Conferences & Conventions: 2008 NACCE Convention Day 2

7 Jan

san-antonio-skyline.jpgThis was the first full day of full-blown NACCE sessions here in San Antonio. I took my time last night in the hotel room going over the convention program/schedule to look for exactly the sessions I thought that I would get the most out of. All in all, I attended five presentations covering e-marketing, for-profit ventures at non-profit schools, self-assessment tools, and leadership styles over the course of day before finishing up with a “networking cocktail hour” on a giant veranda overlooking the Texas Hill Country.

In the order that I attended them, here are brief recaps of the sessions I went to:

1. E-Marketing to Entrepreneurs—Practical Solutions for Engaging Entrepreneurs
Brad Kleinman, Associate Director, Key Entrepreneur Center, Corporate College, a Division of Cuyahoga Community College, OH

This session covered the basics of online marketing and social networking: blogging, RSS feeds, Facebook, wikis, YouTube, social content sites like Digg and Reddit, and more. In particular, Brad pointed folks toward a site called SlideShare where PowerPoint presentations can be posted online. I’ve also already added a link to his Key Entrepreneurs blog in the “You Should Read . . .” section in the right-hand menu. He’ll be conducting an informal follow-up session tomorrow in the hotel’s library that I plan to attend.

2. Non-Profit Entrepreneurial College—An Oxymoron?
Dr. Brad Johnson, Vice President and Dean of Development, Amarillo College, TX

Dr. Johnson talked at length about a fundamental contradiction that we have to keep in mind all the time: operating for-profit entrepreneurial ventures (such as our publishing operation) in the historically non-profit higher education arena. Yes, schools need to cultivate and develop alternative sources of money—especially by those means that generate general-use revenue—but traditional higher ed culture isn’t particularly well geared to deal with these initiatives, especially from different procedural aspects on the business/financial end. After all, schools are used to getting big chunks of money appropriated that is doled out on a regular basis to individual departments to make sure it’s all used by the end of the fiscal year without running out too early. But, when you start talking about more and more revenue streams—especially e-commerce as well as multiple points of sale for the same product/service—the whole accounting picture gets much more complicated.

3. Part I—The Enneagram and Me
Betty Noble, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Excellence, Howard Community College, MD

In this session, attendees took a brief test to determine which one of the following personality types they had: the reformer, the helper, the achiever, the individualist, the investigator, the loyalist, the enthusiast, or the challenger. I discovered that I’m most likely an achiever, which means that I’m success-oriented, pragmatic, adaptable, driven, and image-conscious. Furthermore, according to all this, at my best I can be self-accepting, inner-directed, and authentic. Even better, I could be modest and charitable, with a self-deprecatory humor and a fullness of heart that emerges while being gentle and benevolent. At my worst I could become—and trust me, this is BAD!—vindictive, attempting to ruin others’ happiness, relentless, and obsessive about destroying whatever reminds me of my own shortcomings and failures. (In short, a narcissistic, psychopathic murderer.) By the end of this session what I ultimately learned was that while a little self-awareness can go a long way, a lot of self-awareness is a bit overwhelming. Much more information about the enneagram assessment/profiling system can be found at The Enneagram Institute.

4. Part II—The Enneagram and Entrepreneurship
Betty Noble, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Excellence, Howard Community College, MD

In this follow-up session, Ms. Noble talked more specifically about enneagram personality types as they relate to entrepreneurship. Certainly, some types are more prone to success than others but one thing she discussed at length was constructing teams made up of different types that complement each other. For example, you could pair up an enthusiast with a helper to be able to achieve the big and little picture goals of a project. She is doing extensive research in this area and is actively looking for help so anyone interested who could lend a hand should contact her here.

5. Leadership Styles
Paul B. Thornton, Professor, Business Administration, Springfield Technical Community College, MA

The last session of the day dealt with the right times and places to use three basic management styles: direction, discussion, and delegation. Unlike the earlier presentations, this one had a lot more audience discussion and interaction. There were several exercises that we did where I paired up with a woman from Belfast Metropolitan College in Ireland and it was interesting to get to talk to her.

After all this was said and done, it was off the the networking cocktail hour. I talked to the TSTC attendees kicking around such as our new CFO at TSTC Waco as well as some from TSTC West Texas it was good to get caught up with. Lots of people were networking—that is, schmoozing—but folks weren’t particularly fighting their way over to me—much like the old Dwight Yoakum song goes, “Poor old worthless me is the old friend I ever made”—but given how worn out I was I didn’t take it personally and just stood on the big veranda and watched the sunset and unwound until I headed up to the room.


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One Response to “Conferences & Conventions: 2008 NACCE Convention Day 2”

  1. Samual Haden April 1, 2008 at 10:26 pm #

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