BUSINESS LEADERSHIP AND HUMAN VALUES Theme Commentary Assignments Your performance as a leader – whether you are a president, team member, or parent – is largely determined by the way you think and communicate about values. The Business Leadership and Human Values (BLHV) seminar is an opportunity to refine and practice this essential leadership skill. Each class member shares responsibility for creating rich, productive discourse about leadership and values. By engaging in team conversations, participating in class activities, and writing critical reflections on course themes you will develop your multimodal ability to think and communicate by observing, listening, speaking, reading, and writing more rigorously and imaginatively about values and ethical challenges. Theme Commentary Assignments Overview The Theme Commentary interprets and articulates your point of view about a BLHV theme or a particular issue, content item, or perspective included or closely related to a theme. This assignment requires thoughtful preparation to sort through a complex array of ideas, concepts, data, expertise, and opinion involving multiple stakeholders and contested perspectives. You may also need to investigate additional sources to develop and communicate your point of view. Since communication about values includes both individual commentary or opinion and corporate or collective statements of values and principles, it is equally important to exercise these abilities individually and collaboratively. The Theme Commentary assignments therefore include two deliverables: 1. One Individual Theme Commentary submitted in Week 3 of the course. 2. One Team Theme Commentary submitted in Week 8 of the course. Learning Objectives The Theme Commentaries are designed for you to work individually and as part of a team to cultivate and demonstrate your expertise in all the BLHV learning objectives with a focus on Learning Objective 2: Think and communicate effectively about values. The Theme Commentaries demonstrate your ability to absorb, critique, and synthesize a complex discursive field ideas, facts, expertise, values, and opinions related to an ethically consequential issue or topic and then construct a thoughtfully coherent, compelling narrative that persuasively expresses a point of view based on clearly articulated ideas, evidence, and values. BLHV | Theme Commentary Assignments | 2022 Page 2 of 6 Performance Rubrics Evaluation and scoring for the Individual and Team Theme Commentaries will be based on the criteria listed below. THEME COMMENTARY PERFORMANCE RUBRICS Exemplary (3) Proficient (2) Emerging (1) Demonstrates superb ability to absorb, critique, and synthesize a complex discursive field ideas, facts, expertise, values, and opinions related to an ethically consequential issue or topic Construct a superbly original, thoughtful, coherent, and compelling narrative that persuasively expresses a point of view based on clearly articulated ideas, evidence, and values Includes properly cited content, commentary, and/or references from course content and multiple sources from independent research. Format is creatively and brilliantly executed to highlight key content points and insights Complies with all submission requirements Demonstrates ability to absorb, critique, and synthesize a complex discursive field ideas, facts, expertise, values, and opinions related to an ethically consequential issue or topic Constructs a thoughtful, coherent, and compelling narrative that persuasively expresses a point of view based on clearly articulated ideas, evidence, and values Includes properly cited content, commentary, and/or references from course content Format is competently executed to highlight key content points and insights Complies with all submission requirements Demonstrates limited ability to absorb, critique, and synthesize a complex discursive field ideas, facts, expertise, values, and opinions related to an ethically consequential issue or topic Constructs a superficial, incoherent narrative that expresses an inaccurate, vague, or unsubstantiated point of view Fails to include, reference, or properly cite source material Flawed, poorly executed format fails to highlight content points or insights Fails to comply with submission requirements Demonstrates superficial or flawed understanding of t h e m e c o n t e n t a n d course material. BLHV | Theme Commentary Assignments | 2022 Page 3 of 6 The Individual Theme Commentary In a digitally interconnected world, we are constantly bombarded with information and stories that exceed our capacity to absorb and make sense of it. As an educated person, you have developed your own methods of sorting through media and information sources to expand and clarify your understanding of the world and the way it works. Your beliefs, values, and ideas about a subject come together in a narrative that may not always be clearly defined in your mind, but it influences how you make sense of everything you read, hear, see, and experience. Your Theme Commentary begins with a BLHV course theme and related course content. You may also choose an issue or topic that is not directly addressed or included but is closely related to BLHV theme. As you engage with the theme content to construct a theme narrative, it is important to slow down and think about the steps you take to make sense of the theme. You may want to explore how theme content aligns with personal narratives you have already constructed about values and issues related to the theme. Making sense of the theme begins with questions. You can start with the questions below, add more questions, and take notes as you respond to the questions. • What is the main point or key idea of the theme? • Do you care about this theme? Why/not? • How is the main point backed up with reasoning and factual evidence? • What is your level of confidence in the sources of content for this theme? Explain. • What is your level of confidence in the reasoning and factual evidence included in theme content? Explain. • What sources, ideas, and evidence do you think are missing from the theme content? • How does the theme and content material relate to you, personally, and with your life, your work, and your career goals (past, present and future)? • How does it address things that are important to your family, your community, your ethnic group, to people of your economic or social class or background, or your faith/religious tradition? If not, whom does the text serve? Does it pass the “Who cares?” test? • Do you already have a point of view about the theme? Can you define it in a few words? • How did you develop your point of view? Was there a time when you believed something different than you do now? How and why did your point of view change? • How does the theme content affirm or clash with your values and what you consider right and wrong? Identify examples with quotes and references to discuss how content sources align or conflict with your values, your worldview, and your understanding of the theme. BLHV | Theme Commentary Assignments | 2022 Page 4 of 6 • How are your views and opinions challenged or changed by this material, if at all? How does it speak to you? Why or why not? Give examples of how your views on the theme might be changed or confirmed (or why the material failed to speak to you). • Other thoughts? Constructing your Theme Commentary begins with your notes to create talking points. When you think you have a clear understanding of the theme content and your own ideas about it, use the outline below as a starting point to organize your thoughts from your notes into narrative or talking points. (<250 words.) You may change or restructure the outline to create a smooth, coherent narrative flow. 1. Who is your audience? Focus on the people you want to influence. 2. Capture attention with an intriguing question, visual, fact, or statement 3. Focus and shift attention to define your theme briefly and why it is important: Urgent challenge, problem, or opportunity involving values or defining moment of moral choice 4. State your point of view 5. Identify sources of knowledge, ideas, values, or opinion about the theme that you are responding to: What surprises, troubles, or intrigues, or inspires you – and why. 6. Explain how these sources prompt your to critique and clarify values. 7. Elaborate and explain your point of view with specific examples, reasoning, and evidence drawn from your own knowledge, expertise, research, and experience. 8. Identify/illustrate scope of impact/relevance for business and society 9. Identify/explain the value and relevance of your point of view 10. Relate your point of view to your audience: What do you want them to think/do? 11. Wrap it up with an action challenge or question for your audience. Individual Theme Commentary: Submission Requirements You must comply with all requirements to complete the assignment.