The joys of cross-training

Our little team of three became a team of two when one of us was out sick for a few days. It happens all the time. But when that one person is working on a key project on a tight deadline, things can turn into a stressful scramble.

But this time? The urgent project our missing comrade was working on is one that has been assigned to each us at one time or another. We were completely and utterly cross-trained on this one particular job. (I don't know that I can think of any other responsibility where this is so completely the case.) One of us could have been on vacation, and it still would have gotten done.

The transition? Seamless. The work? Completed only a tiny bit late, because of an unrelated complication. The team? Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Cross-training is beautiful. I'm inspired to do more of it.

the journey into graphic standards

Like many communicators at the University, we're about to embark into the land of aligning with the University's new graphic standards policy. This means doing away with logos and fully embracing the use of the University's word mark within the context of our organizational name. It's going to be a challenge; there's a lot of affiliation that needs to be considered. And we already are low on options for visual images to denote who we are. Not to mention the Office of Classroom Management's current use of our logo outside, at least, each and every general purpose classroom on the Twin Cities campus. The One Stop ticket will survive this journey largely in tact (it has the advantage of being seen as a "graphic" rather than a logo). I'm hoping this transition will create an opportunity to provide more consistency in our look and feel and create an even greater sense of institutional affiliation. At the end of the day, though, it's probably not the end product that matters as much as including everyone in the process of getting there. A true example of the journey mattering much more than the destination.

an introduction

Writing e-mails and for the Web, creating forms, creating a succession planning and professional development program, and other communications and organizational effectiveness (OE) goodies. In this blog, the communications folks in Academic Support Resources (ASR) at the University of Minnesota will share their insights, inquiries, and oops's as we work our way through the world of higher ed communications. We don't claim to have the low down on all there is to know, but we do have adventures worth sharing.

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