Refocussing with the BCG Matrix

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Die Grünen hybrider Kongress 2021

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Talk at BESIG 2021 for Cornelsen

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I’ve given up one of my very favorite jobs, writing for Spotlight. It was a very sudden decision. I was spending too much time on each article and found that my love of writing was keeping me from dedicating enough time to teaching, which is my essential profession, to which writing is ancillary. It forms the basis of a project I’ve committed to, co-writing a book for college students, my focus in the coming months.

At junctures like this in professional development I find it helpful to go back to the Boston Consulting Growth-Share Matrix with its stars and cash cows and dogs and question marks. What began as a star 3 years ago and became my cash cow – writing – turned out to be costing me too much time and energy to develop new stars. My actual cash cows are translating and my Back Office compact courses for Management Circle and the Akademie für Sekretariat und Management Assistenz.

My new star is the area of specific skills academics need. This is not the same thing as running extensive courses in giving presententations and writing, which I did in Munich. These are compact skills training sessions, targeted and concise. The extensive side of things, I hope, will emerge over time, building through subsequent workshops, and in collaboration with other advisors, thanks to the LMS that we’ll be using as a moderated communication platform. I would have loved to work with Confluence, which Christian advocates, but the uni already has Moodle.

I’ve got a question mark, too: Coaching and training professors and assistant professors to give their courses in English.


5 Responses

  1. Hi Anne,
    It’s always very interesting to hear how other teachers organise and plan their work. I must admit I like the sound of the compact skills training sessions as I do like a strong focus.
    I also like the look of Confluence – it’s the first time I’ve come across it and judging by the promo it looks extraordinarily slick and mashable. I have yet to see Moodle 2.0 in action, but I can’t imagine it has changed that much since 1.0 that it can fully compare.
    Anyway, good luck with the book and your other projects.

  2. Hi Tony,
    Thanks for your encouraging words.
    I’m hoping to experiment with Confluence as soon as I have a likely client, and should you decide to, let’s exchange notes. The only problem I’ve encountered so far is that my version of Firefox crashes every time I play the Confluence tutorial video 😉
    Moodle is quite firmly established at unis across Germany, so it’ll be a while before anything else follows.

  3. Hi Anne,
    When I get the chance to use Confluence I’ll be more than happy to swap notes. Confluence would actually be the perfect platform to do that too!

  4. Hi Chris,
    Oh, the I-Ching is a tad subtle for the likes of me. I like the simple playfulness of labeling something a dog, or a cow… Happy new year to you too 🙂

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