- Author: Wendy Powers
The hard part about taking time off is getting back into the ‘work' mindset. I'm not sure I am fully back yet. Of course, some argue that we should bring our Saturday selves to work on Monday so this may work out well. Either way, this week is primarily phone calls and meetings by phone. On Wednesday I visit the San Joaquin office, my home office! Then on Friday I head to the South Coast REC. And even next week I don't have any overnight travel.
Program Council has completed its work for the grants cycle. VP Humiston should announce her decision soon. Next week it's time for Program Council to meet again (already!). I need to start preparing for that meeting. And if anyone has suggested improvements for the position call process, please share by the end of this week. We will be discussing the process and reviewing suggestions at the meeting next week.
Thanks for the feedback on Dan Foley's TED talk that I mentioned previously. A keynote speaker for the April 2018 UC ANR Statewide Conference has not been finalized. A few weeks back, Glenda and I heard a talk by Regina Dugan, VP Engineering at Facebook. We agree that she was impressive – perhaps we can land her for the statewide conference. We would need to identify a topic. A couple of things VP Dugan said really stuck with me. One was that, by 2030, 80% of current jobs won't exist. That has me wondering whether or not we are thinking around the corner far enough to prepare our students, our clientele, and our organization to be successful and relevant? How will Cooperative Extension do business in 2030 and how do we prepare for that? VP Dugan was referring to robotics, advanced instrumentation, and artificial intelligence replacing human labor and while it isn't immediately obvious how that eliminates the need for discovery and research dissemination, no doubt there will be some impact on CE roles and responsibilities.
The other comment VP Dugan made in her talk was that the “risk of failure is the price we pay for the privilege of making something great”. I can only imagine the number of great things that haven't happened because someone was afraid of failure. The principle of risking failure in order to do something great ties back to the ideation, that I learned about in early October, where you throw out many ideas and test them early on in the idea development process so that failures, while potentially many, are small. This conditions one to accept failure as part of the creative process rather than fear failure. How does one retrain themself to embrace failure in order to make an exceptional contribution? And how do we reward the attempt to succeed in spite of failure or even measure/value the attempt?
I'm still suffering from ‘time off brain' so I won't solve this today. But I'd love to hear ideas. Until next time, welcome back and good luck getting back into the swing of things.