Christie Beverly, who works with our friends at Strategic Knowledge Solutions, is participating in the Walk for MS, sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation/Hampton Roads Chapter, with the goal of raising $2000. Though I don't post many of these requests (if I did, I'd be running one every day), this issue is rather close to my heart. Please help and thanks. Here's Christie's appeal:
Why I Walk for MS
I walk because I'm a fighter. Diagnosed in 2005,
I've been fighting ever since, and I refuse to let it own me.
Thankfully, my case seems to be mild - at the moment - but most are not
so fortunate. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder if tomorrow will be
the day my MS reappears.
I walk because I have a beautiful
daughter who I hope will make it through life without ever having to
hear the words "You have MS."
I walk because two friends were
also diagnosed this year, and I want to do everything to prevent more
people from learning what it means to live with this disease.
is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and with a diagnosis most often
occurring between 20-50 years old, many people face a lifetime of
uncertainty and unpredictability.
Why You Should Sponsor Me
Don't do it for me...do it for the millions out
there who desperately need our help. The National Multiple Sclerosis
Society will use funds collected from the MS Walk to support research
for a cure tomorrow, and to provide programs that address the needs of
people living with MS today.
Because we choose to walk for
those who sometimes can't, because we choose to donate to walk MS, we
are getting closer to the hour when no one will have to hear the words
I heard four years ago and my friends heard this year -- "You have
Even if Gil Yehuda's post were awful (it's anything but), I'd still want to blog it just for this title. We all complain about email but who does anything about it? OK, a few people (loud clearing of throat)...which prompts me to post this single slide about how to radically improve your use of email.
And, sugest that you read Gil's post where he reviews Mike Song, Vicki Halsey, and Tim Burress's book, The Hamster Revolution, apparently about information overload and, yes, email management.
Song et al's book, according to Gil's post, has some good tips, including this really simple one:
All emails have a Subject, Action, Background, and Close. All meeting
requests have Subject, Location, and Time (provided by the email client
— e.g. Outlook, Notes, etc.) as well as Objective, Agenda, Logistics,
If only. Life would be so simple...and thanks, Gil. Great post. Our billboard messages on email:
I may be the last person online to have seen this but, holy schmazoo...this is collaboration at its best. And it's all to the tune of the great Ben E. King song, "Stand by Me," itself enough to run the tears down the cheeks.
Playing for Change ("dedicated to connecting the world through music") is responsible; the musicians--from around the world and mainly from the street--are gorgeous. Check out what happens at the very end.
We went there last Sunday, July 19, because it was the anniversary of Margaret Fuller's death. Instead of taking our usual direct route up to Pyrola Path, we meandered through the cemetery, areas that we'd never seen before, for example, Mary Baker Eddy's memorial.
I don't need to go into more detail than this: The US government has had the data proving that it's extremely dangerous--akin to being drunk--to yabber on the phone while driving since 2003. Hands free or not. Makes no difference.
Richtel has done a superb job of following the timeline, putting together the salient facts, and pointing fingers in the right direction.
We all have stories to tell about the risks; I've been posting mine as regular readers know. And I've come to the sorry conclusion that the person who sideswiped me in Brooklyn last week was likely on the phone.
Here are a few blood-boiling paragraphs from Richtel's fury-maker:
The former head of the highway safety agency said he was urged to
withhold the research to avoid antagonizing members of Congress who had
warned the agency to stick to its mission of gathering safety data but
not to lobby states.
Critics say that rationale and the failure
of the Transportation Department, which oversees the highway agency, to
more vigorously pursue distracted driving has cost lives and allowed to
blossom a culture of behind-the-wheel multitasking.
looking at a problem that could be as bad as drunk driving, and the
government has covered it up,” said Clarence Ditlow, director of the
Center for Auto Safety.
It took filing under the Freedom of Information Act, by the way, to force the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to release the report.
Now I'm asking readers to leave a comment if you've given up the deadly habit.
Maybe it's this way in all such places. I don't know. Like you, I'm sure, I try to avoid them., But every so often, someone we care about has a "meeting" in one of these places and there you are, waiting. Such was the case this morning when a relative had a rather long meeting with a machine made of magnets. Anticipating that the magnets might be running a bit late, I brought along my computer, thinking I could work while waiting, hoping that if the meeting went on too long, I would be able to find a plug.
To my delight, I found a place to sit, a very comfy chair with a coffee table in front, a light on the table behind. Ah-ha! There had to be a plug. A three-pronger, no less. I turned on my machine and ...! Wireless with a welcome notice, allowing me in as a guest, without even registering or providing my name. A good strong 5-bar signal at that.
I got to work, opening, storing, deleting, writing...and then and then...just behind me, the gentle plucking of strings. A harpist had come in, set up, not ten feet from me, all so quietly that I hadn't even noticed until she filled the lobby with a celestial serenade, the lobby, that is, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
As per below, I invited the virtual team "study" author and the person whom I've been corresponding with to respond to myposts. Received this email earlier this evening, reporting that my blog says "it won't accept [their] data." Ironic, given what I've been writing - and, I've never heard of this problem before. I admire Joseph Grenny for replying directly and thank Brittney Maxfield for fielding my queries. My replies to this email are interspersed in bold.
We have tried to respond on your blog. We repeatedly get an error that says “we’re sorry, we cannot accept this data.” Not sure what the issues are.
Here is the author’s response. Perhaps you can post it on the blog:
Our recent study on virtual teams (referenced above) draws attention to some of the challenges associated with working across distances.
Our studies, conducted via the opt-in responses of our 102,000 newsletter subscribers, provide insight and commentary on trends in interpersonal and organizational behavior. Our studies typically validate previously conducted scientific research and simply add to the discussion.
A few other studies that have reached similar conclusions regarding the challenges or [sic] virtual teams include:
· ThoughtLink - research indicates virtual teams are “less cohesive than collocated teams” and “often have cultural differences…that negatively affect the team's ability to develop a sense of trust, impacting the team's ability to accomplish its mission.” (http://www.thoughtlink.com/vteams_benefits.htm)
The sentence above is taken from another company's websiteunder the heading "Virtual Team Pitfalls." It's footnoted by a 1999 paper by Pamela J. Hinds, "Perspective Taken Among Distributed Workers: The effect of distance on shared mental models of work," but I am not able to find the paper itself available online.
· Barbara Geisler - states that when spatial borders separate team members, identity is ambiguous and basic indicators of personality traits and social roles are harder to identify. (http://www.newfoundations.com/OrgTheory/Geisler721.html)
I'm not familiar with Barbara Geisler's work and this is the only paper I can find by her. The context in which it was written is not clear (a term paper, perhaps, as it's extensively referenced but doesn't present any study or original research of its own)...but I sure like her sources: she quotes us extensively.
· Both studies site a scientific research conducted by Jarvenpaa and Leidner (of the Graduate School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin) that explores the challenges of creating and maintaining trust in a global virtual team whose members transcend time, space, and culture. (http://hyperion.math.upatras.gr/commorg/jarvenpaa/)
The conclusion to this thoughtful, classic study of trust by two great researchers on virtual teams is: "[o]ur exploratory
suggests that trust can exist in teams built purely on electronic networks."
Our own study builds on these findings and provides a potential solution set. That solution involves improving the way virtual teams communicate in crucial moments. We don’t advocate that our solution is the only one, rather that it can help alleviate some of the difficulties associated with long-distance working relationships.
I agree that our task is to help virtual teams be as
effective as possible, and that encouraging them to have frank
conversations is critical.
We hope the message readers take from our research is not that virtual teams cause trouble.
Then why title your press release this way? "Long Distance Loathing: Telecommuting damages morale and productivity
- New research shows working remotely causes 243 percent more problems"
Virtual teams are here to stay. Rather, the question is how to help them be as effective as possible. Based on our findings and more than 30 years working with clients across the globe, we advocate that if teams learn how to communicate better across distances, they will be more effective, productive, and profitable.
I also agree with this.
I encourage you to think more positively and undertake a real study of the challenges facing virtual teams and the great doors that they open. Much research, including ours, indicates that virtual teams can outperform face-to-face ones. Getting there requires excellent collaborative behaviors - and support with appropriate technology. I also don't think - though I have no numbers to back this up - that most people working in virtual teams loathe them. Most virtual workers I know love them.
Regardless, Mr. Grenny, I appreciate your writing in like this and encourage you to keep posting here.
I've received more replies to my queries from the authors of the Vital Smarts study. I've updated my post to reflect them (see the end of the post), beginning with these words, and inviting the authors to respond directly:
This just in on July 19, 2009: The person with whom I'm
corresponding at Vital Smarts tells me that they employed "pathing,"
meaning that if someone indicated that they didn't participate in
virtual teams in question 1...
Four years ago this summer, I had the good luck to land in Roland Merullo's workshop on the novel at Solstice Summer Writers' Conference. With an opinion or two of my own about writing, I listened to what he said with a critic's ear. To my astonishment, I agreed with nearly everything--about writing, about workshopping, about raising kids. (Then there was his obsession with golf. Oh, well.)
Thus, Roland became my writing teacher--except for my editor when I was a young reporter, the only such instructor I've had--and, just when I think I have nothing more to learn, he pops up again, always without announcement, with another thoughtful approach to someone or something.
Today's Boston Globe brings "The life Hemingway made," his op-ed honoring Hemingway's 110th birthday tomorrow, where he talks simply about the writer's life, Hemingway the writer, and his own as writer. Here's the kind of phrasing that has made me read every one of Roland's books (except the golf one): "...these were the notes of a song sung to the deepest part of me." Not forced, not complicated, but ... what notes of which "song" have reached the deepest parts of you?
This post also gives me the excuse to include mention of Roland's latest, his memoir of eating and, yes, golf, The Italian Summer, which I'm reading now.
Guaranteed to make you hungry and to provoke a tendency to rent a
villa, book a flight, and do what he, Amanda, and their two daughters,
Alexandra and Juliana, did a couple of years ago: spend five weeks in
heaven, excuse me, Lake Como. I also love this cover. Check out the golfer.