E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez


Crazy People Changing the World – The Blessing

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Here we are again, folks. Friday! YAY!!! And, like every Friday for the last few weeks, here I am again, going to share a couple of rather inspirational videos that I thought would fit in quite nicely with the theme inspire on a Friday! One of them is coming from a commercial and the other one is coming from one of this week’s episodes from RocketBoom. There is a logic in both videos put together one after the other, so you will first have to watch the one from the commercial, which is stored in YouTube and then straight after go and watch that episode from RocketBoom. Yes, all in that order. And you will see what I mean with inspirational. Here we go:

And now here is the link to the RocketBoom video. After I have watched both of them there would be just one single thing that is left for me to say for the day: whatever people tell you, no matter what, it is the small things that matter. Always!

Have a good one everyone and join today the crazy crowd that will continue to make a difference and change our world!

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Wear Sunscreen!

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There are times where just surfing the Internet for the sake of doing just that is incredibly enlightening, educational, revealing, thought-provoking, inspirational, empowering, mind-opener, to say the least. You name it. Well, this week I have actually bumped into a particular YouTube video for which I do not have many words left other than saying watch it!

Perfect timing that I am getting to share it over here today, because it is certainly one of those video clips that not only would it make you think about things twice, but it also introduces quite nicely the weekend ahead of us. This is one of those video clips that as inspirational as it may well be, it is totally worth it watching it and digesting its content.

And I am going to leave it there for today. Have a good one everyone ! I need to go now and make a few phone calls! (After you watch the video you will know why…)

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Here’s a thought: Not All End Users Love Technology – Drawing the Line between Work and Play

(Previously, on elsua – The Knowledge Management Blog at ITtoolbox)

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A couple of days ago I was actually browsing through my RSS feeds from Collaboration Loop and I bumped into this particular article, created by Melanie Turek, which I found rather interesting and thought-provoking: Here’s a thought: Not All End Users Love Technology. In it Melanie gets to discuss how IBM keeps getting more and more involved with the world of the metaverse, specially with Second Life, as another interesting platform to dig in so that knowledge workers would have an opportunity to improve their online interactions with others by sharing their knowledge and collaborating through virtual worlds in, perhaps, a much more efficient and effective way.

However, she also questions whether other companies would be able to join in what IBM seems to have been doing lately: i.e. encouraging its knowledge workers to see the business side of playing with Second Life:

"Most companies don’t want to entice their employees to work by making it seem as though that work is actually play. And frankly, most employees don’t really want to play when what their supposed to be doing is work."

Here is another thought-provoking quote to go along those same lines:

"The typical knowledge worker doesn’t want to play with her technology; she wants her technology to help her do her job better, faster and more easily."

Or even this other one which is just as provocative:

"Most knowledge workers don’t want to pretend to be living a second life in order to do their jobs; creating avatars and 3-D mazes won’t make their work more appealing, and it’s unlikely to encourage them to do it more successfully… or even just more of it."

Goodness! I am not sure what you all think about those particular quotes, but I have yet to see the first company who wouldn’t want its knowledge workers to have fun while getting the job done! Isn’t that the perfect combination? Or am I missing something larger in here? Isn’t that what every single business tries to achieve with their workforce, that they are working in an environment that is friendly enough for them to make the most of it by having fun? By playing, if you would want to say that out loud?

I mean, we all know this. Most of our learning processes whether for our personal lives or whether for our daily job tasks will always be much more effective if they are done in a playful environment. After all, we all get to learn stuff by interacting with it, by playing, by having fun. Otherwise, it would become rather difficult to let sink in and adjust to it.

That is why I have always felt that one of the key components towards the success of a KM strategy is how flexible it would certainly be to incorporate fun elements to the whole thing. More than anything else because knowledge workers seem to adjust better when there is some playing involved, specially in the learning environment. Something they can relate to, they can have fond memories about and connect with those, and with other people whenever it would be needed. That is, perhaps, one of the main reasons why social computing has brought KM back again into the spotlight. It is actually fun hanging out there with other knowledge workers sharing knowledge and collaborating on those topics they feel passionate about. Don’t you think?

Why is it that every time a new project team or a community gets started, or a bunch of people who do not know each other well just yet, they start connecting with one another by doing team  / community building activities, or icebreakers, that usually involved playful events, i.e. games? How can we then turn around and state that we do not enjoy having having fun while doing our jobs? It beats me and I can only imagine that being in that situation will eventually end up in boredom and therefore time to move on to the next thing.

I am not sure what you think, folks, but I have a feeling that we better get started changing out state of mind and embrace the fact that the workforce from today hasn’t got anything to do with the workforce from the last century. Things are changing fast! Getting the job done is not enough any longer. To be able to keep knowledge workers satisfied with what they are doing, there would be a need for a balance between play and work. Yes, indeed, getting the job done while they are having fun!

I know that this may sound a bit idealistic and everything, but if you come to think about it it could well be the way future interactions will be taking place within the workplace, which is probably why more and more businesses are exploring some of the business benefits from virtual worlds, and in particular Second Life. Otherwise, why would they do it? For the hype? I don’t think so. The time, efforts and energy spent on it would no longer be worth it.

"But not all consumer technology needs to be used on the job, and not all of it will be. If technology doesn’t help employees work smarter, faster and better, it probably won’t gain traction—no matter how cool it appears to be."

Yes, I agree with that argument to some extent, but wouldn’t it be much worthier having technology help knowledge workers work smarter, faster and better and have fun at the same time? What do you think? Are you having fun at work yet?

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Arriving in Charming Budapest

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As you may recall from last week, this week and till next Monday, I am actually in Budapest, Hungary, attending the University event with the European team from IBM‘s Global Business Services Learning and Knowledge, getting to know face to face a whole bunch of the folks I have been interacting with virtually for a number of months. Yes, I know, an interesting event to say the least as I will be able to place some faces behind the voices, IM conversations and e-mails I have been having for quite some time now.

The event is supposed to get started tomorrow afternoon although registrations are starting in the morning. Then over the next couple of days, it is going to be a pretty packed agenda with very little time for anything else, including some team building activities in the evening, so I am not sure I would be able to create any other weblog entries at least till I am done on Thursday afternoon. Thus I have decided to venture now and share a few thoughts on my first experiences coming to Budapest for the first time and share some of the pictures I have already taken about this incredibly fascinating city. Here it goes:

1. Too much of a long trip!: Yes, indeed, having to take three planes in the same day to get over here is just way too much. My ears are still buzzing and pretty much stuck, despite all my efforts to get over it!!

2. Quite disappointed with Wi-Fi networks at airports in general: As I have been mentioning in my twitterings, I guess the world is way far far away from offering competitive (Not even free options) prices for making use of Wi-Fi networks while waiting on connecting flights. Not a chance that I would pay for two or three hours worth of broadband what I nearly pay on a monthly basis. *That* is just out of the question. Period. So much for making broadband widely available to everyone… Sigh

3. Taxi drivers need to understand that when they are told that the suitcase they try to grab is rather heavy they should be paying attention. We know better. We packed those suitcases, you know!?!?! Now I have got a broken suitcase ! Double sigh

4. Second major disappointment: This time with the hotel broadband services. Not only are they rather expensive (25 Euros for 24 hour connection! Yes, you are reading it right, 25 Euros per day!), but the actual broadband connection is as flaky as I never thought it would be for the price I am paying! I haven’t been able to access most Web sites I normally get to access, Twitter included, GMail, a whole bunch of behind the firewall Web sites through VPN, or even my weblog! (Where there are a whole bunch of comments and trackbacks I need to get to, but can’t! So bear with me while I try to get that sorted out). I hope I am able to post this one entry, but so far I must say that it is far from ideal !

And all this in an era where most knowledge workers are mobile, travelling all over the place, and need to have that pervasiveness to stay in touch with their peers, friends and family than otherwise is going to make things rather difficult. Already got several thousand RSS feeds to catch up just because the broadband connection has been rather unstable all along. Sigh. I guess I was just asking for too much this time around. Yes, indeed, there is nothing like one’s own home wireless connection that you know it just *works*.

5. Lovely beer: Yes, indeed, I just had my first couple of pints and although I do not remember the name of the lager, it surely was nice! I need to pay much better attention next time, but if all beers are just like the one I just had, I think am going to have some good fun from here till next week! 🙂 heh

6. Sex offerings: After a lovely light dinner with a pint or two of that nice lager, I decided to go for a walk in the surroundings of the hotel, voted as “best view” hotel in Budapest, and while I am walking alongside the river in a rather cold evening the first thing I get offered is just that: sex. Yeah, like you are reading it right there. I got here less than 3 hours ago and I am already being offered some sex… Hummm, no hard feelings to anyone of my friends out there, but that scene reminded me very closely of Amsterdam.

I decided to walk further and continue enjoying the scenery, in case you are wondering. See above for a whole bunch of reasons why 😛

7. First glance of what promises to be a wonderful place to enjoy for the remaining of the week: As I was taking that walk in this cold evening, I got to enjoy some of the different ancient buildings (Still need to learn the names and all as well -Reading some books about them at the moment…) and the spectacular lighting effects that have been put together. They have clearly reminded me that I need to buy a much better digital camera if  I would want to do them justice ! And big time!

You will have to get over here to judge for yourselves, but I have taken the liberty of taking some photos of some of the stunning places I have been checking out thus far so that you can get an idea of what is awaiting you over here, in case you may have never visited Budapest.

8. I am tired: I guess that is a no brainer since I have been up this morning since 4am GMT and it is pass midnight, local time, so instead of sharing with you some further details, I am actually going to leave it over here and share with you below some of those, above mentioned, pictures I mentioned of some of the stuff I have seen tonight. Hopefully, there would be a couple more weblog posts about my experiences over here, but there is a good chance that I may just be able to share some of my twitterings all along, specially if the broadband connection is good. We shall see.

Have a good one everyone! And hope to be able to weblog some more soon! (If you do not see me weblogging away, not to worry, you know where I will be. Yeah, not there actually either! You bad bad bad folks!! :-D)


(More to be uploaded over here)

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Reminder of How Much Things Are Changing – Did You Know?

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Oh boy, I am shattered! What an incredibly busy week this has been thus far, folks! One of the busiest  I have been having in a long long while ! Thank goodness it is Friday and just feel like I could do with some well deserved rest and start enjoying the weekend a bit sooner than expected. I was thinking about creating another weblog entry where I could share some of the thoughts that have been going on in my mind over the last few days from stuff that I have been reading, but somehow I feel that my body and my mind have got other plans and just want to get the … out of here!

However, I thought I would create this particularly quick weblog entry where I would want to share a video from YouTube that I have found in several other places, Tony Karrer’s weblog being one of them, about how fast things are changing for us all at the beginning of the 21st century. There are lots and lots of things that I could share about the impact that video clip has had in me, after watching it. Humble is probably one of the words that comes to mind, amongst many others. However, instead of me just sharing some more thoughts with you on the subject, I am just going to embed the video over here and let you alone watch it. You will probably find it just as educational, enlightening and thought-provoking as I have found it.

It is just amazing that this presentation piece has been put together quite some time ago and is making the rounds all over the place nowadays. I guess … What comes around goes around… Have a good one, folks! Signing off for now…

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