January 25, 2020

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses the importance of carving out time in your schedule to think. Read TIME TO THINK.

 

LET’S THINK back to our childhoods for a moment.

20If you’re a person of a certain age, say over 40, you grew up in what many might call a simpler time. After school, we’d rush home to do our homework so we could play outside with our friends. We might ride our bikes around the neighborhoods, or play kickball, or blind man’s bluff.

On Saturdays, we were more ambitious, building forts in the woods. We might even kill some time by prostrating ourselves on the ground to look for shapes in the clouds. And when we got bored and whined to our mom—she was generally at home—she told us to either go play outside or read a book. So we did.

Younger adults have grown up in a different world. Their world has been more programmed for them. Whether they took lessons or played organized sports of all kinds, they have had little time for imaginative play. For many of them, free time meant video games of some sort. Televisions were their babysitters.

We seem to have created expectations that no one has time to be bored. Read more. 

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses how to make teamwork more effective. Read BE A TEAM PLAYER.

 

IN business schools, many professors put students in teams. The teams do a variety of things. Sometimes they do classroom activities. At the other extreme, they create a project that counts for a boatload of points in the course. No matter what the team’s purpose, most students hate teamwork.

Why, then, do we use teams? Shouldn’t we make our students happy?

If you think about it, the business world runs on teams. Whether it’s a formal team structure like we have in classes or not, people are constantly working within and across unit boundaries to accomplish things. So it’s the opinion of business faculty that we should prepare our students now for what they will experience in their careers.

What does a good team member look like, whether in the artificial classroom setting or in the workplace?

Read more. 

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses making changes to job descriptions. Read RETHINKING JOBS AS TIMES CHANGE.

 

HAVE YOU looked around your organization to see who’s doing what?

As technological changes have impacted so much in the last couple of decades, are the people in your organization “fully employed?” Here are a few things to think about. Read more. 

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses whether to make big announcements when changes still need to be made. Read THE BOLD STATEMENT.

 

I HAVE spent a lifetime in higher education, first as a student, then as a professor and administrator. We are not known in higher education for our ability to make changes quickly. Most of the time, it doesn’t have negative consequences, but sometimes it can.

A business school (we’ll call it Big City U) in a very competitive market was facing a downturn in its MBA enrollments about 20 years ago. Recognizing that the curriculum was a big reason why students were not choosing their school, the faculty began talking about what they could do to solve the problem. And they talked some more. A year or so went by, and no changes had been made. Read more. 

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses bad behavior in the workplace. Read BELIEVE THEM.

 

IT HAS taken me six decades, but I have accepted something recently that perhaps you also might need to accept.

When people show you who they are by their actions and words, believe them.

So many times in our workplaces, homes, communities and friend groups, people say or do things that are unkind. But we make excuses for them, saying things like, “He’s having a rough day,” or, “He didn’t mean that.” You might hear: “I know he shouldn’t be saying/doing this, but he’s so valuable to our team that I cannot do anything about him.” Read more. 

Gentry To Host Session at George Washington Regional Commission Event

Lance Gentry, Professor, College of Business

Lance Gentry, Professor, College of Business

Lance Gentry, a professor in the College of Business, will present a session with Rappahannock United Way President Janel Donohue, ”Understanding the Region: Who are we and what are our opportunities?” on Oct. 17 at UMW’s Stafford Campus. The session will be one of three free sessions presented by the George Washington Regional Commission as part of its new program, Good Jobs Here.

According to an article in The Free Lance-Star, Gentry and Donohue will “discuss some of the key demographics and opportunities related specifically to Planning District 16. This will include a look at new data on the region’s workforce, including those who commute, and some unique opportunities that the region has to develop and grow economically.”

“The session will also take a special look at the portions of the region’s population that are working but struggling, so they can be included in the program’s long-term plans for success.”

Read the entire article here. 

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses why a job might be the best fit, or not, for your personal life. Read WORK AND PERSONAL LIVES.

 

How often do you consider the personal side of your life when you consider job opportunities?

I have lived and worked in a variety of locales: a mid-sized city, two smaller cities, and one fairly rural college town. As a person who blooms where she’s planted, I have no issues assimilating into any of the communities. But that’s not true for everyone. Read more. 

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses the importance of being willing to change and improve in the workplace. Read IS YOUR ORGANIZATION RECEPTIVE TO CHANGE? ARE YOU?

CHANGE is inevitable. We know it, but we don’t have to like it.

I had a conversation with a person who has been in his position for less than a year. His manufacturing organization was not up to date on best practices in the industry. As we discussed the many changes that he and his supervisor had brought to the organization, I asked what I thought of as the key question: “How receptive were the employees to these new ideas?”

Read more. 

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses when it’s acceptable to move an employee to another division:

 

SUPPOSE a manager comes up to you and says “I know Lynne is bad at her job, but she’s a lovely person, so I’m transferring her to your team.”

How would you react?

I happen to know that this exact thing once occurred at a business that will remain nameless.

Read more. 

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s weekly column in The Free Lance-Star discusses change and taking risks. Read BEING UNCOMFORTABLE:

YOU’VE probably heard “do one thing every day that scares you” at some point in your life. I think about this phrase a lot. It’s really hard to do something that creates discomfort every single day, but you can certainly occasionally get out of your comfort zone.

Like many, I’m not a huge fan of heights. As a kid, we would visit Vulcan, a statue in Birmingham, Ala., near my hometown. After climbing what seemed like thousands of steps, you ended up on a circular landing where you could walk around the statue. There was only a 3-foot-high fence around the landing. I would press my back against Vulcan and inch my way around the statue. I did not want to get close to the edge and look down.

Read more.