Social Networking and The Manchester Method

May 29, 2007

manchester-method-as-a-community-of-learning.ppt

The Manchester Method is offered as a case example of an educational innovation which can be analysed within a complex social network

Which sounds very grand and scholarly. I had been offered a ten-minute slot to discuss The Manchester Method at a workshop for educational experts.

Ten minutes is a rather brief time for a public presentation. I consoled myself with the thought that this was five time longer than was granted to the candidates for the Labour Party deputy leader debacle last night.

I futher consoled myself with the thought that one of my points was an example of a realistic leadership challenge in which MBA students were trained to make a one-minute elevator pitch.

So, assisted with such psychological Dutch courage I stepped up to the plate, and attempted to summarize over thirty years of work known as The Manchester Method which has been carried out by a community of practice extending out from my academic homebase of The Manchester Business School, within The University of Manchester, England.

The gentle art of knitting

It is a well-known fact that academics are prohibited from publishing the same idea in more than one scholarly journal. It is less well-known that academics are skilled at the art of knitting a variety of patterns, thus conveying the appearance of producing new product after new product, with minimum change of procedures.

I was thus able to draw on the basic principles of The Manchester Method, outlined in an earlier post.

These were then knitted to meet the request of the workshop organizers to ‘do something about social networking’

Manchester Method as Social Networking


What’s Blair up to? Elementary my dear Watson

May 29, 2007

paget_holmes.pngThe transition now has one recurrent theme. Why does Tony not step down? The transition from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown as Prime Minister is increasingly baffling. Is this a case for M Poirot, or for Sherlock Holmes?

The story takes on the form of a classic detective mystery. Tony has been undertaking a hectic schedule of events, mainly abroad. Shouldn’t the transistion include a gradual transfer of powers? What’s going on?

There may be a whole diary-load of reasons for his globe-trotting . As someone brought up on Agatha Christie, I’m attuned to her favorite themes. The mystery story appears to have many clues, but most of them are red herrings. The key lies in finding the unrevealed clue, and ignoring the rest.

Without cracking the code, we have to consider a range of possibilities: TB may be staying on ‘for his legacy’, ‘to influence the G8 leaders and actions’, ‘to fulfill a timetable for a grand goodbye (leaked memo)’, ‘as a nice advertising campaign and prelude for his next role, for the next role’.

Agatha teaches us that the answer may lie in considering some of these, but the heart of the matter may be elsewhere. If none of them make sense we have to make new sense. M Poirot or even Sherlock Holmes step forward. ‘We’ve got a little job that might interest you, Mr Holmes’

Further developments

Tuesday May 29th 2007. Tony Blair starts a one week tour of Africa in Libya. The meeting here will indicate renewal of links with Libya, and a symbolic start to a big business deal for BP.

Pehaps Lord Browne had been too distracted over the last few months to have been able to persuade Tony to go instead to Siberia, where the company’s future is looking rather less promising