What is Appreciative Inquiry (AI)? Is AI a pertinent methodology for my new applied research programme: From recycling to regeneration: lessons WITH exemplary green enterprise … Having done some exploration around the pedagogical ‘homeland’ of AI, Case Western University, my provisional answer is a ‘definite maybe’.
I like to understand the value of a potential methodology through case examples. This exemplary case about a combine harvester manufacturer, John Deere, attracted my attention. The case note suggests that AI can achieve faster Return on Investment (ROI) impacts and workforce ‘buy in’ than traditional Organisation Development (OD) approaches.
Image source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_9x9jBRa6Pug/TOrjtojYKiI/AAAAAAAAAAU/8_bjKPREu2Y/s1600/harvester.jpg
Hinrichs, G., Ludema, J., & Morris, D. (2000, May). Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in Business Renewal: Turning Around a Manufacturing Division at John Deere. Appreciative Inquiry Commons, Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Retrieved from http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/uploads/John%20Deere%20C…
The Appreciative Inquiry Commons, Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2013, from http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/
Mellalieu, P. J. (2013, December 2). From recycling to regeneration: lessons WITH exemplary green enterprise: A research agenda. Innovation & chaos … in search of optimality. Retrieved from http://pogus.tumblr.com/post/68753786836/from-recycling-to-regeneration-lessons-with-exemplary
The students I experience at my institute of higher education are GROSSLY ignorant of the environmental challenges facing businesses, communities, cities, and nations. Reason (I suspect): most of my students are international or permanent resident students recently from developing countries such as India, China, or the Middle East. Let me establish a context: I teach students of business, in the particular disciplines of operations management, innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategy.
Furthermore, in my experience, most of my students believe that the key rationale for a business to adopt environmentally-sound practices is to reduce waste, thereby reducing cost and improving profit. Again, in my view, this is a very limited perspective of the options for and benefits from environmentally sustainable practice that could be pursued by an organisation.
Consequently, I have initiated the development of an applied research programme at my institute of technology focussed on exploring the following question:
How do we enhance the depth and impact of the best aspects of professional education for sustainable development (EfS) within the context of an institute of technology and its stakeholders?
In contrast to my experience of students from developing countries, I observe that New Zealand-born students are aware that environmental problems rank highly amongst challenges for both New Zealand and the world. Many NZ students agree that our country is not so “100 % Pure” as it could/should be (For instance, see Sackur, 2011; Oram, 2006). However, these young “New Zealanders” express their incapacity to take significant, practical action to influence businesses, policy-makers, and/or other agencies to take appropriate action.
In summary, nearly all of the students in my recent teaching experience lack the skills and confidence to make informed choices about consumption, professional leadership, and/or political action to influence their lives, communities, and/or employers towards an environmentally-sustainable future.
Nevertheless, recent surveys in NZ (Colmar Brunton 2012, 2013 forthcoming) demonstrate that the demand for appropriate environmentally-appropriate action from the suppliers of products and services is growing strongly. In February 2008, Unitec Institute of Technology conducted a survey of the training needs of businesses located in the Rosebank Business Precinct, Auckland (Frederick, & Chittock, 2008). The survey identified that 22 per cent of respondents wanted training in ‘greening the business’. However, since 2008, the world recession has focussed the attention of many businesses in Rosebank and elsewhere on responding to the more urgent issues of business survival. Nevertheless, more recent studies conducted in 2010 identified that, despite the recession, CERTAIN types of New Zealand companies continue to maintain and expand a diverse range of practices related to ‘greening the business’ (Collins, Lawrence, Roper, & Haar, 2010, 2011). Specifically, by 2010, 30 per cent of firms larger than 99 employees were using environmental criteria as part of the process for choosing suppliers. In contrast to those ‘greening’ practices of larger companies, most small companies have retreated from their earlier commitments to environmentally sustainable practices: a ‘sustainability divide’ is emerging between larger and small companies.
This year, the yet-to-be released Colmar Brunton market survey (2013) finds that the GenY demographic (born between 1980 - 2000) is becoming potent as a purchasing segment. The Gen Y segment is beginning its entry into the mass consumption stage of their life-cycle, buying houses and furnishings, for instance. According to Colmar Brunton, a significant proportion of GenY consumers both make decisions to purchase and make decisions of where to be employed based on verifiable, authentic, and transparent green criteria. Furthermore, a growing proportion of this demographic is prepared to pay a higher price for products with proven ‘green’ credentials.
In conclusion, there is an important - increasingly urgent - challenge for educators to learn how to empower their students as informed, competent, and confident change masters for environmentally-sustainable practice within their employment, families, and communities. There is a special challenge in assisting small-medium enterprise (with under 100 employees) to respond to the New Zealand and international ‘green waves’ of supply-chain and end-customer demand. I suspect that part of achieving this aim for my institute of technology is to identify best-practice lessons from ambitious and/or high achieving environmentally sustainable small-medium enterprise operating in New Zealand and overseas. In particular, we need to draw lessons from those enterprise that have moved beyond recycling and waste reduction to regeneration and restoration along the lines of multinational carpet manufacturer Interface with its “Mission Zero” ambition to have a zero environmental footprint by 2020 (Anderson & White, 2009, 2011).
Source: http://www.interfacecutthefluff.com/mission-zero-challenge-sourcing-recycled-raw-material/ Note: I guess this data pertains to the period 1996 through 2010, for Interface Inc.
My ideal for this applied research programme will be to work WITH exemplary green enterprise, and teachers to move everyone from “good to great”. Everyone = our businesses, our students, our colleagues, our own institution and its suppliers. Accordingly, the provisional research questions and objectives for my research agenda are:
Within the context of Unitec institute of Technology and its stakeholders, the [provisional] research objectives are:
The research approach I am proposing to adopt will be informed by Appreciative Inquiry (AI), Action Learning, Project-Based Learning, and Action Research.
If you would like to join this applied research journey, please let me know!
Anderson, R. C., & White, R. (2009). Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose - Doing Business by Respecting the Earth. St. Martin’s Press.
Anderson, R. C., & White, R. (2011). Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist. St. Martin’s Griffin.
Collins, E., Lawrence, S., Roper, J., & Haar, J. (2010). Business sustainability practices during the recession: The Growing Sustainability Divide. Hamilton, NZ: Waikato Management School, University of Waikato. Retrieved from www.management.ac.nz/sustainabilitydivide
Collins, E., Lawrence, S., Roper, J., & Haar, J. (2011). Sustainability and the Role of the Management Accountant (Vol. 7). London: Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Retrieved from http://www.nzica.com/Technical/~/media/NZICA/Docs/Resources%20and%20publications/Publications/Sustainability%20and%20the%20Role%20of%20the%20Management%20Accountant.ashx
Colmar Brunton. (2012). Better business, better world. Auckland. Retrieved from http://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/images/BBBW_Report.pdf
Frederick, H., & Chittock, G. (2008). Human resource strategies for training and education in the Rosebank business precinct (p. pp. 75). Auckland, NZ: Unitec Institute of Technology. Retrieved from https://www.dropbox.com/s/odj7487gfps9utn/Frederick_Chittock_2008_Human%20resource%20strategies%20for%20training%20and%20education%20in%20the%20Rosebank%20business.pdf
Mellalieu, Peter J, & Gunaratne, K. A. (2012, July 27). Greening the Rosebank Business District: A mindmap for a research programme. Unitec New Zealand Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Unitec New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.dropbox.com/s/afyslr49obkzeqw/Greening%20the%20business.pdf
Mellalieu, Peter John. (2009). Shifting frontiers, new priorities, creating pathways: elevating the case for tertiary education for sustainable development in New Zealand. In New Zealand Tertiary Education Summit 2009 (TES). Wellington, New Zealand: Bright*Star Conferences & Training Ltd. Retrieved from http://unitec.academia.edu/PeterMellalieu/Papers/1572396/Shifting_frontiers_new_priorities_creating_pathways_elevating_the_case_for_tertiary_education_for_sustainable_development_in_New_Zealand
Mellalieu, Peter John. (2011, May). Greening your business with Unitec. Roundabout - Newsletter of the Rosebank Business Association, (61), 7.
Mellalieu, P. J. (2011). The Rise and Fall of Education for Sustainability in New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Strategies: An Orchestrated Conspiracy of Ignorance? [Extended version - Under review]. Auckland, NZ: Unitec Institute of Technology. Retrieved from http://unitec.academia.edu/PeterMellalieu/Papers/1518839/The_Rise_and_Fall_of_Education_for_Sustainability_in_New_Zealands_Tertiary_Education_Strategies_An_Orchestrated_Conspiracy_of_Ignorance_Extended_version_
Mellalieu, P. J. (2011, July 1). Greening your business with Enterprise GreenWorks™. Innovation & chaos … in search of optimality. Retrieved June 30, 2011, from http://pogus.tumblr.com/post/7095918900/greening-your-business-with-enterprise-greenworks-tm
Ministry for the Environment. (2007). Sustainable Design at Formway Furniture (INFO 182). Ministry for the Environment. Retrieved from http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/sus-dev/case-study-sustainable-design-at-formway-furniture-feb07/
Oram, R. (2006). Trouble in paradise: 100% impure New Zealand. Auckland, NZ: Unitec Institute of Technology.
Sackur, S. (2011). Key grilled over NZ’s clean, green image. London: BBC World. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3yFiNk_Ufw&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Taylor, W., & Christensen, M. (2013). Power budget processes and environmental sustainability. Presented at the 2013 New Zealand Management Accounting Conference NZICA, Queenstown, NZ: New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. Retrieved from https://www.nzica.com/sitecore/shell/Controls/Rich%20Text%20Editor/~/media/NZICA/Docs/Students/Tertiary/Conference%20Papers%202013/Wendy%20Taylor%20NZMAC%20Power%20budget%20processes%20and%20environmental%20sustainability.ashx
TechNZ. (n.d.). Formway Furniture: Leaders in design. TechNZ - Foundation for Research, Science & Technology. Retrieved from http://www.37ds.com/myfiles/Manufacturing_Formway.pdf
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For several years I have operated my final course examination as “open book”. “Open book” means that students can access their textbooks and lecture notes whilst they undertake the examination. More recently, I have operated my exams in “open internet” format. “Open internet” means the students are permitted to access the internet for information, spreadsheets, and dictionaries. Students are, however, forbidden access to email, chat, or any other method of communicating with examination candidates or anyone outside the examination laboratory.
In recent months I had become aware that some of my EAL students’ assignments were written in a ‘different’ kind of incomprehensible English. I didn’t think much about the issue, merely referring the students for remedial attention to our learning support team. However, in my recent “open internet” examination, I realised from where this new kind of incomprehensible (to me) English was generated: Google Translate! Students were writing their examination answers in their own language, such as Chinese, then using Google Translate to create the final submission which they uploaded to me via Turnitin.
Here is an answer to one of the examination questions. Try to guess what the question is!
Thought this page I know as an entrepreneur you want to look for available opportunities in life, not just consider the profitability of products, but also focusing on product ingredients and the future development. Ring has now become a global problem. More people every day environmental protection so that consumers care about. So the responsibility of an entrepreneur is more than just management company is more important is to ensure that products on the environment pollution.
Here is the question to which the foregoing Googledygook is the answer:
What lessons for successful innovation and entrepreneurship do YOU learn from this case?
The case study in question is a newspaper article provided 36 hours ahead of the examination to the students: Chapman-Smith, B. (2013, August 21). Ecostore head green, keen and seeing red: Malcolm Rands. NZ Herald News. Retrieved October 31, 2013, from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/ business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11117089]
I have coined the new word googledygook defined as follows:
Googledygook is the result of applying a machine translator, such as Google Translate, to translate from one language to another. The resulting translation is incomprehensible to a native speaker of the target language.
Etymology: gobbledygook and Google Translate
For good measure, here is the definition of googledook is French, Esperanto, and several other languages:
Francaise: Googledygook est le résultat de l’application d’un traducteur automatique, tels que Google Translate pour traduire d’une langue à l’autre. La traduction qui en résulte est incompréhensible pour un locuteur natif de la langue cible.
Esperanto: Googledygook estas la rezulto de aplikanta maŝino tradukisto, kiel Google Translate, por traduki de unu lingvo al alia. La rezultanta traduko estas nekomprenebla al denaska parolanto de la cellingvo.
Hindi: Googledygook एक भाषा से दूसरी करने के लिए अनुवाद करने के लिए, जैसे गूगल के अनुवाद के रूप में एक मशीन अनुवादक, लागू करने का परिणाम है. परिणामस्वरूप अनुवाद लक्ष्य भाषा का एक देशी वक्ता को समझ से बाहर है.
Hindi (Latin script): Googledygook ēka bhāṣā sē dūsarī karanē kē li’ē anuvāda karanē kē li’ē, jaisē gūgala kē anuvāda kē rūpa mēṁ ēka maśīna anuvādaka, lāgū karanē kā pariṇāma hai. Pariṇāmasvarūpa anuvāda lakṣya bhāṣā kā ēka dēśī vaktā kō samajha sē bāhara hai.
Arabic (left to right): Googledygook هو نتيجة لتطبيق الترجمة الآلية، مثل ترجمة غوغل، لترجمة من لغة إلى أخرى. الترجمة غير مفهومة مما أدى إلى اللغة الأصلية للغة الهدف.
German: Googledygook ist das Ergebnis der Anwendung einer Maschine Übersetzer, wie Google Translate, um von einer Sprache in eine andere übersetzen. Die resultierende Übersetzung ist unverständlich einem Muttersprachler der Zielsprache.
Given my three years of school-boy French lessons, the French translation does seems adequate. For good measure, let’s explore the result of re-translating from French back into English. To my surprise, the result of my English => French => English translation cycle results in most acceptable English. The minor differences between the original and re-translation are underlined.
(From French:) Googledygook is the result of the application of an automatic translator such as Google Translate to translate from one language to another. The resulting translation is incomprehensible to a native speaker of the target language.
I suspect from my little experiment that the principle of “garbage in; garbage out” applies. I conclude, therefore, that my examination candidate was writing rubbish in the first place, then translating their rubbish into English rubbish!
Conclusion 1: I feel NO REMORSE in failing the student’s answer.
Conclusion 2: I will continue to advocate that students write grammatically correct English, Chinese, Hindi, or Arabic using the equivalent of “Global English” style.
For completeness, here is the result of the re-translation process: English =. Chinese => Chinglish. “Houston, we have a problem”.
(From Chinese:) Googledygook machine translation applications, such as Google translate, translation from one language to another result. The resulting translated into the target language-speaking people find it difficult to understand.
See also Googlish, which has three different meaning, of which one is a synonym of googledygook. Hence, according to Global English principles: AVOID!
googlish. (n.d.). Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=googlish
googlish - Wiktionary. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/googlish
Mellalieu, P. J. (2013, October 3). How should we write? Style guide suggestions for New Zealand business students. Innovation & chaos … in search of optimality. Retrieved from http://pogus.tumblr.com/post/62961602825/how-should-we-write-style-guide-suggestions-for-new
Mellalieu, P. J. (2013, October 3). How can we incentivise our students to develop an appropriate professional writing style? My policy and practice. Innovation & chaos … in search of optimality. Retrieved from http://pogus.tumblr.com/post/62944857816/how-can-we-incentivise-our-students-to-develop-an
McAlpine, R. (1997). Global English for Global Business. Longman.
McAlpine, R. (n.d.). From Plain English to Global English. Quality Web Content. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://www.webpagecontent.com/arc_archive/139/5/
Mellalieu, P. J. (2007, June 3). Let’s all learn and teach Global English in our business schools! Peter Mellalieu - Teacher. Retrieved April 21, 2010, from http://unitec.academia.edu/PeterMellalieu/Papers/1571526/Lets_all_learn_and_teach_Global_English_in_our_business_schools_