Friday, February 24, 2006

Search for Good

It's pennies a search, but your favorite charity or school can earn a little cash with Yahoo's GoodSearch.

If you don't have a favorite school or charity, your cash goes to the featured organization. Tomorrow's featured org is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I learned about GoodSearch through a broadcast email from them.

Use GoodSearch February 25 to support a cure for MS!


Max came in second place in the district-wide spelling bee! It was an exciting finish, with fifth-grade rival Arman winning the day and moving on to the regional competition. Max seemed pleased with his performance, and I think we may have a serious competitor on our hands next year!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mass Bay ODLG

The Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group has an interesting group blog.

Mass Bay ODLG

I like their idea of giving away a professional development opportunity at each monthly meeting! That could get pretty pricey, though. I wonder how they work that out?

Big Day

Max is in the district-wide spelling bee today! I want to be there so badly, and I have so much stuff at work to do that I can't think straight. If I go, Ed will not be happy to see me there, and my boss will not be happy to see me leave - but my heart is with Max and his competition today.

My first Toastmasters speech was also scheduled for today, but I have removed myself from that as of 6:30 this morning. I'm not well prepared and there's too much going on this morning to think clearly about getting through it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Family Matters

Niko wrote to Dean and me this weekend. I haven't responded, because I think his letter deserves a thoughtful response and I need time to process that response.

Niko, if you're reading this - I will contact you soon.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Weekend Wrap-Up

I feel so much better today. I got enough sleep this weekend, and my mind stopped spinning like a top! I made some progress on several school fronts, including the Diva final paper and the individual field project, so that is a relief, too.

The conclusion for the final Diva paper came out well, even if I do say so myself. I've reproduced it here. Names have been changed to protect the guilty. (PD taught me a new word this weekend - redacted. The following excerpt from the final Diva paper has been redacted.)

Section 6: Evaluation

On its face, the action research project that we embarked on a year ago has been a success at the most basic level as it completely satisfied the stated objectives:

- Provide education on the concept of sustainability
- Create a forum for the stakeholders to envision and design enhancements to their business that can build a sustainable future

However, the project did more than satisfy the stated objectives. As an action research project should, it was developed in partnership with our sponsors, MD and CM. It engaged and involved the people of Wellspring in their own future in ways that they were not engaged previously. Further, in the three work teams the project leaves behind an infrastructure that will continue to support Wellspring's efforts to innovate and sustain its success.

Today there are three ongoing streams of activity at Wellspring addressing different facets of sustainability. Progress has been made in stimulating the energy and ingenuity of Wellspring's people for the prosperity of the company, the well-being of the communities in which they do business, and the environment we all share.

Through the action research process, the Divas were changed, too. In our efforts to "educate" Wellspring, we deepened our own understanding of sustainability and the triple bottom line. We came to see that sustainability is more than a buzzword – it is a worldview that is broad enough to encompass the many activities that contribute to the health of a business.

Finally, CM and MD's unflagging leadership in promoting sustainable business principles became a touchstone for the Divas. We continue to admire their enthusiasm and courage in the face of a skeptical management team.

With the accelerating rate of change in today's world, and increased competition due to globalization, we recognize that we must follow CM and MD's example and each take the lead in our own organizations to promote sustainable practices. This is one reality of the "global village." What affects one of us affects all of us.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Schaffer vs. Neilsen

Harlow has us reading Robert Schaffer's High Impact Consulting. Some (though not all) of Shaffer's recommendations to consultants (and more importantly, clients) seem to be in direct conflict with Eric Neilsen's advice in Becoming an OD Practitioner. Most notably, Schaffer recommends that a consultant contract for "results" rather than "deliverables," whereas Neilsen suggests that a consultant contract for activity, not results.

Deliverables are not equivalent to activity, but I think the terms imply the same sense of action on the part of the consultant. "Results" cannot come from a consultant alone, which Schaffer does go on to say. I don't think a consultant can afford to be held responsible for results, which in most cases are out of her sphere of influence.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, February 10, 2006

And that's just the morning . . .

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Practice Makes . . . er. . . Better

I volunteered for Grammarian at the Toastmasters meeting again. I figure I'll keep trying on the same hat until I get it right.

The intro went a little better this time. However, initially I forgot that I needed to be listening for mispronunciations and the like so I could report them at the end. It dawned on me part of the way through the first formal speech, so I was able to recover.

I still need to try that hat on again.

Oh, yeah. And for posterity, the word I chose was 'efficacious.'

You've Wasted Another Perfectly Good Hour

I was planning to blog about visualizing social networks this morning, but I couldn't find the site I wanted to reference. I'll figure it out later when I access my laptop's browser history.

My other plan was to spend the seven o'clock hour working on some of the materials needed for my individual field project.

Instead, I surfed the web, bought oatmeal for breakfast, and generally noodled away the time.

I have been pushing really, really hard to get everything done at work over the last few days and weeks. When I push myself like this, I become mentally exhausted and I crash. It's as if I only have so much capacity, and I've used it up.

I think I'm discovering that for me, it's a false economy to push really hard. It doesn't increase my capacity - it just expends my capacity faster.

Monday, February 06, 2006

One Singular Sensation

According to Technorati, the blogosphere is doubling in size every 5.5 months. They say that on average a new blog is created every second of every day!

I'm not just one in a million - I'm one in 27.2 million!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sentimental Journey

We were at Uncle Ted's grave. My brother Dean gently smiled through his tears and cocked his head conspiratorially at me.

"Come here. I want to show you something."

I drew closer and he opened his coat. He pulled out a rosebud that he had apparently pulled from the funeral spray.

"I'm going to put this on Dad's grave. I took one from Uncle Steve's grave last year, too."


"Yeah. And I took some dirt from Dad's grave and sprinkled it in Uncle Manoli's garden in Greece."

My brother Dean is over six feet tall, and he weighs at least 200 pounds. He coaches football. But big and tough as he is on the outside, he's just a big softie on the inside.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Kandy Kane

She's boldly striped,
Blood-red and tooth-white
With a pepper-mint bite.