For us academics it is the season for meetings. A good many of them follow each other in a steady stream of ‘importants, essentials, reflections and projections’ much as they do every year. They will, of course, feature all the best acronyms, abbreviations, buzzwords, jargon and newfangled managerial codswallop.
I’m not complaining. It is a regular feature in modern education and we, as professionals, develop our own strategies to deal with much of the monotonous drudgery that the majority of these meetings are. Given that most of the important and essential information that can be gleaned from all of these meetings can be included in a Twitter-style email of around 140 characters, that leaves a fair amount of time for the mental gymnastics that provide the most rewarding return.
This can be demonstrated further in the following equation :
In light of the recent research findings published by Professor R. Soale of the Hugh Jars Foundation in the Netherlands, it is important to recognise the importance of diversionary awareness in the disenfranchised academic as a means of measuring the collective effectiveness of management initiatives. This was succinctly expressed by Prof. Soale (and concurred with by Dr. Jurr Kough of the Pointlessness Institute of Saffron Waldon) in June 2010 at the TotalWasteOfTime Conference as:
A full transcript of Prof. Soale’s paper can be seen below.
If you didn’t get to the TotalWasteOfTime Conference this year, or perhaps your tolerance for absorbing forgettable and tedious information, statistics, buzzwords and initiative is much higher than you previously expected, you can continue to view extracts from the good professor’s paper here..
But I’d like to sign off this post by featuring the most poignant part of Professor Soale’s paper, which many of you will remember as particularly moving as it was the seventh PowerPoint presentation of the day:
Wise words, indeed.