Tuesday, December 30, 2008

7 Things

Janet Clarey has thrown down the gauntlet of the "7 things" meme. So here are my "Seven Things You Don't Know About Me".

1. Getting married was the best thing I ever did and I wish more happily married people would speak up. My husband says, and I am sure he means this in the most positive possible sense, that we have to stay married forever -- because he doesn’t want me for an ex-wife.

2. If it weren’t for my global virtual village of training friends I would lose my mind, as everyone in my physical orbit thinks I am just speaking Plutonian or something most of the time.

3. If they made a movie of my life I would want the part of me to be played by Debra Winger or Whoopi Goldberg.

4. One of my favorite possessions is a “story people” card that says: “She accepts that she creates her own reality except for the parts where she wonders what the hell she was thinking.”

5. I would like to take credit for being brilliant and talented and gifted but in reality I probably owe most of my success to the facts that I can 1) follow instructions and 2) meet deadlines, which apparently hardly anyone else on earth can do.

6. They say that your favorite childhood book influences you more than you will suspect and will play out somewhere in your adult life. When I was 28 I was still single and liked it that way and lived in a funny little house on the edge of a little town with funny little pets. I even became a redhead. Looking back I realize: Yes, I was living the life of Pippi Longstocking.

7. I live at the top of one of the highest hills in Durham, North Carolina, and on a clear day can see the top of Duke Chapel from my deck. I would not change one thing about my house or my husband or my life. My favorite material possessions include my icemaker, my iPhone, my dishwasher with a timer, my under-sink hot water dispenser, the tall windows in my living room, my Mustang, and my little iPhone beanbag that cost way too much because of shipping but is perfect for watching movies on planes. I refuse to discard the Thin Clothes because you just never know. I am pleased we have so many great neighbors we genuinely like. I love my job and my work and yes those are different things. I am in deep denial that our beloved Corgi, Donald, is 13 years old and will likely not live to see 27. I do try to say, "Why not?" at least once a day.

And in the spirit of paying this forward I will pass the challenge on to
Karl Kapp
Jennifer Hofmann
Saul Carliner
Patti Shank
Jane Hart
Bryan Chapman
Phylise Banner

Monday, December 15, 2008

So do something already.

I get a lot of "my organization won't let me..." comments in training that I do. Steve Radick offers a wonderful response. Here's part of his post from yesterday. Visit him to read the whole thing:

"Don’t tell me it’s too hard or that your boss doesn’t know YouTube from an iPod. Those are excuses, not reasons. If YouTube is blocked where you work, get it unblocked. Write a white paper justifying why it shouldn’t be blocked. Meet with your boss about it. Meet with your boss’s boss about it. Start a blog where you talk about it. Volunteer to give a brown bag presentation to your office. Just DO something! Take the initiative and work on changing how your organization works - don’t just sit there sulking, saying, “I wish we could do social media here, but we can’t even get on Facebook so there’s no use.” Bringing social media to your organization isn’t something that happens from 9-5. It happens from 5-9, after everyone else has gone home...

Social media and government started not with some policy or memo from the senior leadership, but from regular people sitting in a cubicle who saw an opportunity and decided to do something about it. They didn’t see a policy prohibiting blogging and say, “oh well, I guess that ends that.” No, they pulled together briefings on why blogging was needed. They found examples of others who were doing it. They told anyone who would listen about the power of blogging. They got meetings with his bosses. They eventually changed the policy.

It’s time for you to be that guy and to step up, take the initiative and not let red tape and bureaucracy stop you. Don’t accept no as an answer and don’t let a couple unenlightened colleagues stop your drive to effect change. Stand out from the crowd and actually do something about it."

And I say A-men to that!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


One of the discussion points in my dissertation research involves the distinction between knowing how to do things (i.e., perform a task) and knowing how to get things done. At the agency where I work, for instance, we lost Grant of the Superpowers some years back. Grant was our "purchasing guy": apart from knowing how to fill out paperwork, Grant also knew who to call if you needed a check cut on a day not in the cycle, how to get stalled paperwork off someone's desk and back into the system, and which vendors would most likely extend agreements without lots of additional rigamarole. He knew how to get things done, and unfortunately, when he left he took that with him. And we haven't recovered yet.

As we shift to global transactions and face the coming exodus of Baby Boomers from the workplace businesses worry about capturing tacit knowlege. We usually mean skills --how to do things--and so far we continue to struggle even with that.

How will we capture the ways to get things done?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Gift idea

In his latest post Karl Kapp kindly offers gift-giving ideas for the cost conscious, namely copies of his book. I wholeheartedly endorse this plan and recommend his Gadgets, Games, and Gizmos for Learning as the perfect complement to the collected works of Jane Bozarth. Now, you're probably saying to yourself, "Gee, Jane already owns 4 signed, dog-eared, tattered copies of Karl Kapp's book (Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning -- did I mention that already?), what could I possibly give Jane?" Well the answer, of course, is the Optoma EP-PK-101 PICO Pocket Projector. Is there anything anywhere cooler than this? Except maybe for Karl Kapp...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pocket First Aid iPhone Application

I know that folks tend to have strong feelings about the iPhone (I love mine...it completes me :-) ) and understand that as far as phone applications go, well, to each his own. So please think of this post less as an endorsement of the iPhone, or even this particular application, but as yet another instance of excellent matching of function to technology.

This is the "Pocket First Aid & CPR Guide" from Jive Media LLC. It's an instant first-aid reference always with you on your phone, with additional screens for your own emergency medical information (link to your Dr.'s office, your emergency contacts, your preferred hospital, your allergies). AND: the first-aid instructions are available even when you are out of cellphone range. Reviewers at the iPhone app store are asking for the addition of emergency phone links even when out of country, and for pet first aid info, so I would imagine that, and more, will be added soon. $1.99 US.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Impromptu Bozarthzone Award: Most Innovative Use of YouTube

Check this out: Tonya poses a question, asks viewers to type their answers into the comments section below the video, and pauses the tape to give viewers time to answer. FABULOUS strategy. FABULOUS use of this technology! Be sure to visit the YouTube site to see the comments.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Who is research for, anyway?

Now that The Dissertation is finished I want to ask the question that always seemed to annoy faculty: Who is research for, anyway?

I feel it should ultimately be geared toward helping the practitioner. But most research is written in that stilted academic style (believe me, mine's closer to comprehensible English than most, and it was still like writing in a second language), often full of numbers incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't taken Graduate Statistics, published in journals that cost $200/year, and presented at conferences attended only by other academics. Then the researchers complain that research doesn't transfer into practice!

Any response to this?