A new class started today

I took 6 weeks off from teaching online this term. The break was necessary. Everything about my 6 week break was refreshing. Teaching online really does involve an endless parade of daily requirements. More traditional classroom environments typically have breaks in the action or at least weekends. Working with students 7 days a week with no real gap between terms can be psychologically draining. After 6 weeks off from teaching, I picked up teaching a 6 week introduction level business class this morning. Mini term classes are an interesting format. 6 week classes include the same amount of content and work as a 12 week class, but the student only gets half of the time to get the work done. It should be interesting. I’m ready for the journey.

After the first draft

On the subject of my next book — A couple days ago, Duane asked when I was going to be done with my next book. In that moment, I frowned at Duane and started to internalize my failure. Apparently, during the course of changing jobs I stopped short of completing my Multichannel Contact Strategy book. Right now the first draft of the book contains 13 chapters. Upon further review, most of the chapters are in dire need of a rewrite. My new goal is to write 500 words a day for the project.

The book starts with a letter to the reader. Here is a sample of that letter.

Dear reader,

You picked up the right weighty tome of insight! If you are new to this type of material, then skip the preface/intro material and jump straight to Chapter 1 which contains the pitch. That will provide you with both the elevator pitch and the more refined formal pitch that would be delivered to a client. If the pitch does not sell you on reading the rest of the book, then I let you down…

I’m a practitioner at heart…

This book reflects my interest in communication strategies for campaigns. I have given the subject a lot of thought over the last 5 years and have only recently been ready to put my thoughts down on paper. I’m hopeful that this work is useful to people preparing or running any kind of campaigns. Most of the examples will be related to political campaigns, but the ideas and frameworks should be generalizable from that special case scenario.

A model practitioners can use…

All of the parts of this book come together to both introduce a model and to make a pitch. I may not be the consultant that helps you implement this model, but I’m hoping the knowledge contained within this book provide the foundation for implementation in both spontaneous and planned ways. This adaptive multichannel contact strategy optimization model could be up and running in your organization.

Now is the time…

Bring the right people together implement parts of the model or the entire model. If you cannot bring the right team together to take action, then get the right people talking. Great ideas inspire organic growth. Plant the seed and let this idea grow within your organization.

Dr. Nels Lindahl
Denver, Colorado
April 12, 2014 @ 6:20 AM

Clear Paths

A clear path forward would be a good place to start. I wrote the following rough draft during two different writing sessions. It is in desperate need of some work. It might be a false start, but a few strong revisions might fix it.

We are all a part of history. A history that always marches forward. A history occurs without approval or consent. A few privileged individuals will write the next chapter. Most of us are just along for the ride. The ride itself may not define us. However, our history does change the way we look at the world. In this moment, I hope that this treatise changes that view of the world. Two questions immediately stand out, “How will this generation be remembered?” and “Are the things that we have chosen memorable?” Ultimately, those are the questions that this treatise will endeavor to answer.

Some chapters in the grand history of the world are basically forgettable. Only a few highlights truly stand out. Now is the time for our generation to choose our moment. We have the capacity for greatness. Fragmentation has stolen any hope of collective action. The public commons has become crowded. It has become almost impossible to navigate. Grand ideas were mapped into plans. Some of them were executed.  Almost all of them have been forgotten. The great champions have been defeated. The weight of our obligations has defeated us.

Together we can take the first step on a new path. Proposing a framework at this point might seem foolish. As technology begins to intersect with modernity, we face a true and defining set of choices. This chapter of history could be a touchstone that defines the future. We the people must be better together. We have to be better together than we are apart. The fragmentation has to end. We have to accept the great challenges of our day. The greatest problems of the day need to be formally recognized and ultimately brought to resolution.

At some point along the journey, we the people delegated the responsibility of collective action to bureaucrats and elected officials. From the start America was a grand idea. A host of problems had to be solved for the project to work. The people were better off together than apart. Together they were able to build the infrastructure of civilization.

Responding to challenges defines the capacity of a society by exposing very real limits. Enough people collectively working together can and have challenged the very limits that threaten civilization. Imagine the effects of a sustained drought in the State of California. As an example, the capacity to deal with water shortages would define the limits of society. Those limits are what this treatise will explore.

Perhaps at this point introducing a theoretical framework would be helpful. It works like this — we the people have a social contract that is bound by our collective will to work together and the push and pull of our individual needs. The following example will be both defined and informed by those narrow optics of triangulation. Naturally, the expansion of examples beyond triangulation is possible.

This treatise represents one volume of thought. A volume that ultimately will rest on a shelf at the academy. It will rest on a shelf surrounded by an every growing body of thought.

Collective action defined the formation of a nation. Grand projects that put a true dent in the universe are a rare thing. The call to action is real. Now is the time. The time has been defined by the scale of our collective need. A need to solve problems before their weight collapses the very foundations of society.

Heavy writing

The words have started to flow again. This may be a good month for writing. Internat rumor has it the people all over are writing novels during the month of November. Most of my writing sessions from this month have been on some pretty heavy topics. I’m not sure where the prose will take me, but the journey so far has been interesting. One of the sessions may turn into a complete treatise. It has been a long time since I sat down and wrote a complete treatise on anything. My primary fear this month has been that my writing has been occurring without a purpose. A lot of what I have been working on for the last few weeks relates to living in the moment. It had been about bringing a certain degree of passion to that moment. The things we care about and are passionate about have to be front and center in our lives. Taking meaningful action has to be so much more than an afterthought. In some ways each action has to be meaningful and you have to be passionate about taking that action.

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