Thursday, November 27th, 2008
May you and your loved ones enjoy a time of thankfulness for each other and for the blessings you have received.
O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. - Psalm 105:1

Also, please take a moment to remember the men and women in service of our country, at home and abroad. Freedom is never free.

Happy Thanksgiving!

UPS delivered a box from Amazon today. I have been expecting several knowledge management books but it turns out it was just a book by Michael Sampson.

Michael Sampson!?

Yes, that's right, Michael can now add published author to his list of accomplishments. (Sort of like being blessed with a 9th child.)
Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft SharePoint to collaborate, innovate, and drive business in new ways, by Michael Sampson.

Seamless Teamwork: Using Microsoft SharePoint technologies to collaborate, innovate, and drive business in new ways.

But wait! There's a problem. Kathy just walked into the room and I handed her the book. Her first comment was "Where's his picture?"

Even if you are not a SharePoint user, you can still learn a lot from Michael's book. I did. You'll learn about the capabilities of SharePoint and the lessons learned from collaborative implementations gone well and those that didn't go so well.

Continue Reading "It's here! Seamless Teamwork, by Michael Sampson" »

Happy Birthday, Mickey!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Wow, 80 years old! It seems like just 20 years ago that the kindergartners of room 19 celebrated your birthday with Miss Mullen.
Miss Mullen and the kindergartners of room 19 wish Mickey a happy 60th birthday!

Magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Southern California

Thursday, November 13th, 2008
At 10:00 AM this morning, people all over California will be ducking, covering, and holding on to anything they can  to escape the devastation of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. The Great Southern California Shakeout will be held November 13. It's designed as a wake-up call -- literally -- to get all Southern Californians ready for the Big One.

What the next So Cal Quake may look like

Geologists say it's not a matter of if, but when, the big one hits and this effort, in the planning stages for months, is hoping to put that awareness squarely on the minds of all residents.

The shakeout scenario what would happen if California were to get a jolt of 7.8 or stronger along the San Andreas fault. (To give you a mental and physical picture of what that would be like...geologists say that would be 5,000 times larger and stronger than the 5.4 quake that struck on July 29.)
Source: KNX1070

I live next to (on top of, really) the San Andreas fault line, so we are aware of the dangers of earthquakes. But, are we as a community as prepared as we need to be? I think not. I think many of us have this picture that the government will come to our rescue. I think we need to be prepared to be much more self-sufficient. Do you have an emergency preparedness kit in each car? For each member of your family? Do you know what to do when the ground starts moving?

ShakeOut Resources

A stockholder letter to the Disney Corporation

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
My daughter, Emily (11) wrote this letter to the Disney Company. I asked for permission to blog it. I think she touches on several very important points...

November 10, 2008

As a stockholder of the Disney Company (that means I own two shares of the Disney Company), I think we should:

       Bring back Disney magazines
       Lower prices on things
       Have Santa visit
       Put cotton candy in the candy store
       Make Fantasmic a little less violent
       Under the huge Christmas tree, put a stable with Mary, Jesus, and Joseph
       Bring back submarines and the Country Bear Jamboree

Emily Mack

No response yet, but I look forward to seeing how they respond to this young stockholder.
I have a very special opportunity that involves my client, The David Allen Company. In short, I have been asked to nominate a few people to participate in a special program. There's no cost and the benefits are huge. You'll be asked to share and blog about your experience. I can nominate 3 people. If you are an established Notes blogger with a serious interest in personal productivity, I'd like to hear from you and see some of your personal productivity blog posts that you have written. You know where to find me.

On behalf of myself and my family, thank you for your service to our country.

An interesting KM challenge: "Brain Waste"

Monday, November 10th, 2008
In my graduate studies in knowledge management, I have been using the lens of KM to consider various issues that I hear about. Here's an article from today's L.A. Times, which I found interesting:  "About 300,000 college-educated legal immigrants in the state, and 1.3 million nationwide, are unemployed or working in low-level jobs because their credentials aren't recognized here, a study finds."

When I moved to California from Belgium at age 14, the Los Angeles Unified School district refused to recognize much of my education because there were no U.S. equivalents for the subjects I learned within my grade level. In other words, I was "too young" to learn those subjects and would simply have to learn them again. This put me in basic-level courses, even though I had successfully completed advanced courses in physics, zoology, mathematics and two foreign languages. I was willing to take exams to prove what I knew but the LAUSD system did not have provision for this at the time. It's as if my knowledge (recognized by grades, awards, and international scholarships) simply did not exist - at least as far as the Los Angeles educational system was concerned. (Fortunately I got out, and I've never allowed education to get in the way of my learning since.)

I can sympathize with what the people in this article are dealing with. They have the brains, filled with knowledge, but without the recognition, their opportunities are limited.  Here, we have a problem of knowledge resources at a time when we need all the brain power we can get. This is not a discussion of legal vs illegal immigration. This is, however, in my opinion, a very interesting KM challenge. Clearly the current situation (for all of its causes) does not maximize the knowledge worker contribution that these people can contribute to society.

I wonder what a KM centric approach would be to maximizing the value of the knowledge these people have and are willing to share?

Article: Skilled immigrants a 'brain waste' in California's workforce
After spending the past two months on the list of the top 5 Lotusphere Best Practice Session proposals, I just received confirmation that my Lotusphere session proposal has been accepted.

Breakout session:
Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes

I've invited my friend and client, David Allen, to co-present with me. We will be sharing our experience and best practices for knowledge worker productivity using Lotus Notes.  Thank you for your votes!

Our other Lotusphere proposal for a birds of a feather session is still under consideration.

Birds of a feather session:
Getting Things Done with Lotus Notes - Making Notes Personal

If this is a session that you would like to see at Lotusphere, I hope you will click on the link and add your vote!

I look forward to this opportunity. I'll have more news to post, soon.
Have you ever experienced Wrap Rage? I have. It's frustrating and a real time-waster.  (Wrap Rage describes the frustration we humans feel when trying to free a product from impenetrable packaging.)


You can imagine, then, my pleasure when I logged in to Amazon today and saw that they are promoting Wrap Rage-free products.

Here's a productivity tip that will save you a lot of time (and Wrap Rage):

Finally! Products packaged so that you do not need a chainsaw to open them!
No more clamshell cases and steel wire ties.

And, perhaps best of all (if you like to plat with pirate toys) the first product is the Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship.

Ahoy! Ye be more productive with Wrap Rage free products!
If you haven't seen the list of Best Practices session proposals for Lotusphere 2009, please check them out. There are many excellent session proposals and you can vote to help determine which sessions will be on the Lotusphere 2009 agenda.  Right now, according to the early polls, my two session proposals are near the top of the list. I would sure like to have your vote.

This year, I've invited my client, David Allen, to co-present with me at Lotusphere. David graciously agreed to participate and I'm excited.  We'll be talking about how we get  things done with Lotus Notes.  I've asked David to present a mini-GTD overview in the context of Lotus Notes. I know that many of you are already aware of GTD, if so , this will be a nice review. For those of you that have not heard of David Allen or his Getting Things Done methodology, I encourage you to read his best-selling book, Getting Things Done, the Art of Stress-Free Productivity. I promise these sessions, if selected, will be ones you won't want to miss!

Bruce Elgort's IdeaJam service allows you to cast your vote for or against any session topic on the list, so let your voice be heard and make your vote count.

Please log into IdeaJam today and review the many session proposals. Be sure to take a look at my two session proposals, then, after you've read them, cast your vote!

Breakout Session:

Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes

Discussion Group:

Birds of a feather : Getting Things Done with Lotus Notes

Please tell your friends to visit the IdeaJam site and vote today for the Lotusphere 2009 sessions!


My name is Eric Mack and I approve this message.