Feet, firewalls, and the search for comfort

November 19, 2007

crocs.jpgMy feet are killing me! Working at home, I never wear heels so I am just not used to it. However, being a woman of very short stature, I always wear heels when traveling or attending a business function. Does it matter that one is 5’? What a riot, right? Like 5′ 3″ is an Amazon woman or something. Did I say ouch?

Anyway, I just finished co-facilitating a workshop in Davidson, North Carolina at Ingersoll Rand with my colleague Gary Woodill. We had a group of twenty (perfect I think) for a highly hands-on workshop. Ingersoll Rand University supplied everyone with laptops and loaded them up with many of the no-no’s of corporate America  Skype, Facebook, SecondLife, Blog and Wiki software, etc. As with high-heeled shoes, it’s easy to forget the discomfort of firewalls.

The last time I used a wiki at a workshop I failed to populate it with anything. I expected people to just show up and start partying. I mean *hello* who would come to a dead party? This time, I think I did a better job. I’m not sure why I think training folks are any different when it comes to learning how to use new tools. We need to provide context and reasons other than “collaborate.” All attendees got their own page to take notes and the entire agenda and all necessary materials were there – cocktail franks and all. We had a end-of-session contest and, as a facilitator, it was gratifying to see the wikis used in unique ways and one attendee spent the evening setting one up for his workplace. Suh-weet!

Blogging worked. Instead of taking an hour to get everyone set up with their own blog and then trying to pull them back into the conversation when they just want to write, I live blogged an activity on a big screen as they were presenting it and then they commented (nearly ALL hadn’t done that before and didn’t use a reader). When we returned from a break, someone outside the group had picked up the post and it provided a good example of how blogs connect people.

Of course the real reason the workshop went well was because the attendees rocked, Gary Woodill rocked, and Ingersoll Rand rocked!

I must publicly thank my new friend Charlotte Coyle of Ingersoll Rand University (along with the IT staff and Lynn Palefsky) for managing this event for us and hosting us at their state-of-the-art facility. The North Carolina-style barbeque we all had for lunch was a killer ending. When I finally get home, I’ll be dreaming of Crocs and Uggs, open access, and will be hoping for a chance to go back to Charlotte soon.

  • http://www.jarche.com/ Harold Jarche

    I think that Crocs have become the official footwear of the work-at-home crowd. When I switched from slippers to Crocs, it was shear comfort. And now I’m going on the road and have to wear shoes. Luckily, us guys don’t have all that fashion pressure on us.

    Good point on pre-populating wikis. They look pretty dead until you start using them.

  • http://www.jarche.com/ Harold Jarche

    I think that Crocs have become the official footwear of the work-at-home crowd. When I switched from slippers to Crocs, it was shear comfort. And now I’m going on the road and have to wear shoes. Luckily, us guys don’t have all that fashion pressure on us.

    Good point on pre-populating wikis. They look pretty dead until you start using them.

  • http://www.jarche.com Harold Jarche

    I think that Crocs have become the official footwear of the work-at-home crowd. When I switched from slippers to Crocs, it was shear comfort. And now I’m going on the road and have to wear shoes. Luckily, us guys don’t have all that fashion pressure on us.

    Good point on pre-populating wikis. They look pretty dead until you start using them.

  • http://jnthweb.pbwiki.com/ Joan Vinall-Cox

    Sounds like a lot of fun – made me think of our dinner for three – wish I’d been there. BTW, why are pretty and comfortable shoes so hard to find!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    What Joan? Are you saying Crocs aren’t pretty? ; )They are when you put the neat little charms in them. Yes, I wish you had been in Charlotte with Charlotte & me. We missed you!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    What Joan? Are you saying Crocs aren’t pretty? ; )They are when you put the neat little charms in them. Yes, I wish you had been in Charlotte with Charlotte & me. We missed you!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    What Joan? Are you saying Crocs aren’t pretty? ; )They are when you put the neat little charms in them. Yes, I wish you had been in Charlotte with Charlotte & me. We missed you!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    I suppose we could move to Google adsense and advertise crocs for home workers…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    I suppose we could move to Google adsense and advertise crocs for home workers…

  • http://jnthweb.pbwiki.com/ Joan Vinall-Cox

    Sounds like a lot of fun – made me think of our dinner for three – wish I'd been there. BTW, why are pretty and comfortable shoes so hard to find!

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