identify what this consulting group proposed and what were the consequences of their linear philosophy. I discussed in general terms in a meeting with the president and several faculty members that the internet had changed business and marketing because now individuals can acquire information that was previously not available. This was after the visit and before the results of the consulting firm. This point failed to have any impact. There was not the slightest interest in identifying anything but who were the evil doers.

I began to search the web to identify what studies were done and what were their outcomes. I found five studies that were done for other universities. The search was difficult and took a great deal of time. My only interest was just to read the information and continue to look for other examples. After I found the second study I identified both the same analysis and conclusions. I actually thought at that time that the studies would probably not even change the wording accept for the names of the institution. To my joy the wording was modified but the conclusions were written in stone. I did not know what to do so I wrote an email outlining what I thought our Universities assessment would look like and sent it someone so that I had a dated document.

And Then They Came For Me

For nineteen years I have been supported and encouraged within my institution to bring ideas and information to my marketing students. I have published and traveled to many nations bring this approach to marketing education. All of a sudden administration was telling faculty that they had uncovered evil professors that were not teaching the textbook to their students. This deprived the students of the body of knowledge that they required to move along in their field. In parallel I was told after a complaint by a perspective student that visited my class for two hours that the Provost was considering moving me to somewhere else in the university. Even worse, I could face the charge that I was in violation of my contract by not exactly following the textbooks.

I have committed such heresies as the development of historic chronologies that led to current marketing textbook thoughts. Discussions of corporate ethics with specific examples of behaviors which are linked back to a particular philosophy of business. Discussions of the power and influence on marketing thoughts and actions of the government, military, public relation firms, the media, large corporation, and the internet. I freely express the growing relationship between marketing actions and religious and secular philosophies. Marketing research begins with a chronology from the 18th Enlightenment and its influence on current Western thinking. My interest in marketing is the power of storytelling and it impact on consumption. I was given faculty development money and encouraged by the dean to purchase the great stories of the world and link then to marketing within the classroom.

They Kept Coming

I was told that the chair would look at all the exams of my students and determine it they had anything to do with marketing. Two months later he showed up to tell me that the exams were not as wonderful as others that I believed were not actually compared. I said than you and now please return them. He could not. Of course my mind ran with the idea that every marketing professor in the United States was being asked to assess my student’s work. I thought that was great and perhaps some of them would benefit. I also began to realize that my students were being asked to report back what was going on in my classes. Before this I was surprised at the aggressiveness of some of my students this semester. I have no real quarrel with administration asking students about my course. I am sure that no one was directed to return and disrupt but it must have been handled in a way that these student felt that they would become crusaders. All any one has ever had to do to come to my class is just come. I of course assume when they come or their agents that they come with a pure heart.

Fight or Flight

I have had too many students tell me that they learned a great deal in my course to believe that I was a total evil incompetent. I was concerned that the world for all of us was going to be turned upside down. I returned in earnest to assess the five studies to identify and gather evidence that the institution was not a concern the outcome would be the same. This led me to the startling possibility that entire academic community was being changed by a few key consulting firms. I knew about this strategy from the study of Celtic conflicts and their ultimate destruction. A far greater Celtic force was destroyed by dividing them into smaller individualized groups. By the time it was understood they had been defeated. Each assessment was understood by most to be individualized. When the assessments were returned that faculty as divided by blaming the situation on many of the older tenured professors. A new and fair order was coming where the deserving ones would get merit pay raises. The evil ones would suffer what they deserved.

The board would now have to assume their responsibility and take power from the faculty and hold the president responsible. The senate would no long have any power and all contact with the board would go through the president. Post tenure review would allow administration the freedom to eliminate individuals that did not fit. All curriculums, course related materials, teaching methods, and faculty evaluation decisions would now be the responsibility of the president with the backing of the board. Of course this was precautionary and we just needed these changes for the rare offender.

Quislings

From university to university they travel to spread their new linear truth world view. Who will question the assessment of the data? Who will suggest that all these ex presidents could be wrong? In this spread of truth we are paying them huge amounts of money to change our lives. They cannot talk with nostalgia about how hard it was in the good old day when they conquered evil and brought higher education into the modern business world.

What is Next for Us?

Universities will begin to combine resources. A brand name such as Harvard and Yale will stay but it will be difficult to determine ownership. Teaching jobs will be sent to nations such as India, Russia, and China. All classes will be at a distance. Your professor will be a digital image that knows the exact answer to all inquires. Information and knowledge will be on a must know bases. Best of all they will make a lot of money, control content, and the success and punishment of beneficiaries of their linear education.

Nobles Oblige

The educational model of the elite will continue to be nonlinear. Private, exclusive, a final grooming, the general and specific combined liberal arts, history, philosophy, and art. The nonlinear Irish/Celtic people will be sent back to the factories and the farms. If we complain the famine will come again as Gods retribution. Perhaps it may be created like many others?

(Perhaps I will keep working on this)