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Wednesday, October 19, 2011


The ever-tightening economy has provoked changes of necessity in the educational arena regarding programs, practices, and personnel. It feels like what I would imagine a victim of a boa constrictor experiences - a slow, gripping suffocation. This fiscal crisis has caused many problems. Yet, the mess has prompted me to coin a new word. It's a word of the times. I want to debut the word "moreless." Sometime in the far off future this word will pass inspection of spell check after it enters the lexicon through inclusion in the dictionary.

Moreless has a dual definition. It combines two words that are often used in the same sentence when people announce another economic downsizing of staff, as in "We have to find a way to do more with less." Hence the compound word, moreless. Also, this new word can describe the feeling people usually have when their department or organization is victimized by a downsizing that leaves fewer people shouldering larger burdens. That is, moreless joins the vocabulary associated with hopeless and helpless.

Expecting someone to do more with less is as futile as the clarion to work harder and longer. On the contrary, I believe the challenge is working differently. The need is to work more creatively. People are generally encouraged to work smarter in the face of adversity. Think about that for a moment. It implies that the person wasn't working very smart to begin with. That's a bit condescending.

Rather, consider working with more imagination. I'll retrieve two of my favorite and oft cited quotes. First, from Alan Kay, formerly of Apple Computer: "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." Second, from John Sculley, also a former Apple employee: "The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious."

Examine the risk for a hidden opportunity. Instead of adopting a vision up close through a microscope or in the great distance via a telescope, we must look at everything through a kaleidoscope of ever-changing patterns and possibilities. That's a better descriptor of the world we live in now. Conquering our pressing problems likely requires solutions that have not yet been discovered. This task will test our ability to step outside of the conventional and rational and welcome untested ideas on faith and conviction. That's how discoveries have been made throughout our history.

Let's go imagine our future possibilities...

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