27 March 2009

Shout out for Expertise

I was contacted yesterday by a dear friend of mine whose infant nephew is suffering from a facial deformity. They are seeking a specialist team of a pediatric neurosurgeon and a craniofacial plastic surgeon. Do you know someone who is specialised in this area or can connect to someone who is? Please have them contact Julie Bolt <julie_bolt@yahoo.com> if they have any questions or wish to contact the parents. Thank you in advance for any help that you might be able to provide in connecting them to the specialists they need.

"He was diagnosed with metopic synostosis which is the premature closure of the suture from his hairline to his nose. However, that is only what caused the problem and is not what has to be fixed. Because his browbone did not develop it will continue to "sink" and his forehead will continue to form into a point. If not corrected, he would eventually look very deformed. This in no way effects his mental development. It is purely cosmetic, but absolutely necessary.

They will have to perform reconstructive surgery that will involve a pediatric neurosurgeon and a craniofacial plastic surgeon. We do not have a "team" like this in Greenville, so Dr. Troop has recommended a group in Atlanta. They will make an incision from ear to ear, pull the skin back, take the upper plates of bone in the forehead off and use some of this to reconstruct a new browbone. The surgery will take several hours and his hospital stay will range anywhere from 4 days to 10 depending on two main factors. His eyes will have to open(after the surgery they will swell shut) and his blood counts have to come back to normal. The main risk is blood loss. He said that the child's condition was very rare. The surgery will probably be performed in July because they would like for the existing browbone to be more developed. After the surgery he will then wear a helmet for 3 to 4 months or until he grows out of it."

So this may be off-topic, but if we do not use all the channels available to us when those we care about are in need, we are not being resourceful. So, start with email as my friend Julie did, then blast it out through social media and face to face network channels. There is nothing lost in finding solutions for those who need it most. For those it doesn't concern, let it act as a reminder to us that we should be thankful that we are not in this situation. Even more importantly that the least we can do is try to help, and it takes so little.

25 March 2009

Commencing of the Matriarchal Millenium

It shall not take a thousand years. And, no, I am not saying that women will take over, or that they should. What I am saying is that we are becoming conscious leaders with an appreciation for those skills often referred to as feminine: investing gains back into communities, and social growth, Leading with compassion, Listening, Considering the holistic impact of our actions as leaders and individuals are only a few. This does mean that women will be recognised as capable of leading and given the opportunity to do so. This does mean, that they will protect their communities and families with ferocity and passion. This does mean that they will negotiate to maintain peace providing an environment in which all feel nurtured to continue grow in. This does mean, we have a way to go, but we are on the right road. This does mean that we each have a lot of work to do to keep us on that road, together. I am looking forward to being part of the journey.

23 March 2009

A new look at Entrepreneurs from old eyes

"Today’s smart entrepreneurs start global" -The Economist

Yes even the conservative Economist is recognising the much lies in the hands of Entrepreneurs, and even goes so far as to mention some social entrepreneurs while they are at it. According to the article Entrepreneurialism has Become Cool, the outlook has changed. "Today entrepreneurship is very much part of economics. Economists have realised that, in a knowledge-based economy, entrepreneurs play a central role in creating new companies, commercialising new ideas and, just as importantly, engaging in sustained experiments in what works and what does not. William Baumol has put entrepreneurs at the centre of his theory of growth. Paul Romer, of Stanford University, argues that “economic growth occurs whenever people take resources and rearrange them in ways that are more valuable…[It] springs from better recipes, not just more cooking.” Edmund Phelps, a Nobel prize-winner, argues that attitudes to entrepreneurship have a big impact on economic growth."

Sweden's Dagens Industri, states that creative start ups are on the rise and the economy falls. "What is now perceived as a crisis, perhaps many people in three or four years will think back on that it was the best thing that happened to them," says Ashkan Pouya, MBA and entrepreneur.

Combining this energy to support the entrepreneurial spirit, the hopes are high on a new global economy rising like a phoenix from the ashes.

19 March 2009

Velo, Boulot, Dodo

Ahh in celebration of the bike. The sun is finally out when I commute to work and still out when I return home with the beacon of the Turning Torso guiding my course. I renew my appreciation for the ability to commute by bike allowing my mind the luxury of free creative thought while I transition from office to home.
The days are longer but I appreciate the opportunity to work hard and then collapse in restive sleep at the end of the day. Much of my year is spent as a road warrior speaking about social media and face to face networking best practice and far too much of the rest with a keyboard attached to my carpal tunnel suffering wrists. That "velo" part of my day is a release. Not to mention, if feels pretty good to have an environmentally friendly commute. It is no wonder that all those faces in cars that I pass look stressed. I bet they wish they could "velo" too.

17 March 2009

BPW International President's Seminar

video
Congratulations Liz Benham on a successful first BPW International President's Seminar. I went to learn and share and my expectations were exceeded. From presentations, best practice discussions, and region reports to connecting, sharing and laughing, it was well worth the journey to New York.

I was too wrapped up in listening to Dr. Antoinette Rüegg's presentation on Emotional Intelligence to catch it on film. I will do my best to follow her sage words "not by teaching but by changing self" in order to create change. Lead by example and hope that we can encourage others to reverse the pattern of "women do not invest in women."

Jean Murray's presentation on Good Governance was quite poignant as we begin the early stages of BPW Malmö. I look forward to passing this wisdom on to my board and the members who will eventually take our place. These things are critical foundations that will help us build and grow as a sustainable organisation well into the future.

Understanding the significance of the relationship we at BPW have with international organisations, particularly the United Nations and the Commission on the Status of Women, was significant. Having a voice is empowering, using it is powerful. Thank you Freda Miriklis for providing further clarity.

Gabriella Canonica provided great information on the plans for membership and retention. We will do our best to bring in the quality membership in Öresund that inspires active participation. I agree we must engage our members to feel the desire to share at least 1+1. (Sorry I missed photo opp, I was busy listening again.)

The Young BPW Chair, Nadia Munawar, presented some current projects and goals for YBPW. The AEISEC project for cross-cultural training opportunities in Pakistan looked particularly promising. I am sure we will see great things happen during her term.

Thank you all for your wisdom and your passion. You continue to inspire me.

13 March 2009

The Beauty of Faces

The significance of attaching a face to a name cannot be forgotten. We get so involved in our interactions on-line we create relationships that are different from those that are "real." We participate in networks that connect us to people and organisations with shared professions, interests or ideals. We connect with those that have shared backgrounds, experiences, education, or needs. More often now we are so busy that we struggle to find time to keep up, so we focus on our core group. Yet, we must remember the richness in the diversity of our interactions beyond the core and their ability to provide a platform for learning and growing. I am honored to have such a rich diversity in my extended network that continues to fuel my curiosity and growth. Each link began with a face that starts the relationship.

While on my recent trip to New York for meetings of Business and Professional Women International, a face to face network that I am active in (which I will write about next), I connected with several old friends that are friends of mine on a particular on-line network as well. In fact, these were friends that two of the three I had not seen in over 20 years, but had recently reconnected on-line. We had a delightful time catching up on our lives in the "gap period" for ourselves and other shared friends, laughing about our shared memories and talking about our dreams for the future. At the end of our meeting, we realised that they all knew each other, also from many years past through different connections, and two of them were already connected on-line only. Although they all live in the same city, they had never connected. (So of course, being the network obsessed person I was, I had to do so).

In my presentations on best practice for using social media, I often speak of the importance of enhancing an initial face to face contact with on-line interaction to maintain connections. It was reassuring and fun to be reminded of the ability of social media to complement "real" relationships. But this little "experiment" in practice was quite validating for me.

06 March 2009

Tools to translate impact

BuzzMetrics from Nielson has the right methodology for analysis of social impact on brands. But of course, for the entrepreneur these tools may be too costly to invest in when thinking about sustainability in the build up phase.

The basic concepts can be done using a combination of free tools (of course this is more work, but since when is starting your own business easier than doing a job for someone else). Setting up Alerts for your company name, your brand and your product name, and even for you, is a good start. There are several places you can do this, but a good start is Nielsen's free tool Blogpulse and Google (you will need a Google account to set this up). This will at least send you summaries of the sites and links to buzz. You should get familiar with using "feeds" from other site and blogs so you can tag ones that are of interest. Check out some of the free white papers and data on nielsen-online as well to establish a good base and learn from existing market research.

For those of you less techy-types, here is an explanation about feeds and how to use them. I am certainly starting to appreciate Commoncraft's ability to break things down into "plain English."

05 March 2009

Benefits of OnLine Collaboration

I found myself trying to explain the benefits and process of on-line collaboration versus email to a team of non-tech oriented individuals yesterday. My dear technically challenged friends, I love you so I did a little checking. Here is a great little video that explains it "in plain English."

Enjoy. Let's hope our next on-line brainstorming session can be more productive, as you all know how it works now ;) . Thanks to CPSquare for pointing it out and to CommonCraft show for producing it.

03 March 2009

Eve-olution a note to the future

We connected the dots. Nancy Gomez, founder of Eve-olution, and I found ourselves nodding in agreement over a delightful hour of conversation. How can I help you to succeed? Connecting to the individual with purpose and the right attitude makes a great difference. There are the few gems, and she is one. I am glad she sought me out at the Global Summit for Women in Korea last Spring. I feel blessed to have connected to so many inspiring women who fuel passion for my work. We share a common view on the future and the importance of building bridges for mutual benefit and knowledge sharing.

Eve-olution, connects entrepreneurs in developing countries with coaches to take their businesses to the next level globally whereupon they reciprocate through coaching. Beautiful. Six years and they have done some amazing things. We share the passionate belief that THIS is the era of the entrepreneur and specifically the global woman entrepreneur. Having a positive outlook in this time of "crisis" is simple when you look at the impact these women have had through applying their passion for making change. Building awareness of these efforts is critical in this time as they will have the potential to create change. Keep up the great work.