William is an Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in the Department of Business Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management. He is fascinated by research around how individuals construct and create their social realities, intrigued with the powers of creativity and innovation, and an avid proponent of outstanding service experiences. When not teaching, writing, or researching, he tries to spend time with his family and occasionally paint. He is currently completing his PhD in Management at Saint Mary’s University.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Meanings and ideas become consistent. Things are easier to understand. We lose the ability or willingness to hold multiple meanings in our heads at the same point in time. Our interpretations become more static and our experimentation occurs less frequently.
We slowly slide away from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ideal design when he said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
Remember when a butter knife was the best screwdriver in the kitchen? Many of us even had that perfect knife/tool at the back of our utensils drawer, the one with the tip that had snapped off. (We’d never put it on the table but it became an even better screwdriver!) Yet at some point, a subtle shift happens inside that compels us to search the entire house for the ‘right’ screwdriver because, for heaven’s sake, the butter knife is a ‘knife’.
Now I like to think of myself as a little creative, but still I find myself falling into this static thinking occasionally. Luckily, I have a couple of rug rats here who do not suffer from any such debilitating issues of imagination.
In our house, Robin Hood is currently the story of choice. The books are read and the classic Disney animated film, with Robin Hood as a fox, is on high rotation. We even took the boys twice to see Robin Hood performed live by a local Halifax theatre troop.
Naturally, this leads to Robin Hood play from the boys. Imaginary arrows and battles erupt in their playroom. Costumes are donned and characters established. At the drop of a hat, they even break into song about their adventures!
This morning, the playroom was quieter than normal. Then I started to here clicks, followed by a small item bouncing across the floor. Click – tink tink... click – tink tink... Hmmm, time to investigate.
My two young ‘merry men’ had figured out that the car launcher from their Matchbox car racing track could be removed. They had also discovered that the tiny Yield signs from their city centre fit quite well inside the launcher. And they were both in full Robin Hood adventure costumes. Testing out their newly created projectile launcher.
Yes - they built a crossbow.
It was awkward and only pushed the projectile a foot or so. But it worked. And they were super pumped! Merry men indeed.
It’s on my desk right now. Letting them launch things at each other didn’t seem wise. They are off in their playroom building a new imaginary world out of pillows, a bouncy ball, a few fire engines and a monster truck.
I’m left amazed at their creativity. And also curious about why I didn’t think of it first. I guess I need to spend more time in the playroom.
How about you?
Monday, September 19, 2011
I’ve been away from home travelling on a 4 day trip. The main way that I get updated on the boys is through text messaging from my wife. Sadly, I miss a lot of the little things – their goofy games and imagination, as well as the dramatic intrigue that tends to develop between two brothers. The other afternoon, I received this message.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Ten years ago, I, as with so many other people, heard the news about American Airlines Flight 11 striking the north tower of the World Trade Centre in New York City. I watched on live television as United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower just a few minutes later. The events continued as American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon while United Airlines Flight 93 was forced to crash land in a field in Pennsylvania. I can tell you where I was at each of those moments.
On that day, and many that followed, we watched first responders demonstrate incredible acts of heroism, running towards a scene everyone else wanted to be far away from. People outside the affected areas helped the best they could and in whatever way they could; 40 planes were accepted by Halifax International Airport, Vancouver International received over 8,500 diverted passengers while Gander International Airport accepted 39 rerouted planes, causing the population of Gander to swell by over 65% in hours.
- 2,740 kids died from malaria. Most lacked the simple protection of a mosquito net.
- 6, 027 people were newly infected with HIV.
- 9,795 people died from water-related disease because they don’t have access to clean drinking water.
- 25,000+ died from starvation or hunger-related issues.
All of these deaths occurred today. That’s right – today. The same number of people died yesterday, the day before and each day before. By rough count, that’s 13,700,275 deaths in the last 12 months around basic food and water needs, as well as a disease few in advanced countries ever encounter.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I am a self-confessed 'active' user of social media.
- If you are interested in connecting with people of similar interests, having conversations and perhaps building a community, Twitter is a great platform. I, for one, use Twitter a great deal and plan on having my students use it to engage with their industry community this fall.
- Perhaps you would like to share video content – in this case, a YouTube account might be your platform of choice.
- Are you interested in a more secure environment in which you can share longer posts, photos, links and other content behind some controlled filters? Facebook and Google+ are great platforms for this type of activity.
- What about longer opinions pieces, thoughts or essays that others can read and response to? A blogging platform such as Wordpress or Blogger would be fantastic.