Biking with Amy

April 30, 2009

Who knew Connecticut had so many trails? Surely not myself, a California transplant who only bought a road bike for the first time 10 months prior. Had you asked me two years ago I would have made a twelfth grader blush with my knowledge of New England geography, oblivious to the forested countryside that lay within minutes of the post-industrial potholes of New Haven. Sleeping Giant? Tyler Mill Run? Regicide Trail? Which brings me to the Farmington Canal trail which, construction work notwithstanding, provided an entertaining afternoon venture for three MBA students and Professor Amy Wrzesniewski, resident specialist in the realm of Organizational Behavior. A bike ride with Amy W was the winning reward of a lottery for most carbon-emissions reduced during the 1st year International Experience. More accurately, I was invited by those who actually won the lottery to accompany the trip for one slow-moving Thursday afternoon. I consoled myself that my carbon-emitting habits were partially mitigated by this self-propelled exercise. Fast paced courses? Too many assignments? Thankfully, this was one of the opportunities at SOM that lets one to relax, take a fresh breath, and on the side find out what it means to teach at Yale SOM. Truthfully, there wasn’t so much the dish on academic life, but a chance to ask some of the questions I had never got to in class. I also realized that organizational behavior is not so different from most things in life. You place your bets that alignment of incentives and goals will lead to meaningful work, but compromise moves the organization behind the scenes, day in and day out. And it is compromise, whether between labor and management, citizens and governments, partner and partner, that drives a successful relationship.

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Leif Linden