When Education Meets Reality

I am just about to finish my second course in the master’s program in organizational leadership at Warner Pacific College and already I am learning concepts that I can directly apply to my business.

For example, in the subject of leading change, there is a model of change illustrated by the following graph:

Disconfirming data are challenges to “self-concepts,” or in my case, how I have defined my business and how I operate. When met with disconfirming data, I learned all too often I am in the Deny/Distort/Discount/Ignore circle instead of going between Enthusiasm/Engagement/Learning, Search for Alternatives, and Experiment circles.

In a couple of weeks, I start Financial Environments of Organizations, a seven-week course focused on topics such as “an overview of the general business environment, financial fundamentals, budgetary concept, project analysis, and assessing the financial well-being of the organization. It will also enable students to utilize financial data for strategic planning and decision-making.”

The Individual Project is most interesting and applicable:

Each student will be required to complete a comprehensive financial research assessment of his or her own company or another company in which he or she has considerable personal or professional stake. This research project will require the student to gain significant knowledge about the financial position and functions of his or her own company and how he or she has impact on it. The student will be required to research his or her company using internal and external information including the internet, personal interviews, financial statements or annual reports, and any other data collection method appropriate to the project. The student will then write a 10ā€“20 page paper analyzing the organization including:

  • An analysis of the current financial standing of the organization including information regarding how the organization’s financial situation is impacting its future planning
  • A competitive and industry analysis
  • A risk analysis for the organization
  • An analysis of the current financial strategy of the organization, and how they allocateĀ financial resources
  • Recommendations for ways to improve the financial condition of the organization.

I’m looking forward to looking a little deeper at my business and how I can improve the financial standing of the work I do for others. It will be difficult, humbling, eye-opening, devastating, and completely necessary.