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Grad Program in CPM

Page history last edited by Michael J 14 years, 6 months ago

Notes for a Graduate Program in Communication Process Management


The purpose of an undergraduate education in design is to learn the craft skills, articulate the passions that drive one, and develop a personal narrative that will allow a student to design a good life.

One purpose of a graduate education in design is to prepare a student to enter a value creating speciality with clear and immediate professional job opportunities. Another purpose could be to prepare a student to make valuable contributions to increasing the social capital of their specialty.

Communication Process Managment is positioned to do the former. It could be a new professional practice of managing communication processes. It has its roots in communication design, project management, organizational sociology, the sociology of communication, micro economics, systems thinking and the practice of Six Sigma.

The theory that informs the pedagogy is described as Communication Ecology. It is a data-driven approach to understanding communication processes. Based on a combination of traditional marketing and demographic data with newly available network data to make invisible communication acts visible and amenable to analysis and management. For an outline of the theory, click here

The theory and practice have now developed to a point that it is plausible to consider the establishment of a graduate program that would offer an MS in Communication Process Management or more likely an Executive Education program.


The Value Created


CPM could mature into a professional practice becuase dysfunctional communication processes have become major stumbling blocks for effective functioning of formal organizations. Legacy systems, developed in a pre internet world, combined with the ever lowering cost of product and service delivery, have made inefficient communication systems a fertile ground for significant cost savings and value creation. It is plausible to consider that appropriate communication processes are a significant driver for the development of human capital.

As communication technology keeps improving, the challenge is to correctly incoporate just the right combinations of that technology based on the found communication ecology to create change in near to real time.



Pedagogical Approach


With it's roots in the world of project mangement, it is natural that a team based problem solving approach is at the core of the pedagogy.

The focus of the program is to build scalable prototypes that can add to significant, measurable solutions. The areas of problem definition are education, health, government and other problems that present at different scales in civil society.


The outline of the structure of the curriculum is informed by the best thinking about the design process.

Create - This is defining the problem on a scale that is amenable to solution. Brainstorming possible functionalities that solve the problem.

Organize - Define resources needed. Locate missing resouces. Revisit the solutions to assemble a team that can execute.

Assemble - Organize the most appropriate communication ecology to serve the purposes of the project and it's team members.

Deliver - Insure that all artifacts are created to both the highest creative standards possible and technically as perfect as possible.

Output - Achieve timely delivery of whatever is defined as the success criteria.

Evaluate - Analyze the experience, the data, and the effort required to acheive it with the purpose of refining the prototype.


Other extant models

There are a number of academic institutions that offer programs that have various names for essentially a similar practice. They seem to be focused on a subset of "learning organizations" and "systems thinking" - a closely allied discipline. I haven't yet (Dec 7) been able to locate a design school that has a formal program with this kind of approach.

The unique value of a program focused on these issues at a design school, especially situated within a research university (to be), is that design school populations have very high proportions of creatives. Many are naturally passionate about making art and innovative onjects.

As this population deepens their systems thinking and combines it with their ability to create communicative objects, they can make a unique contribution to the field. In the process, they will have the tools and narrative that will help them design more satisfying productive lives for themselves.

Columbia University has an interesting approach with the Revson Institute. To see what they are doing, click here


Based on a very quick perusal of the following websites, it looks to me as if Antioch has an interesting model.


Academic Programs

Antioch University Seattle Center for Creative Change

Organization Systems Renewal Graduate Program—Seattle University

Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center

The Program on Social and Organizational Learning at George Mason University


Academic Programs in Social Entrepreneurship

This is from the PBS website for New Heros. the link


Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University


Promotes the advancement of social entrepreneurship worldwide.

Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard Business School


Educates leaders by integrating social enterprise-related research, teaching and activities.

Center for Social Innovation (CSI) at Stanford Graduate School of Business


Promotes solutions through interdisciplinary research, teaching beyond the classroom and efforts to engage with those who lead social change.

Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business


Explores adapting business concepts, tools and skills to the social sector in appropriate, practical and effective ways, increasing awareness on a local, national and international level.

Columbia Business School: Social Enterprise Program


Empowers students to achieve social benefit through business practices.

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