Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Simple Question for Charley Reed

Dear Charley:

Let us suppose you were a sprinter from a poor country preparing for the Summer Olympics. You have recently been having trouble getting enough to eat, making it much harder for you could keep up your strength and maintain a training regimen. Your coach has just spent money for an outside consultant from the tiny budget you and the team have to draw upon for food and other critical items.

The outside consultant, whose name is Sir Michael Barber, comes in and says: "Good news! I'm going to help you run faster than ever."

You say: "Great. What do I have to do?"

He says: "We're going to further restrict your dietary intake below what you've been eating, reduce the number of days that you can train AND we're going to take you away from the track you've been using and put you in a paved parking lot to train. Don't mind the cars coming and going; they'll just make you more agile. Don't you think these are great ideas? I call it Deliverology."

So, Charley, my question to you is this: Would you wonder if your coach had gone insane? Would you follow his advice and that of the outside consultant? Would you get yourself another coach?

1 comment:

Ralph Westfall said...

Here’s an alternative suggestion for Chancellor Reed: Instead of hiring expensive outside consultants, the CSU should use its own faculty to conduct research and make recommendations.

As an example, Microsoft and Google have policies requiring the use of their own products in software development. They describe the policies as “eating our own dog food” ( Microsoft and Google have obviously been quite successful. Since we’re telling everyone that “the CSU is Working for California,” we ought to be doing the same.

FYI students in the CIS department in which I teach have developed software and systems for a number of organizational units here, as well as for outside clients. Unfortunately when I was on a campus-wide committee a few years ago, one of the members from the administration reacted in a very hostile fashion to my suggestion that we should use College of Business faculty and students rather than trying to get funding for outside consultants to do a study. I hope Chancellor doesn't share that attitude.

Best regards,

Ralph Westfall
California Polytechnic University, Pomona