And it’s a wrap – Congratulations to BASAM 2021

The academic year is drawing to a close and I am delighted to report that the members of the BASAM Class of 2021 will soon be the worthy recipients of their Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

Program Onboarding BASAM Fall 2019

The picture shows this group at the program onboarding that took place in September 2019. Who would have ever dreamed that just six months later, our worlds would be turned upside down by COVID-19 and that the journey these folks started in one learning environment ended up finishing in an alternate reality. Earning a bachelor degree is a great accomplishment on its own but to earn one in the midst of a global pandemic is downright remarkable.

Watch out world — the Skagit Valley College Bachelor of Applied Management Class of 2021 is now unleashed!

All the Reasons We Cannot Change …

In the Skagit Valley BASAM program, we focus on change – change in the world, in our environments, in our relationships, in ourselves. We talk about how change is inevitable because by definition, tomorrow cannot be like today and today cannot be like yesterday. We grapple with ambiguity and with the daunting prospect of not knowing. Most importantly, we equip ourselves with the tools, resources and skills to adapt and flourish in an ever changing context.

One topic that is missing from our conversations is a list of reasons why we cannot or will not change. We don’t spend time talking about this because we know that each of us has the capacity to change and to adapt – if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be part of the BASAM program. So, when a friend shared this list from Fast Company of the common reasons that people say they cannot change, I breathed a sigh of relief. My relief comes from having full confidence that the words on this list are unlikely ever to be said by BASAM program people because just like the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, BASAM people know that “there is nothing permanent except change”.

Arguing Better

It’s been a while since I posted and I will be posting more soon because I have lots to share about the Class of 2020 who just graduated and the Class of 2022, who started in the BASAM program this fall.

Before I get to that though, I wanted to share this piece that covers making effective arguments, which is a core platform of the BASAM program. This timely article from the Aspen Institute discusses the ingredients of “better arguments”, those that seek to understand, not to convince. The article describes the secret sauce behind effective arguments and discusses the benefits of approaching dialogue from the perspective of learning and curiosity versus acrimony. I invite you to delve into this work and then to imagine the possibilities if we all approached conflict with a curious mindset.

Thirty is the New Fifty

I recently came across this fascinating article from Fast Company entitledThirty is the New Fifty”. The articlethat talks about an increasingly common rite of passage, the day you find yourself working for someone younger than you. Given the country’s demographic profile and social-economic and technological trends, this upending of historic age-based hierarchies is the new reality.

It happened to me for the first time just two years ago and while there was the initial shock of realizing I was old enough to be older than someone (if you follow my drift), this evaporated almost instantly. Instead, I feel blessed that I’m working for my favorite type of boss – the one that gives you all the rope to hang yourself but is right by your side to cut it down just before it’s too late. As I read this piece, I realized that not only was I fortunate to be working with Darren Greeno, Executive Dean of Workforce at Skagit Valley College but I was also blessed to see many of the best practices of inter-generational cooperation, friendship and community cited in the article truly alive in the BAS-AM program.

The age range in the program goes from “just turned 21 and celebrated in Las Vegas” to folks with more life experience. Daily, I watch how the program participants embrace the points raised in this article – those with “digital dexterity” support those who are relative novices. And folks with more life experience coach newer workforce entrants on things such as interview techniques, navigating the art of balance and coping with imbalance. I’ve had my program participants coach me on the finer points of bands whose names I can’t pronounce, smile indulgently when I refer to flash drives as floppy discs and listen intently when we enter into lessons learned from actual workplace experiences. It is a wonderful thing when the sum of the parts become greater than the whole. It’s wonderful thing when you experience yet another way the BAS-AM program is enabling all of us to be effective participants in the workforce and life long learners who seize every opportunity for growth.

Congratulations SVC BASAM Class of 2020

It is my privilege and my joy to present the Skagit Valley College BAS in Applied Management Class of 2020.

Over the last two years, we have laughed, we have learned, we have cried, we have celebrated, we debated, sometimes we argued (but always with respect and always from an evidence-based point of view). We’ve watched our members thrive and we’ve supported each other through our struggles. We’ve witnessed engagements (3), welcomed new family members (1), and high-fived new jobs (6). Above all, we became a community with connections, friendships and associations embedded in the shared experience of being the inaugural cohort of the program.

This group of people are among the most honorable that I’ve had the pleasure to know and I am proud of their accomplishments and their achievements. I know that for each one of them, the future is so bright, they will all need to wear shades – you got this Class of 2020, you got it!

Independent Learning

Independent learning is a cornerstone of Skagit Valley College’s Bachelor in Management program. Our classes meet just once a week on Fridays so the bulk of our learning is outside the classroom, in our own environments and with ourselves to hold ourselves accountable. The program prepares our participants for the workplace of the unexpected and the unanticipated; no way is this more true than in the current world health pandemic.

The tips in this great article from Fast Company shares hacks on maintaining workplace productivity when working remotely or independently and are equally useful whether you’re a student or and employee who is staying at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus